Lakewood eMagazine - February 2007
Discover the newly expanded
West San Gabriel River Parkway and nature trail
The Lakewood community celebrated the completion of the final segment of the city’s West San Gabriel River Parkway Nature Trail project on February 3 with a celebratory tour of the mile-long walking and jogging path along the west bank of the river.
Now, as the San Gabriel River passes through Lakewood, it is completely bounded by parks, walking paths, bike trails, and the Lakewood Equestrian Center. Monte Verde Park and the rustic, 3,000-square-foot S. Mark Taper Foundation Vista Lodge anchor the trail.
“What were once just power line rights-of-way along the banks of the San Gabriel River are now beautiful open spaces landscaped with California native trees and shrubs and greened with hardy perennials,” notes Recreation and Community Services Director Lisa Litzinger.
This final leg of the trail system added another 2.5 acres of landscaped open space beginning at Del Amo Boulevard. The new .5-mile trail connects to the existing trail at of Monte Verde Park. Both segments offer walkers and joggers 2 miles of trails (round trip) to enjoy.
Brochure: West San Gabriel River Parkway and nature trail in PDF
Profile: Monte Verde Park and S. Mark Taper Foundation Vista Lodge
eMagazine: San Gabriel River open space parks get a $300,000 boost for expansion 09/2005
Rynerson Park Profile and illustrated map of the Rynerson Park Fitness Circuit
Bike Paths Los Angeles article on Lower San Gabriel River Trail from Lakewood to the ocean
"San Gabriel River trail" Web profile by Dan Slater
Greening the river
The entire project features numerous trees, shrubs and wildflowers that provide habitats for various birds and small mammals. It also provides a nature experience for the enjoyment and enrichment of the community.
“The completion of this phase enhances public access and linkages to the river and its bike trails for thousands of individuals, giving them another choice of open space and trails for fun and relaxation in an otherwise urban setting,” adds Litzinger.
Nature on display
It benefits nature by promoting opportunities for wildlife use. From the foot of the San Gabriel Mountains along 56 miles to the ocean, the river is a pathway for a multitude of birds searching for fish and other food along the way. Bird sightings are common as they stop to sip at the water and rest.
Sparrow hawks, herons, and egrets with their long, beautiful necks can be seen. Ospreys create nesting sites and other animals such as squirrels and barn owls have been sighted. Butterflies and a multitude of other insects reside in the native environment.
Over 2 Miles of accessible nature trails (round trip)
- Native California Plants
- Link to Bike Trail
- Nature Education Opportunities
- Nature Habitat
Walk the trail from one of three different entry points:
- Enter at Carson Street on the south end of the development.
- Enter on Del Amo Blvd. at the north end of the development.
- Park at Monte Verde Park, 4626 N. Shadeway, and enter at this trailhead.
- Open from dawn to dusk.
A mixed palette of native trees, drought tolerant shrubs and grasses can be found along the trail. Some of these include:
- California Laurel
- California Sycamore
- Blue Elderberry
- Valley Oak
- Western Redbud
- Butterfly Bush
- California Costal Sage
- Buck Wheat
- Matilija Poppy
- Butterfly Weed
- Creeping Mahonia
- Dwarf Rosemary
The project is consistent with the regional plan prepared by the California Resources Agency, San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy and Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, called “Common Ground from the Mountains to the Sea,” dated October 2001.
This plan is a watershed and open space plan that provides guidance and direction for the future restoration, preservation, and development in and around the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers.
Just across the river:
Open space preservation timeline
1967 – Monte Verde Park is built on the west side of the San Gabriel River, providing Lakewood residents a fully enclosed park for recreation opportunities including overnight camping experiences.
1973 – Lakewood purchased a strip of property located on the east side of the San Gabriel River. Eucalyptus trees and a variety of plant material beautified this unsightly land, which was named River Park.
1975 – Lakewood purchased the 7.5-acre Lakewood Stables, now known as the Lakewood Equestrian Center.
1990 – Lakewood expanded River Park and developed the additional acreage on the east side of the river. The completion of Rynerson Park and the city-owned Lakewood Equestrian Center brought a variety of unique outdoor recreation experiences to area residents.
2001 – Monte Verde Park was renovated adding a 3,000-square-foot Vista Lodge, improving the plant material consisting of several ecosystems representing elements of native California landscape, and added a 1/4 mile nature trail.
2003 – West San Gabriel River Parkway Nature Trail provides 17-acres of trails and open space for passive activity. The beautifying of this greenway further completes the connection of open space along the river. Funding for this project was provided by the State of California, State Resources Agency.
2007 – The West San Gabriel River Parkway Nature Trail extension provides an additional 2.5 acres of trails and open space along the river and connects with the original trail at the south end of Monte Verde Park. Funding for this project was provided by the State of California, State Resources Agency.
Celebrate nature by attending free nature trail tours
Storyteller Kashka Warden will take visitors on nature walks exploring the birds, trees, and native California foliage of Monte Verde Park and the newly expanded West San Gabriel River Parkway Nature Trail. Folktales and fables will be a part of this family-oriented program.
NOTE: Sign up promptly. Space is limited.
Additional nature walks begin in March 2007
eCatalog #14955 Sunday, March 18 from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
eCatalog #14956 Sunday, April 22 from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
eCatalog #14957 Sunday, May 20 from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Click for eCatalog