Johnny Carson Park Upgrade Includes Plans to Restore Natural Streambed | KCET
Johnny Carson Park Upgrade Includes Plans to Restore Natural Streambed
Plans are underway to upgrade Johnny Carson Park, the 17.6-acre green space between Bob Hope Drive off the 134, just a little north of Los Angeles River. All Burbank needs is just a little more funding to proceed with the renovation.
Named after the famed "Tonight Show" host Johnny Carson, the green space has been part of the Burbank urban fabric since June 1943. The park, originally named Buena Vista Park, was once part of a 51-acre purchase from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. Portions of the large tract were later sold to St. Joseph Hospital and NBC in the '40s and '50s.
What remained became one of Burbank's largest and most utilized neighborhood parks that stretches 17.6 acres, 8.76 of which are city-owned. The park was later renamed in honor of the late night show host in April 1992, to coincide with Carson's retirement. Decades of use naturally led to wear and tear, which prompted the city to explore renovation that would improve energy and water efficiency in the park.
The centerpiece of their proposal would restore an 885-foot storm water channel into a natural creek, creating eight acres of natural habitat with a one-half mile ADA accessible trail alongside the creek.
"Right now, it's a channel. It's got concrete in there," said Judie Wilke, Director of Parks, Recreation and Community Services for the City of Burbank. "Any water that gets in there goes into L.A. River. By taking out all of that concrete we're trying to create what are called bioswales, which cleans the water by natural filtration."
This isn't the first time the city has tried to renovate the drainage channel. During the 1970s the city removed portions of the concrete-lined channel, then added grass turf and decorative boulders, which only made it appear more natural. The channel's main purpose however, was still the diversion of stormwater into the Los Angeles River. During periods of heavy rain, the streambed flows swiftly toward the river, leaving little to be absorbed back into the water table. With this current renovation the city, in cooperation with Burbank Water and Power, hopes to keep and treat more of the urban runoff within Burbank. The recycled water would then be used to irrigate the plants in the park, similar to the arrangement at the Japanese Garden around the Tillman Water Reclamation Park.
Other improvements include replacing the Tonight Show Playground with a new playground that complies with ADA and Certified Playground Safety Guideline requirements. New lighting and upgrades to the two existing pedestrian bridges over the channel are also being discussed.
Before Burbank can move forward however, the city needs to identify additional funds to make this renovation happen. "The bigger issue right now is working with council to identify funding to complete the project," said Wilke.
The city initially set aside money to fund the project through its redevelopment agency. However, the CRA's dissolution endangered those funds. The initial $5 million budget was then scaled down to about $3.7 million. The park currently has about $1.9 milion in funds available -- $1.7 million from California Natural Resources Agency and $ 283,630 in state grants.
The park will be up for City Council consideration sometime at the end of May. Wilke hopes that the Council will help the project find the additional funding it needs to be realized. Keep up with developments at the park here. Supporters may also contact Wilke at email@example.com.
Though Horace Tapscott died in 1999, his legacy of music and focus on community burn brighter than ever because of the rising popularity of contemporary jazz artists like Kamasi Washington.
While most people are sleeping in their cozy beds, there is a whole segment of society that is awake and keeping the city moving. In the big picture, how does night work affect the economy and society as a whole?
A Q&A will immediately follow the screening with filmmakers and stars Hannah Pearl Utt and Jen Tullock.
A historical gold boom has resulted in thousands of abandoned mines spread across the Mojave desert that have grave environmental repercussions.
- 1 of 197
- next ›
The global demand for oil and gas has long-lasting impacts on the communities that supply it.
The global demand for avocados is having a devastating impact on a drought-stricken community in Chile.
Following groups like “Guardians of the Forest,” we explore illegal lumber poaching in the forests of Brazil and Oregon, where citizens and scientists are working together to combat the illegal lumber trade.
The realities of milk production are forcing dairy communities across the globe to rethink the dairy production process.
Solar power is changing lives in unexpected places. This episode visits with unique solar power training programs in Zanzibar and Los Angeles.
- 1 of 9
- next ›