Garvanza Park Grand Reopening

12 03 2012

Please join the Honorable Councilmember Jose Huizar of the 14th District, City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation, Dept. of Recreation and Parks, and North East Trees to celebrate the completion of the Garvanza Park Rainwater Capture Facility. The event will be held on Thursday, March 15th, 2012 at 9:00 am at Gravanza Park – 6240 Meridian Street, Los Angeles, CA 90042. Please visit us at for more details.


Oros Green Street Project & Stormwater Management in Los Angeles

28 07 2011

Landscape Architecture Magazine reports on stormwater management strategies in Los Angeles. North East Trees’ Oros Green Street Project featured.

Click here for the article:

Practice Makes Pervious – LAM July 2011

Glendale Narrows Riverwalk Project Update

20 07 2011

The Glendale Narrows River Walk project being designed and constructed by North East Trees is located on the north bank of the Los Angeles River across from Griffith Park, just east of Garden Street.

One of the most spectacular stretches of this under-appreciated river, where there still exists a natural unpaved river bottom, runs the length of this approximately half mile project. It is a gathering place for all kinds of wildlife, particularly large water birds such as the Great Blue Heron and the Snowy Egret.

After several weeks of removing concrete, asphalt, old rusty chain link fence, and invasive plants, the project has now entered the heavy construction phase at the west end of the project.

Before construction

During construction

The new entrance road is currently being graded, and a ramp will be built leading up from the parking area to the equestrian area where a spectacular new horse ring and corral have already been installed.

Structures are being constructed to allow the storm water runoff from the surrounding area to flow along a planted earthen channel for hundreds of feet before entering an infiltration basin. This will clean the storm water through natural processes and allow it to infiltrate into the sandy soils that typically line the river.  Combine these methods, known as BMP’s (Best Management Practices), with over 5,000 square feet of concrete removal and the result is water being allowed to infiltrate into the ground recharging our aquifers, much less water running directly into the Los Angeles River during storm events, and the water that does enter the river will be much cleaner than in the past.

During demolition, old metal fence and asphalt were recycled.  Rocks were recovered to be later utilized in landscaping and drainage. In a typical construction project these materials would be treated as trash and hauled of to a landfill. North East Trees makes a concerted effort to lessen the negative impact of projects and reuse all the materials we can.

The benefits that this project will bring to the immediate community and the area as a whole are typical of a North East Trees project.  Air and water quality, noise levels, property values, security, and sense of community will all be positively affected.  We replace gray, hard, lifeless forgotten corners of the urban setting with green, flowering, breathing landscapes.  We welcome back and rely on the ecosystem as an essential, functioning feature of every project.  We open up long closed public areas in the belief that getting good people to spend time and develop a stake in an area is the most effective form of security.  We expect all of these benefits and more from North East Trees’ Glendale Narrows River Walk Project.

Video Footage of Garvanza Park Construction Work

9 06 2011

The Highland Park-Mount Washington Patch posted video footage of the installation of the retention basins in April. 

Garvanza Park BMP Update

24 05 2011

The Garvanza Park Stormwater BMP Project is an innovative project that will capture and clean more than one million gallons of rain and runoff. Please see our March post.

The infiltration basins were placed underground in March, and excavation began for the retention basins. Upon completion, stormwater will be stored in these retention basins and used for subsurface irrigation of this area.

A base of gravel is spread over the area where the retention chambers will sit. A geotextile fabric material will be laid down, over which a thick waterproof pond liner will  be put down. The retention chambers will be placed over these layers.

Gravel base under retention basins

Retention basins in place

Towards the left-hand side of the above photo, part of the buried infiltration basins can be seen. The retention basins are visible in the background of the excavated area.

View to retention basins

In the above photo, the retention basins are installed and will be buried underground. The next step is to install the Continuous Deflective Separation (CDS) units. A CDS unit is a specially-designed concrete sump unit that separates out sediment, trash, oil, and grease, while it filters the stormwater that is diverted into the retention and infiltration basins.

Once the park’s surface is restored, North East Trees will install a subsurface irrigation system using the water stored in the basins to irrigate parts of the park. Water-thirsty turf grass will be replaced with a drought-tolerant species of buffalo grass, and native trees will be planted throughout the park. This work will start in June of this year and the establishment of the new plant material will continue through December 2011.

Garvanza Park BMP Update

29 03 2011

The Garvanza Park Stormwater BMP Project is an innovative project that will capture and clean more than one million gallons of rain and runoff. During the month of January, once the shoring and stabilizing of the site was done, excavation of the soils began. The soil is being removed to an approximate depth of 18 feet. This large area is graded flat at the bottom and during February the crew placed large forms for concrete footings. In the area that is now excavated there are alternating rows of concrete being poured, with gravel between the rows of concrete. Large infiltration basins will be placed onto these footings and will allow for the stormwater to infiltrate into the soil.

Excavated area

The excavated area seen in the photo above is almost as wide as a football field and half a football field in length.

Individual basin units for the infiltration basin being delivered.

Setting the basin units

The individual infiltration basin units are being set onto the gravel and concrete footings, the units are set side by side and sealed. The storm water that enters the infiltration basin will gradually seep into the ground and replenish the groundwater.

Infiltration basins covered

The infiltration basins have been covered in soil and excavation for the next set of basins has begun.  The basins will be buried underneath a grassy field in the park. The next set of basins to be installed will be the retention basins that will contain the stormwater to be used for irrigating the field.


Baldwin Hills Eastern Gateway Project

4 02 2011

Designed and constructed by North East Trees, the Baldwin Hills Eastern Gateway project brightens the La Brea Avenue entrance to Kenneth Hahn Regional Park. Construction was completed in January 2011.

BEFORE - the original storm drain

 With the removal of over 1,000 square feet of a concrete storm drain, we created in its place a natural streambed bio-swale that drains into an infiltration basin. Stormwater now flows over native soil and through new native plantings where it is cleaned and allowed to infiltrate into the ground. Whatever doesn’t immediately soak in, is held in the infiltration basin at the end of the bio-swale where it can infiltrate slowly over a few days.  Only during the largest storm events does the water fill up the basin and flow into the original storm drain.

AFTER - natural streambed bio-swale

The concrete that was removed from the storm drain, instead of being hauled to a landfill, was recycled by our designers, and along with granite river rock, was used to build beautiful walls that define the upper streambed of this sinuous natural channel.

North East Trees planted over 800 native plants and trees at this site, and installed a rustic wood-crete two-rail fencing, wooden stairs and metal handrails to replace the dangerous steep dirt path entering the park. River rocks and large boulders enhance the aesthetics of this site.

BEFORE - median on the east side of La Brea Ave

North East Trees also irrigated and landscaped the long median on the east side of La Brea Avenue, which serves to blur the line between the residences and the park.  Native sycamores, shrubs, boulders, a water efficient drip system, and a meandering decomposed granite and broken concrete walkway strikingly transformed this toxic strip of dirt and weeds into an unlikely idyllic setting inches from speeding motorists.       

AFTER - median on the east side of La Brea Ave

Working with the Baldwin Hills Conservancy, the City of Los Angeles Department of Public works, and the County of Los Angeles Parks and Recreation, North East transformed this neglected after-thought of park entrance into an inviting and safe area, and enhanced the ecological benefits of this already amazing, scarce, and under utilized open-space.

This project was funded through Prop A and Prop 40 grants.