Hazard Park Area Wetlands ‘Weed Whacked,’ Says Activist

By Gloria Angelina Castillo, EGP Staff Writer

hazard-park-wetlands-june2009

Johnson says the photos he took shows destruction of the ‘riparian’ habitat at Hazard Park. Photo by Scott Johnson, Friends of Henry T. Hazard Park and Community

Following two small fires at Hazard Park, the wetlands were accidentally trimmed down on as the Los Angeles Fire Department conducted a brush clearance on May 21, according to Councilman Jose Huizar’s (CD-14) press deputy, Rick Coca.

Word of the incident outraged some members of the community, including activist and restoration advocate Scott Johnson who said the Hazard Park Wetlands were “weed-whacked,” compromising the restoration of the nature preserve.

“This action is a great setback to the efforts in completing the stated wishes of environmentalists, community leaders and political leaders such as Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa who promised at the Million Tree Opening Ceremony to restore the Wetlands within three years,” Johnson wrote in a mass e-mail.

Johnson told EGP he wants those responsible to be held accountable for the “wanton destruction of this ecological gem in Boyle Heights.”

LAFD spokesperson Melissa Kelley told EGP that after a fire, brush clearance task forces need to make sure that the fire is completely out and contained.

LAFD Investigator Dave Linsky was tight lipped about the fires saying only that it was under an arson investigation.
The Hazard Park Wetlands run 1.4 miles, bisecting the park from Norfolk to Marengo and are a railroad easement.

The wetlands are located within the East Los Angeles area Hazard Park property, located along Soto Street, between Valley and Marengo, near County USC Medical Center, at 2230 Norfork Street.

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June 11, 2009  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

Comments

5 Responses to “Hazard Park Area Wetlands ‘Weed Whacked,’ Says Activist”

  1. smartmen on June 11th, 2009 8:37 pm

    Please move with the restoration of this unique place were we can see water running free in this city. Boyle Heights needs green areas. preserve this for future generations. green areas must be preserve.

  2. Scott Johnson on June 12th, 2009 10:36 am

    Smartmen,

    Thanks for your comment on the need to preserve our Green Places in Boyle Heights.

    Some follow comments on this issue.

    First, The Hazard Park Advisory Board will meet on June 23 at 6:00 PM to discuss this incident, the public is welcome. Call (213) 485-6839 for information.

    Second, what was Mayor Villaraigosa’s promise at the Million Trees Kick Off has now become Councilman Jose Huizar’s “long term goal”. May it be that the reason that restoration efforts are not moving forward is that Hazard Park has been placed in the Adelante Redevelopment Zone ??

    Third, what is wrong with the principle of “redeveloping our ecological wonders” ??

    Fourth, why have other ecological projects in CD 14 such as Elephant Hill and Ascot Hills met with the same status in their respective progressions ?

    In conclusion, a restored wetlands at Hazard Park can go a long way in building the self-esteem of the surrounding community and be use as an teaching tool to teach positve communal values using ecological principles.

    Scott Johnson
    “Friends of Henry T. Hazard Park and Community”

  3. Luiza Mavropoulos on June 15th, 2009 12:26 pm

    having seen the wet lands for myself, seeing how USC Hospital has now surrounded the park, or so it seems to me. To lose this park would be TRAGIC. I currantly have a family member in the ward across the street from the park. I saw myself the happy families, the baseball gamers, the soccer players, the kids runniing around. Where are these kids/familes to go???? Shame on those that call themselves the powers that be, who by the looks of it will somehow give it away to some non-profit so the politicos can continue to wheel and deal. We got so SOLD OUT, why didn’t those folks I voted for just sodomize me and not use vaseline.

  4. News and Events – 17 July 2009 « L.A. Creek Freak on July 17th, 2009 6:02 am

    […] EGP News: Hazard Park wetlands get shocking and unfortunate extreme brush clearance. […]

  5. Celia Williams on March 13th, 2015 10:35 am

    It just happened again, just as the reeds and wildflowers were making a come back after the recent rains. On Monday I walked through the area and thought what an oasis it is, home to so many birds, insects and other creatures. On Wednesday I went to do the same walk and there was a mower driven by a man who was obviously enjoying the destruction. He left while I was watching, leaving some of the area unscathed but and I haven’t had the heart to go back and see if he returned to complete the “job”. Does the Department of Parks and Recreation sanction this or just turn a blind eye?

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