RMC Dec 2020 Newsletter

December 1st, 2020
Welcome to RMC’s inaugural newsletter! We are thrilled to share our new electronic communication with you to give you a snapshot of RMC’s work. In this monthly newsletter, we will provide project spotlights, news on recently approved projects, updates on active projects and our Joint Powers Authority projects. We will also share any events, funding opportunities, as well as announcements.

A Message from RMC’s Executive Officer

Hello and happy holidays,

I hope this message finds you healthy and safe as we continue to weather the COVID-19 pandemic. As 2020 comes to a close, I wanted to share a few thoughts.

2020 marks the San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy’s 21st Anniversary and my 9th anniversary with the Conservancy. In the conservancy world, we understand, although growing everyday, the impacts climate change is having unforeseen challenges that are impacting our every day lives. However, I never anticipated that the breakout of a pandemic would be one of those extreme changes. Like you, we hope to return to public gatherings in 2021 to celebrate with you all the small victories we make towards greening and creating a more healthier environment for all of us.

We began 2020 with so much hope and enthusiasm for the new year, instead we encountered a pandemic that led to Stay at Home orders, followed by social uprising for police reform, wild fires, and now an upcoming economic recession.
However, we know when biological and environmental changes occur, we must evolve rapidly, adapt, and become resilient. And that is what we are all doing. In spite of it all, I am proud of what we have been able to accomplish this year. We have been able to:

1) Continue our funding programs to keep projects moving forward
2) Interact with the public and colleagues through outreach, although much of it virtual, it’s keeping our community members engaged and sharing ideas with us
3) Remain optimistic about our future and joint powers authority partner agencies for continued growth and positive outcomes for our natural environment.

In the Conservancy world, we always think about preservation and protection, and now more than ever, we need to hold steadfast to our values and beliefs. We have learned during these challenging times, that we always go back to our natural places and communities for comfort and physical and mental restoration. We hope that RMC has and will continue to serve as a local partner as we restore, create, and preserve free open spaces for all, and reduce health risks in our communities.

Be Safe,

Project Spotlights
SELA Cultural Center
The SELA Cultural Center, soon to be located in the heart of Southeast LA, is a part of the Implementation of the Lower LA River Revitalization Plan (LLARRP, 2018) that identified this and 154 other projects along the Lower LA River between Vernon and Long Beach. The Center will stand alongside the Rio Hondo Confluence Area Project, and is a single feature within a larger, more comprehensive vision for open space, recreation, arts, and cultural amenities.  The Center will weave together arts, music, and dance in a central location to provide a safe, comfortable space where the community can gather.  Project is in schematic design phase and still collecting feedback. Visit project website for more info here.
Compton Creek
The Compton Creek Prioritization and Implementation (RMC 19513) is moving along very quickly as the group has selected the Alondra Gateway Park as the site that will be transformed into a Compton Creek adjacent park, located at the intersection of Alondra Blvd. and the Compton Creek. The project design was recently unveiled on Saturday Nov. 14 at a socially-distanced, in person Community event that included  the participation of  Assemblymember Mike Gipson (AD 64), Senator Steven Bradford, Mayor Aja Brown, and Councilmembers Tana McCoy and Emma Shariff from the City of Compton.  RMC, Studio MLA, From Lot to Spot, Compton Advocates and local community residents were also in attendance. Next steps include construction documents for eventual completion of this project by June 2022. Stay tuned!
This funding was provided from a 2019-2020 State budget request from Assemblymember Gipson in the amount of $3 Million. The Working group includes the participation of local non-profit organizations and other key stakeholders including: From Lot to Spot, Los Angeles Conservation Corps, GRID Alternatives, East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice, the Office of Mayor Aja Brown-City of Compton, LA County Public Works, LA County Parks-Trails Planning Division, and the Nature Conservancy, among others. The working group meetings will continue through 2021.


Project Updates

Recently Approved Projects

Active Projects 
Joint Powers Authority
Watershed Conservation Authority
Duck Farm Project

Extending along a 1-mile stretch of the San Gabriel River, the 31± acre Duck Farm River Park project will transform this former Woodland Duck Farm site into an urban greenway like none other in the San Gabriel Valley and is visible from the 605 Freeway at Valley Blvd. in the Avocado Heights community in the First Supervisorial District.

New trails are being formed around and through the northern dry streambed, footbridge footings are being prepared and seating areas placed.  Southern bioswale/wetlands are being dug and prepared for filter fabric, boulders, cobble and sand.  The fabrication of the shade structures glulam has been completed.  Landscaping and weed control continue as the soil is prepared for additional plants and mulch to come.  This readiness includes several weeks of leaching salts from the soil, integrating amendments into and raking out rocks from the planting areas. Colors callouts have been chosen for site furnishings and metal work.  Conservation Corps of Los Angeles and County of Orange are preparing to start their work of installing thousands of 4” native plants along the pathways.  WCA’s Construction Manager is working with the General Contractor on finalizing change orders and schedule to complete project, anticipated Spring 2021.

Riparian Dry Streambed, trails, and footbridge footings taking shape as the project nears completion.
Updated illustrative site plan for the Duck Farm River Park currently under construction.
Los Cerritos Wetlands Authority
The Los Cerritos Wetlands Authority has completed the Final Program Environmental Impact Report (PEIR) for the Los Cerritos Wetlands Restoration Plan. The Los Cerritos Wetlands is a key estuary offering one of the only opportunities for large scale coastal wetlands restoration in Southern California. The proposed program identifies conceptual restoration designs for approximately 503 acres of former wetlands located at the mouth of the San Gabriel River on the border of the cities of Seal Beach and Long Beach. The proposed program would restore wetland, transition, and upland habitats throughout the degraded and fragmented program area. This would involve remediation of contaminated soil and groundwater, grading, revegetation, construction of new public access opportunities (including trails, visitor center, parking lots, and viewpoints), construction of flood management facilities (including earthen levees and berms, and walls), and modification of existing infrastructure and utilities. The Final PEIR can be found here. The public hearing for certification of the Final PEIR for the Los Cerritos Wetlands Restoration Plan will occur at the LCWA Board Meeting to be held on December 3, 2020 at 12:30pm. The meeting agenda and information can be found here: Next Meeting – Into Los Cerritos Wetlands
Los Cerritos Wetlands at Sunset with wetlands habitat in the foreground and oil infrastructure in the background.
Figure detailing the Program Boundary of the Los Cerritos Wetlands Restoration Plan broken down into 17 sites.
RMC Prop. 68 Grant Deadline Extended to January 13, 2021!

After holding six virtual Prop. 68 workshops and understanding the impact that Covid-19 has had on our communities, the RMC has received several requests for a deadline extension from the current December 16, 2020 to January 13, 2021. All other grant guidelines remain the same.

RMC’s Regional Prop. 68 Grant program will create new parks and new low-impact recreational opportunities in underserved communities across the LA Basin. $20 Million is available under Round 2.

Application Form and Grant Guidelines are available at: https://rmc.ca.gov/grants/
Comments and questions can be submitted to: Prop68@rmc.ca.gov

Copyright ©2020, San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
“El Encanto”
100 N. Old San Gabriel Canyon Road
Azusa, CA 91702