With its famously Meditteranean climate, Los Angeles offers residents long stretches of beautiful weather – and no shortage of green spaces for basking in the sunshine! In this post, we’ll look at a famous park area that serves as the focal point of the scenic Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles.
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Silver Lake is named for the Silver Lake Reservoir complex, a pair of manmade miniature lakes that sit in the center of the community. Surrounded by a wide jogging path and several park areas, the Silver Lake Reservoir is one of the most popular parks in Los Angeles.
The Silver Lake Reservoir is made up of two basins – the much smaller Ivanhoe Reservoir, named for the hero of Sir Walter Scott’s 1819 novel, and the expansive Silver Lake Reservoir. The two ponds are linked by a bike and jogging path that stretches for 2.2 miles around the reservoir. In 2011, the City of Los Angeles opened up the “Silver Lake Meadow,” a three-acre public park on the east side of the reservoir. This new field is modeled after the “Sheep Meadow” in New York City’s Central Park.
The Silver Lake Reservoir area covers a total of 97 acres of open water, with an additional 31 acres of public green space. The reservoir complex is also an important wildlife preserve, since it provides a seasonal nesting area for majestic great blue herons who migrate back to Southern California every Spring. The Silver Lake Reservoirs Conservancy, a group of community volunteers, plants trees and picks up litter at the park to ensure that the area can be enjoyed by everyone.
The dual role these local landmarks play as public recreational areas and parts of the public water system means that they exist in a complex network of public policy. Last summer, the Silver Lake side of the reservoir was temporarily drained and removed from service as a public water source. The city is currently constructing the Headworks
Reservoir, a new, underground drinking-water reservoir near Griffith Park.
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Silver Lake will be refilled soon, and inducted into service as a recreation-only reservoir for Los Angeles residents to enjoy. The city is also considering using part of the Silver Lake site to create shallower wetlands area that could become a wildlife habitat for native Los Angeles species like the Great Blue Heron, and using “hydroseeding” to create a more natural planted look around the water’s edge. City officials are concerned with sustainability and environmental impact, and urban planners hope to create a nature preserve that will replenish local wildlife populations without strainining Southern California’s dry climate.
Other creative proposals – for a beach area, an esplanade, a music venue – are still under consideration. One local group, Silver Lake Forward, is hoping that the area will be turned into a 96-area public park with a wildlife research center, shaded eucalyptus groves, and a refurbished dog park for the pet owners in the neighborhood.
Whatever the eventual fate of the Silver Lake basin side of the reservoir, Silver Lake has a long tradition of providing space for outdoor relaxation to the area. Even in its drier state, the reservoir still provides a lovely open community space for jogging, walking, cloudgazing, and picnicking. The gentle grade of the pedestrian path makes it perfect for parents with strollers and novice runners – more advanced athletes can explore the hills and steps nearby. As one of the largest bodies of water in the area, the Silver Lake reservoirs are a popular rest stop for ducks, coots, and Canada geese. Birdwatchers can also see hummingbirds, red-tailed hawks, and starlings.
The Silver Lake reservoir sits at the center of the Silver Lake neighborhood, providing residents with the perfect retreat for outdoor pastimes. If you’re in the area, consider stopping by to take a look at this urban oasis!
Are you interested in learning more about Silver Lake Reservoir and the other amenities that make the Silver Lake neighborhood such a pleasant place to call home? At Real Estate Unlimited, we take pride in matching our clients to the perfect home – and the ideal neighborhood! Call us for a consultation today!