2021 News

Feasibility Study of Fern Dell Water Recapture Project

The Oaks Homeowners Association Board met recently with Gerry Hans of the Friends of Griffith Park to hear about an application FoGP is making to the County for funding for a feasibility study of a major water recapture and reuse system for Fern Dell. We think the project has great value for the City and our neighborhood as we try to manage our water resources in this time of drought. We thought you would appreciate learning about this project, too, and so we asked FoGP if we could show you their presentation on the project. At this point, of course, all that’s being discussed is funding for a feasibility study to determine if the project could actually accomplish its goals. But you’ll see that it’s a very ambitious and inventive plan. Here’s the proposal from Friends of Griffith Park:

Fern Dell Technical Resource Grant Friends of Griffith Park (FoGP) has focused much attention on historic Fern Dell, a jewel within Griffith Park. Advanced planning began with a Cultural Landscape Assessment and was followed with an extensive evaluation of existing conditions and revitalization planning, incorporating historic experts, landscape architects, and engineers. Some improvements are already being executed: the pedestrian bridge, wrought-iron fencing, faux bois repairs, and plantings.  

The big problem, though, is the little amount of natural water in Fern Dell creek and no water at all in the upper reaches for most of the year. When it rains, water flows down Western Canyon, Red Oak Drive, and Black Oak Drive, entering storm drains. The storm water overburdens the Hyperion Treatment Plant and flows uselessly into the ocean. Southern California’s drought is the new normal and we cannot afford to waste water. Also, the paths, walls, and water features such as the grottos, a waterfall, and cascading pools all need to be repaired. 

This is why FoGP is applying for a Los Angeles County Measure W (The Safe, Clean Water Act) Technical Resources Grant of $300,000 to analyze:

  • Storm water capture using permeable paving in the parking lot.     
  • Filtering run-off water and channeling it into the creek.     
  • Capturing the storm water from Red Oak, Black Oak, and Fern Dell Drives and cleaning it.     
  • Upgrading the upper detention basin valve and spillway.     
  • Re-establishing the recirculation system to send water back to the top of the Dell, and for possible irrigation use in lieu of City water.      
  • Sizing the required underground water reservoir to hold water until needed.     
  • Rehabilitating at least some of the structural features of the Fern Dell trail, consistent with its historic status. 

If the Technical Resources application is accepted, it will put Friends of Griffith Park in the queue for design study and construction funding in subsequent Measure W grant cycles. Measure W also could provide the funding for continuing operation and maintenance costs of the system. 

Here is a link to the entire presentation on the proposal:https://oakshome.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/Griffith-Park-Fern-Dell-Presentation-Oaks-HOA-05-11-2021.pdf

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