Helping hands – and shovels – for Echo Park Lake

Jun 20, 2013

Dream Center volunteers on patrol for trash at Echo Park Lake./Darrell Kunitomi

Many fans of Echo Park Lake have expressed concern about how the lake and park will fare after it reopened this past weekend after a nearly two-year clean up. After spending more than $45 million in clean-water bond money on the project, city officials have said there are no plans to boost the budget for maintenance  or security for the park.

Some groups and individuals, however, have stepped in to help and try and keep the park clean and pristine, which is no easy task.  On Wednesday morning,  for example, a group of volunteers from the Dream Center, which is affiliated with Angelus Temple across the street from the park, was out with brooms, shovels and bags to collect trash and litter, said Echo Park resident Darrell Kunitomi, who snapped the photo above.

Meanwhile, real estate agent Brock Harris has formed Friends of Echo Park Lake to help support the park. It’s not clear what role Friends of Echo Park Lake will play but Harris said that his model is Friends of Griffith Park, a nonprofit group dedicated to sustaining the park and its environment.

The goal is to promote “the lake as a public space,” Harris said of Friends of Echo Park Lake. “Since Echo Park Lake is basically in perfect condition, we want to focus on people, programs and activities.”

There are also many individuals who are acting on their own to keep the park  clean.

“There was a guy walking around the lake in front of me, and the whole way around he picked up every piece of trash he saw,” one park visitor said via email. “People like this have to be recognized in our community, and we need more of them to make the restoration of the lake worth it.”

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