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Expanded Magic Johnson Park will reopen on Saturday


Winner of Project of the Year from the United States Green Building Council – Los Angeles Chapter, Earvin “Magic” Johnson Park, the largest park in South Los Angeles, will be re-opening to the public with a celebration of its expansion at 9:30 a.m Saturday, Feb. 5. Resource information booths and light refreshments will highlight the event.

“The continuing efforts of the renovation at Magic Johnson Park further transforms this park for the community, allowing for greater access to nature and advancing sustainability efforts as a model for urban parks”, said Wendy Chan, MIG senior landscape architect. “We hope the opening of Phase 1B brings more of the community out to enjoy its new amenities, especially during a time when access to the outdoors is as important as ever.”

Hailed as the gold star in sustainable park design, the project not only offers a hub for the community to gather and recreate but demonstrates how urban environments can be models of water conservation. This phase includes a three-quarter mile of walking trails, an off-leash dog park, educational California native habitat gardens, an informal natural amphitheater, a quarter-mile fitness loop with exercise equipment, and a community flexible lawn space.

With the opening of Phase 1B, it will be the first off-leash dog park in South Los Angeles. The first phase of the renovation, which officially opened to the public in January 2021, is a world-class urban park for the community while also serving as a model for sustainability and conservation for the county.

This project diverts and captures stormwater runoff from the community’s 375-acre watershed which is part of the overall Compton Creek Watershed. The stormwater is then treated through a system of processes including natural biofiltration through mitigated wetlands surrounding one of the park’s two lakes. The treated water is stored within both lakes and reused for on-site park irrigation.

With this innovative capture and recycled water system, the project won many national and local awards. It was designed to be environmentally sound and create a model for other parks to integrate water sustainability design. The goal was to create something that connects residents with nature in a way that inspires community, culture, healthy living and learning.