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How Do You Turn the US's Biggest Landfill Into a Park?

The Puente Hills Landfill—the largest municipal dump in the US back when it was active—has been closed since Halloween 2013, and plans to turn it into a county park are still in their early stages. The LA County Department of Parks and Recreation held a couple meetings recently to gather input on what people would like to see at the new park, though, and all the ideas were BOLD, says the San Gabriel Valley Tribune: a long, winding slide; a gondola ride up and down the 40-foot-tall trash heap. But the most popular idea—fields for sports like soccer—were off the table.

The top community suggestion for the new, $35-million park was soccer fields, but as simple as that is, it was immediately rejected. Any kind of sports field can't be part of the plan because the fields could never be watered; watering "could leach into the waste and cause leachate to reach the ground water." Any water use planned for the park will be "limited."

No long-term structures can be built on the "trash-fill areas" either, which applies to about 115 acres of the park that are on top of "500 feet of decaying and shifting trash that can snap poles and rattle foundations." For these areas, trails and restoration of the habitat are probably going to go in.

Even with those limitations, people still came up with solid suggestions in addition to the gondola and mega-slide mentioned above: "amphitheaters made out of recycled bottles and cans," "a cantilevered sky bridge," a bike course with jumps and a track for BMX bikes, a zip line (of course!), and even the possible inclusion of the Nike missile site next to the he landfill, especially the former "guard shack" that has great 180-degree views of the entire San Gabriel Valley.

The completed draft plan for the park will be presented early next month, with an environmental impact report to follow.
· The ideas for the Puente Hills Landfill Park include a giant slide and zip lines [PSN]
· 11 Mindblowing Facts About the US's Biggest Active Landfill in Puente Hills (It Has Its Own Microclimate) [Curbed LA]