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Taylor Yard: Planning is ramping up to turn 41 acres on the LA River into a big park

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Thanks to $2 million from the State Coastal Conservatory

An aerial view of the Taylor Yard G2 parcel in Los Angeles, California. There is a river and on both sides of the river are many houses, buildings, schools, and parks. Courtesy of Mayor Eric Garcetti

State officials have greenlit giving the city of Los Angeles $2 million to plan for the future Taylor Yard River Park on the Los Angeles River.

The public park will ultimately fit into a fully restored segment of the LA River between Griffith Park and Downtown. The city closed escrow on the property earlier this year, considered by Mayor Eric Garcetti to be the “crown jewel” of the river’s massive restoration.

The 41-acre Taylor Yard site, once owned by Union Pacific Railroad, is set to eventually become a public park. But first its contaminated soil will need to be remediated. That process could take a years.

In announcing the funds last week, the Board of the State Coastal Conservancy, which oversees the restoration of waterways and coastline in California, said the money would be spent on figuring out how to clean up the site and and how to provide longterm public access to it. It will also be used to plan construction on the first phase of the park within five years.

In the meantime, the goal is to somehow actually use the land and not keep it fenced-off (and maybe allow the city to use the space and potentially generate money from it.)

Possible interim uses could include kayak access, community events, education, or city parking space, according to a January report from the city’s Chief Legislative Analyst Sharon M. Tso and the City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana.

Setting a timeline for the project is part of the planning process that’s just getting underway, so the only movement passersby will likely see for a while is fencing and signs being put up around the site.