The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors today approved plans to turn the former Puente Hills Landfill into a regional park that will offer natural open space and a host of recreational programs for area residents.
With approval of the visionary Puente Hills Landfill Park Master Plan, supervisors paved the way for a 142-acre park equivalent to 88 football fields that will become a community asset used by people of all ages, abilities and interests within a 25-mile radius.
Supervisor Don Knabe was instrumental in fulfilling a commitment to the community to close the landfill in 2013, and is pleased to provide constituents with the first county regional park to be developed in more than 30 years. A future park was envisioned to be the final use of the landfill site as part of the Board of Supervisors’ approval of a conditional use permit for its operations in 1983.
“I’m thrilled for the overwhelming support of this worthwhile project for the residents of L.A. County,” Knabe said. “It has truly been a collaborative effort with numerous county departments, stakeholders and community members, and this Master Plan provides the roadmap for the region’s newest park on top of a landfill. Thank you to all involved in the process to develop this award-winning plan for the future.”
This park will encourage families and fitness enthusiasts to get moving by enjoying hiking or mountain-biking, destressing with a yoga class, or reflecting atop the scenic panoramic view overlooking the San Gabriel Mountains. Additional features will include an outdoor performance area, a play area for families, a dog park, picnic areas, scenic overlooks, bird watching, wildlife habitat enhancement and more.
“Our recreational areas are an important part of life for our residents,” Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda L. Solis said. “We want to provide a unique regional destination that encompasses accessibility, safety, nature and fun for the whole family. The goal is to bring the best activities and resources for our residents. We hope our communities become motivated to live healthy lifestyles and discover the nature that lies in their own backyard.”
The Master Plan envisions three major phases of development of this future park over the next 30 years.
Approval of this project follows extensive community input and meetings, taking into account and balancing a number of important considerations that include the relationship of this
post-industrial site to the adjoining natural areas and wildlife corridor. The project places an emphasis on ecology, and dedicates more than two-thirds of the future park site to open space, complemented by some dynamic recreational amenities desired by the community.
“We proactively sought community input from area residents as to what they wanted from the park, and we listened and incorporated the communities’ priorities in the Master Plan,” said John Wicker, director of the County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation. “We envision future generations being able to enjoy the open space and recreational activities that will be provided.”
Development of this park was made possible in part by funding in the amount of $5 million by Supervisor Knabe in Proposition A money, which will help finance construction of a Visitors Center serving constituents.
The future park site is located within the Fourth Supervisorial District of Los Angeles County represented by Supervisor Knabe, and is also bordered by the First Supervisorial District represented by Supervisor Solis directly to the north. Neighboring communities include Whittier, Hacienda Heights, La Puente, City of Industry, Pico Rivera, West Covina, Avocado Heights, El Monte, South El Monte and Baldwin Park.
After 56 years of operation, the Puente Hills Landfill – formerly the largest in the western United States – ceased operations on Oct. 31, 2013, and designated the site to become a future regional park. The landfill borders native hillsides and canyons to the south, Rio Hondo College to the west, and the Rose Hills Memorial Park to the southwest.