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Los Angeles Sepulveda Basin Wild Life Refuge

By Sunmin Lee, Hongjoo Kim Landscape Architects

Hongjoo Kim Landscape Architects donated professional landscape design services for the Los Angeles Sepulveda Basin Wild Life Refuge. This included mapping of existing site conditions with topography, vegetation/wildlife, trails and amenities.

Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Area recently went through a revitalization project. Located in the San Fernando Valley near the intersection of the 101 and 405 Freeways, the 2,000-acre Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area is a flood control basin managed by the Los Angeles City Department of Recreation and Parks.

Hongjoo Kim Landscape Architects donated pro bono concept design, detailed site plan and California native planting plans/design services. Detailed design includes artistic donor rock benches, gathering spaces, ADA accessible decomposed granite trail, perimeter picket fence and phased planting plans.

The firm set up meetings and presented its findings to Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Areas Steering Committee. HKLA also illustrated renderings of plans, diagrams, bird eye perspectives, eye level perspective.

The trees within the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve are native oaks which fit with the general plan for the improved area. They will need pruning to get the growth up so that people can safely walk under them but they represent a very good start for landscaping of the developing grove area.

The recreation area features include two parks, an 80-acre sports field, an archery range, three 18-hole golf courses, Balboa Lake with boat rentals and fishing, the Balboa Park and Sports Center, playgrounds, a velodrome, bike paths, hiking trails, tennis courts, a Japanese garden, an off-leash dog park, a premiere wildlife preserve, and an unpaved stretch of the Los Angeles River. Los Angeles set aside the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Reserve to protect native plants and animals. Over 200 species of birds have been seen in the basin. Many birds, attracted by the water, gather here in the fall and winter.

The goal of the project was to obtain, plant and dedicate trees to persons people who: improved the wildlife areas in the Sepulveda Basin; been active in a group that participates on the SBWASC; distinguished themselves by activity and effort in the advancement of regional wildlife.

The question of where to plant and what to acquire led to the agreement to establish a commemorative area and then to the selection of a site. Los Angeles and San Fernando Valley Chapters of the Audubon Society and SBWASC have voted to add a tree in memory of a past member but presently there was no location designated. The proposed site is unimproved except for scattered native trees.

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August 25, 2019, 5:37 am PDT

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