Long Beach California
6255 De Forest Ave
Long Beach, CA 90805
VR95+57 Long Beach, California
At nearly 50 acres, DeForest Park offers a slice of nature in Long Beach’s vast expanse of concrete and freeways. Situated on the banks of the Los Angeles River, this oasis offers peaceful greenery amongst a maze of jogging trails, sport courts, playgrounds and athletic fields.
Fifteen acres of the park are owned by the City of Long Beach, and the remainder is County property designated as a detention basis, meant to hold waters from the Los Angeles River basin during flood events.
This flood basin was unused land until a community campaign to build a nature trail resulted in a use permit by the City. Still, the area was overgrown with non-native plants and downstream trash from river runoff, and the City began an effort to restore the wetlands with native species.
The $8.3M DeForest Park Wetlands restoration project broke ground at the end of 2015. Its aim was to develop 39 acres of wetlands, riparian and upland habitat, public trails and educational interpretation.
On June 30 of 2018, the restoration project was completed and marked by a public ceremony. The wetlands are open for walking, horseback riding, educational tours and programs, birdwatching and other public uses.
This project was made possible through Los Angeles County Proposition A Funds, in addition to contributions from the California Coastal Conservancy, California Resources Agency, and San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy.
In addition to the wetlands, DeForest Park features a community center, a basketball court, tennis courts, racquetball courts, tennis courts, sand volleyball courts, a playground and restrooms.
What was once a neighborhood eyesore is now a gem in the Long Beach community, thanks to community effort and generous funding from a variety of public and private entities.