WILMINGTON – Green grass, open space and trees sprouting fresh leaves have replaced the chain link fence and overgrown shrubs that used to dominate boaters viewpoints from Wilmington marinas.
Now, liveaboards and marina tenants in the 11 Wilmington marinas can admire the newly completed Wilmington Marina Parkway, a 3-acre parcel that features picnic tables, benches and more than 200 trees.
“It’s gorgeous,” said Donna Ethington, a Wilmington resident and president of the Wilmington Boat Owners Association. “I can’t believe we got it; I just love it.”
The project was initially proposed by the Wilmington Boat Owners Association in 2009 when members asked the Port of Los Angeles to include a park as part of the project.
The area was designated for $1.4 million funding from the China Shipping Aesthetic Mitigation fund for the landscape beautification improvements to mitigate against the dust blown from the nearby Anchorage Road Soil Storage Site. “Wilmington marinas have been here for 60-70 years but there hasn’t really been a beatification project here,” Ethington said.
Five years, several meetings, various board approvals and community open houses later, the boaters and Wilmington businesses have their open park. Complete with paved walkways, 3 acres of landscaping and irrigation, more than 2,500 shrubs and five benches.
Ethington shared that marina tenants are already taking advantage of the 2,000 feet of new sidewalk as joggers and walkers utilize the grassy area and the walkway for daily exercise. They used to run and walk in the parking lots since sidewalks were non-existent along the marinas.
“Residents and marina owners love it,” Ethington said. “It makes a huge difference. Everyone can see the parkway with the exception of two marinas – Marina Island Yachts 2 and Leeward Bay Marina.”
The $1.2 million project was completed in 270 days. The site also features four Big Belly trashcans with built in compactors, four pet waste stations and picnic tables spaces long Anchorage Road.
“The Wilmington side has been in need of some sprucing up,” said Rachel Campbell, media relations manager for the port. “We have received very good feedback.”
Ethington called the parkway a “marina oasis,” where kids can skateboard, boat owners can lounge on the grass, walk their dogs or take a stroll.