Potrero Canyon Park Eyes April 2021 Opening

By SARAH SHMERLING | Editor-in-Chief

After decades in the making, Palisadians now only have to wait a little more than one year for Potrero Canyon Park to open.

Due to rain delays, the park, which, at the time of the ground breaking in January 2019, was slated to open in 2020, is now projected to be complete in April 2021.

Officials shared park construction updates at two recent meetings: the Pacific Palisades Community Council and Pacific Palisades Park Advisory Board.

“They’re finishing up the rough grading phase and then they’ll be moving into the landscaping phase that’ll be going out to bid soon,” Lisa Cahill, Brentwood-Palisades Deputy-Environmental Liaison for Councilmember Mike Bonin, said at PPCC’s January 9 meeting. “Everything is moving forward really well and the departments are doing a great job.”

When complete, the 46-acre park will feature picnic areas and provide a pathway from Palisades Recreation Center down to Pacific Coast Highway. There will be riparian landscaping, scenic ocean views, further access to nearby hiking trails, ADA bathrooms, as well as fences and gates to ensure adherence to park hours.

Cahill explained that the Bureau of Engineering is working on Potrero, shoring up the canyons because of landslide issues in the area. The park phase is “the icing on the cake.”

“We’ve been working a long time making sure that cake is very sturdy and then we’re going to be putting in the icing,” Cahill explained. “This is the part that’s been really exciting, because we’re going to start to see what it’s going to look like and hopefully it will be what it’s intended for all these decades, which is a lovely centerpiece for the Palisades.”

She shared that Bonin is committed to putting a bridge to provide safe crossing from PCH to the park, a facet that was part of the original plan.

Project Manager Pedro Garcia, who works with the city of Los Angeles Bureau of Engineering, echoed the same sentiment about the bridge at the January 15 Park Advisory Board meeting.

“What is the status of the bridge connecting the parking on PCH to the park?” Board Member Rick McGeagh asked.

The bridge has not yet been started due to funding, Garcia explained, but once the park is completed, remaining funds would be used to start the bridge.

Garcia added that with the construction of the park, there will be 31 additional parking spots at Palisades Recreation Center.

Officials are still in the process of figuring out what to do for the additional trash that will be created at the park, as the sloped canyon does not provide a suitable area for bins. One option being considered is combining the trash with the Palisades Recreation Center, which is currently housed in a maintenance yard.

Both meetings touched on the incoming wildlife permeable fencing that will be “compatible with current community needs and wants” and also “consider wildlife and ecological implications,” Cahill reported.

The fencing has not yet been decided, but “hopefully soon.”