Monday, July 09, 2007

All boats rented all day

Set sail
Originally uploaded by CD-13
The title of this post comes from Martin Cox's report to Jenny Burman over at Chicken Corner. Yes, the boats are back on the water, Saturdays and Sundays this summer from noon until 6 pm. Echo Park wouldn't be the same without them.

As a councilmember, you have to make a few hard decisions. Keeping the boats on Echo Park Lake wasn’t one of them. Walk around the lake and see the kinds of investments we’ve made in it. We recently completed the first phase of a half-million-dollar renovation to the boathouse. Before that, we put the green floating islands you see out on the lake. They filter the water and attract herons and other waterfowl.

L.A. voters passed a half-billion-dollar bond to clean up our water. One of the single biggest projects of the bond is going to overhaul Echo Park Lake.

But our biggest investment in this park is people. People who come to the park to rest, or to run; to meet and talk or to sit and think. This is a safer park than it was ten years ago. It’s a cleaner park than it was ten years ago. And we don’t want the investments that people have made in this park to disappear. Part of our community here comes from having a place you can take a boat out on a lazy Sunday afternoon, enjoying the sun (or the shade over the boat) and dodging the spray of the fountain.

Our goal is to improve the operation. Long-term, as the Prop O improvements transform the lake, we’d like to see even more uses at the boathouse, not fewer. In the short term, let's get all boats rented all day.