New ‘Walking Path’ at Willows a step in right direction

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Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas will preside over the ribbon cutting of the new Walking Path for the Gardena Willows Wetland Preserve.

The ceremony will take place Sunday, Sept. 13 at 10 a.m.

Ridley-Thomas calls the Gardena Wetlands an important and welcome part of a city that is quickly becoming a bustling urban center.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas will preside over the ribbon cutting of the new Walking Path for the Gardena Willows Wetland Preserve.

The ceremony will take place Sunday, Sept. 13 at 10 a.m.

Ridley-Thomas calls the Gardena Wetlands an important and welcome part of a city that is quickly becoming a bustling urban center.

“Right in the middle of an urban city, filled with cars, pavement, and concrete, sits this incredibly unique and well-preserved treasure,” Ridley-Thomas said. “We must maintain it, celebrate it, and showcase it in the appropriate manner.”

The Walking Path came about in part as a result of $85,000 in Proposition A park funds requested by the Los Angeles County Conservation Corps to complete long-awaited projects spearheaded by the Friends of the Gardena Willows Wetland Preserve.

Ridley-Thomas believes the Walking Path will allow visitors of the 13.6-acre preserve to enjoy nature without endangering the numerous plant species that live there.

“It is very important that all tread lightly in the wetlands in order to preserve the natural environment,” Ridley-Thomas said. “The renovated path will make sure that all visitors are able to walk safely, and enjoy the wetlands, while not adversely impacting the surrounding environment.”

According to their website, the Gardena Willows Wetland Preserve began in the 1970s when the city intended to use the marsh area as the location for a new convention center. Local residents fought to stop the destruction of the wetlands and preserve its status as a natural oasis that grants a home to resident bird species as well as the frogs and other amphibians who live in the wetlands. Residents also saw the wetlands as a mechanism to clean street water runoff before it reached the Dominguez Channel.

The Gardena Willows Wetlands Preserve is located inside Arthur Johnson Memorial Park at 1200 W. 170th S.

For more information, visit www.gardenawillows.org.