These flows that overtop the channel walls flow overland, along Highway 134 and the 5 Interstate, eventually returning to the channel downstream of the Ferraro Fields. By planning for these overtopping moments and creating room for the river in reaches such as this, the overall capacity of the river system can be increased by possibly 5,000 to 10,000 cfs while keeping a portion of this important emergency transportation route open. Additional benefits from this concept include increased habitat connectivity from the adjacent Griffith Park to the river channel, improved linkages to the Verdugo Wash, and increased educational opportunities while accommodating most of the site’s existing recreation areas.
Ferraro Fields Side Channel
Dry Season at the Ferraro Fields Side Channel
During the dry season, the existing recreation areas at Ferraro Fields will be hemmed in by an arroyo landscape. Trails for pedestrians and cyclists branch off from the LA River Trail and interweave, with dry stream beds, rocks, and small boulders marking the ghosted traces of former waterways. The planting celebrates LA’s native ecology, including a diversity of drought tolerant species as well as periodic flooding. It is an adaptive and resilient landscape that invites visitors to look closely and interact with their local environment.
Rain Event at the Ferraro Fields Side Channel
With heavy rains, the dry arroyo fills with water–a combination of surface flow and, on occasion, overtopping from the LA River. The side channel helps to convey that water downstream, where it rejoins the river’s main flow. Except in extreme events, the site and trails remain accessible to the public.