Echo Park Lake: A Cautionary Tale for the Future of Silver Lake's Reservoirs
Over the past year, it has been almost impossible to miss the headlines and startling
images of the growing homeless community that occupied Echo Park Lake. It all came to
a head on March 24 when the remaining people occupying the lake were moved to
supportive housing. After the transition was completed, Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell’s
office reported that CD 13 had placed 209 people experiencing homelessness into
transitional shelter with supportive services, medical care and resources. Echo Park Lake
is now fenced and closed and extensive repairs are underway.
For many in Echo Park, it has been painful to watch a once-vibrant community park and
children’s play area deteriorate. However, the events of the past year are also a
cautionary tale for Silver Lake. The fencing around the reservoirs and diligent supervision
by Recreation and Parks and LADWP mean Silver Lake’s iconic preserve is a clean and
safe area for wildlife and humans to enjoy. Unfortunately, that could quickly change if the
fencing is removed and the reservoirs are accessible 24 hours a day. It goes without
saying that Silver Lake Together supports housing and compassionate care for those who
are homeless. However, we don’t condone people living outside in unsanitary conditions.
And we do support thoughtful decisions that take consequences into account.
WATCH Councilmember O'Farrell's statement to the City Council on Echo Park here.
READ Councilmember O'Farrell's statement on Echo Park here.
According to the Los Angeles Times, at one point 174 tents or structures occupied the
north end of Echo Park Lake and spread along its western shore. ( (Photo: Los Angeles