Spring is here, and there is an abundance of life right now. From the sunshine to the flowers, to the fresh fruits, you can feel a sense lightness that washes over everything at this time. Many of us are already planning weekend trips with friends or family to popular outdoor destinations. I tried myself to visit Venice Beach on a Sunday where there was also an abundance of people. To make a long story short, I gave up on finding free parking and settled to grab food in Culver City.
Maybe you’re someone that’s trying to enjoy this weather and the blossoming flowers without driving a few hours and fighting for parking to see the super bloom in Lake Elsinore. Well, the Dominguez Gap Wetlands here in Long Beach located along the LA River is a discreet, nature-filled getaway that offers a two-mile trail. The loop takes you through 37-acres of wetlands and shows an entirely different side of Long Beach.
Over ten years ago, the Dominguez Gap Wetlands were not what they were today. The area went under a transformation in 2008, which was a part of a $7 million regional, multi-benefit project implemented by the Los Angeles County Flood Control District and oversaw by the LA County Department of Public Works.
Today, the area is thriving with plants and wildlife. The project has helped maintain flooding while introducing water quality elements such as, groundwater recharge, which helps decontaminate runoff, polluted water, from entering the ocean. The project also restored native habitat and improved environmental education.
What was once a desolate mostly dirt landscape (pesticides were used to prevent vegetation) is now a thriving ecosystem. Thousands of native plants including, false lupines (thermospis rhombifolia), poppies, sage, chia, and wild sunflowers grow freely. One can also see a multitude of butterflies, birds, lizards, grasshoppers, and more on a stroll through the wetlands.
The two best ways to enter the wetlands are by parking on the furthest point on North Virginia Vista or parking at C. David Molina Park off of Del Amo Blvd. and Oregon Ave. Next time you’re not sure what to do on a gorgeous day, take advantage of this nature walk in the city.