The trees were dying. Forty years of intense park use led to major wear and tear on all the facilities. The park’s concrete creek was sending stormwater straight into the LA River.
Now, one of Burbank’s most used parks (named for long-time Burbank-based Tonight Show Host Johnny Carson) has a complete $3.7 million renovation, thanks to AHBE | MIG.
Before the renovation work began on the 17.6-acre park, 60 sycamore trees had succumbed to a fungus-carrying beetle called the polyphagous shot hole borer. As part of the improvements, they were replaced and even more trees were added.
Little Tujunga Wash, a drainage channel that traverses the park and flows into the Los Angeles River, was transformed into the centerpiece of the park. The Wash is now a recreation destination with a natural streambed, bioswales that cleanse the water through natural filtration, 8 acres of natural habitat, improved pedestrian access with two new bridges and ADA walking paths lined with parcourse equipment, and a California native plant palette. Underground, crews installed new irrigation pipes that tap into captured water for park irrigation. Other highlights include the park’s new playground, picnic areas and acoustic concert stage.
The interactive community design process led to the sustainable park design that provides the multiple benefits of improved energy and water efficiency, public access and water quality.
Johnny Carson Park has been recognized for its excellence in quality of life design by the American Society of Landscape Architects and the American Public Works Association.