Can you believe it?
Fresh green natural grass is now growing where there used to be airport runway tarmac!
This past year started off with Santa Monica Airport’s runway being shortened to 3,500’ (by agreement with the FAA), initially by using paint demarcations to create a new Runway Safety Area (where there was none previously) and restrict most of the larger, noisy and polluting jets from landing on the runway. It would then take several more months before construction would take place that would remove the 1,500’ of no-longer needed asphalt.
Well, this summer construction was finally completed with the asphalt being removed and the land being restored to a more natural open space.
Then the rains came last week.
Now, fresh green native grasses are starting to grow on that site for the first time in 75 years!
This is a major step forward in sustainability and biodiversity. This will reduce the urban heat effects from climate change and it will help retain millions of gallons of water annually for our aquifer that was previously lost to runway runoff.
The next step is to make use of this new open space to provide pedestrian and bicycle pathways around both ends of the runway that would allow safe access to Airport Park.
We are eagerly looking forward to when the new Parks and Recreation Master Plan will comes before the City Council in the spring, and anticipate that it will point the way towards planning for the future Great Park.
So as this year closes, we are now one year closer to the closure of Santa Monica Airport, and one year closer to the new park that will replace it just nine years from now.
We encourage you to contact us with your thoughts, direction and ideas. We could not do this without your volunteer efforts, support and your donations.
So please consider an end of the year tax-deductible gift to airport2park.org