The Los Angeles Department of Public Works has until 2028 to prove that the jurisdictions that discharge to a 525-acre watershed are meeting wet-weather pollution limits for metals. At least 250,000 people live in the city's 14-square-mile Ninth District, where an almost completely paved 9-acre Metropolitan Transportation Authority yard was sitting empty between a high school and middle school.

The department bought the land from the authority and planted native trees and plants around a small lake and marshes where residents can walk along the winding waterway to a community center. Modeled on a similarly sized project on a former Department of Water and Power pipe yard , the South Los Angeles Wet-land Park is expected to attract the same wildlife: geese, herons, egrets, parrots, butterflies, and dragonflies.

Scheduled to be completed by 2012, the $19 million project was funded partially through Proposition O, a $500 million bond measure approved by L.A. residents in 2004 to clean up rivers, lakes, beaches, and ocean. Community Conservation Solutions, a nonprofit organization that advocates and designs long-range conservation projects, has named the wetland Green Solution Project of the Year.