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VALLEY FOCUS | Sepulveda Basin

Wildlife Area Will Soon Open to Public

October 12, 1998|HOLLY EDWARDS

Naturalists from the Audubon Society and Sierra Club flock to a lake in the Sepulveda Basin every year to watch wild birds pass through the area during seasonal migrations.

Soon, outdoor lovers of all kinds will be attracted to the site, thanks to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Los Angeles Recreation and Parks Department. The agencies have pooled resources and funds to construct a $3.4-million wildlife area in the Sepulveda Basin, a 2,100-acre area spanning portions of western Sherman Oaks and eastern Encino.

Scheduled for completion by the end of the year, the wildlife area will include hiking trails, a 100-seat amphitheater, eight lookouts on a lake in the basin, and markers describing the types of wild birds that visit the area, said Andy Lopez, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project landscape artist.

"We want the public to capitalize on the use of the Sepulveda Basin by migratory birds and to learn more about the interaction between man and wildlife," Lopez said. "It's also a great opportunity for students from the inner-city to see things they've never seen before."

Types of birds that visit the basin lake include Canada geese, egrets and herons, said Jan Zatorski, acting assistant general manager of the city recreation and parks department for the Valley region.

Once the project is complete, the wildlife area--currently on Army Corps of Engineers land--will be turned over to the city Recreation and Parks Department for ownership and operation, Lopez said.

Admission to the wildlife area will be free.

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