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Madrona Marsh

June 1, 1990
Thank goodness for the Torrance City Council's decision to give the necessary municipal water needed to maintain the balance of nature at the Madrona Marsh. There is no doubt that we are in the midst of a drought, and preserving water is paramount. But on the other hand, maintaining the vitality and the life of Madrona is also of equal paramount importance. With long-term water management solutions being developed and implemented, and with additional water reductions being made, I am confident the residents of Torrance are satisfied with the council's decision.
August 6, 2013 | By Christine Mai-Duc
Recreational activities, classes and tours have been relocated from a Torrance preserve after the marsh was temporarily closed amid heightening concerns over the West Nile virus and the first confirmed death this year in Southern California due to the disease. City officials said that the closure, effective immediately, was "a precautionary measure" based on data from the local vector control office and that the marsh will remain closed indefinitely. In the meantime, regularly scheduled classes and tours are being moved from the marsh to a nature center across the street.
December 12, 1985
A Los Angeles Superior Court judge on Jan. 7 will hear a suit filed by the city seeking immediate possession of the Madrona Marsh wetlands and $3.5 million in damages from the developers of the Park Del Amo project. Assistant City Atty.
January 8, 1998
Learn which wetland shrubs grow in deep water and how they survive, where water comes from to fill Madrona marsh, water management plus more in a family-oriented Madrona Marsh Science Series on Wetlands with Torrance city naturalist Walt Wright. * "Madrona Marsh Science Series on Wetlands," Madrona Marsh Preserve, 3201 Plaza Del Amo, between Maple and Madrona avenues, Torrance. 2-4 p.m. $5 per person or $10 per family. Wear long pants and a hat.
March 16, 1989 | HUGO MARTIN, Times Staff Writer
Botanist W. Walton Wright was a UC Riverside student about 15 years ago when he first read of the battle to preserve Torrance's Madrona Marsh, the only rain-fed wetland in the South Bay. "Madrona sounded like an interesting place to lead a field trip," said Wright, who earned pocket money leading nature walks. "But when I got there it was all behind a fence and you couldn't get in." The fence is still there, but today Wright has no problem getting into the marsh.
June 29, 1989 | HUGO MARTIN, Times Staff Writer
The Torrance City Council voted unanimously to set aside a two-acre site next to Madrona Marsh to build an interpretive center for the seasonal wetlands. At the recommendation of the city naturalist, W. Walton Wright, the council also voted Tuesday to modify designs for a bike path around the marsh. There are no proposed designs or cost estimates for the center, but Wright said he would like it to be about 12,000 square feet in area and house exhibits, a meeting room, public restrooms, a library and a laboratory where exhibits would be prepared.
September 18, 1986 | GEORGE STEIN, Times Staff Writer
In the quiet 43 acres of Madrona Marsh, the sunflowers have gone to seed. The red-wing blackbirds sport the brilliant crimson touches of breeding plumage. Soon the shy snipe will fly in. And replenishing fall rains are only weeks away. The tranquil cycle of life in one of the last natural habitats for migrating birds in the South Bay appears likely to repeat itself for generations now.
July 30, 1989 | Hugo Martin
The sun was just burning through the clouds when a group of about 40 teachers from elementary and middle schools throughout Torrance--wearing shorts, T-shirts, blue jeans, sneakers and climbing boots--gathered across the street from Madrona Marsh. They were met that Thursday morning by Walton Wright, the city's naturalist, who would lead them on a field trip of the city's 43-acre seasonal wetland.
January 12, 1989 | HUGO MARTIN, Times Staff Writer
In an effort to improve the appearance of Madrona Marsh, Torrance officials are seeking state money to help pay for a tree-lined bicycle and jogging path around the 42-acre nature preserve. On Tuesday, the City Council unanimously approved an application for a $427,000 grant from the State Department of Parks and Recreation. The total cost of the path has not been determined.
August 29, 1985 | JULIO MORAN, Times Staff Writer
The yearlong dispute over the Madrona Marsh wetlands is headed for the courtroom. The City Council on Tuesday directed City Atty. Stanley Remelmeyer to file suit in Los Angeles Superior Court to have a judge decide whether the city's deed to 34.4-acres of marsh adjacent to the Park del Amo residential-commercial project should be a clear title--as the city wants--or simply an easement--as the developer wants.
May 23, 1997
The Madrona Marsh wildlife preserve, a combination of wetlands and sand dunes in Torrance, is the home to warblers, ducks, egrets and blue herons. But soon there will be an addition. The 43-acre marsh will be getting a natural history center after the City Council this week unanimously approved spending $1.8 million for a building that will house an exhibit hall, laboratory, natural history shop, meeting room and library. The structure will not exceed 8,000 square feet.
July 4, 1995
Walt Wright is the official "marsh man" of Torrance. For years, he has tended the island of grassland called the Madrona Marsh Nature Preserve, protecting the birds and tree frogs that persevere amid stores and homes. But now, as City Hall grapples with budget problems, Wright's future is murky--and so, some fear, is city support of the marsh.
Stirred by childhood memories of life on her father's Montana farm, environmentalist Shirley Turner said, it was only natural that she pitched in 20 years ago to protect Torrance's Madrona Marsh from development. The wetland was known as little more than a swamp back then, one that developers had hoped to wipe out in favor of a massive residential and commercial project.
True enough, Walton Wright is a naturalist. But don't expect to find him examining seedlings on a pristine, High Sierra slope. As the city of Torrance's naturalist, Wright is in charge of restoring the Madrona Marsh preserve, a vernal wetland and sandy upland ringed by urban sprawl. That means dealing with decayed oil pipelines, soapy runoff from a local car wash and flurries of windblown trash.
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