Need for Project
Baldwin Lake is the aesthetic and spatial centerpiece of the Arboretum. The Lake and its surrounding environs provide a central destination for visitors, and encompass history that begins with Native American habitation, and extends to Baldwin Ranch, and early movie making.
A 2012 comprehensive study identified several factors that negatively impact Baldwin Lake. Since the early 1950s, the Lake has functioned as a collection basis for the urban watershed to the north. Urban runoff carrying petrochemicals and other contaminants, combined with ongoing siltation, has degraded aquatic ecosystems and compromised scenic, educational and historic value. Proposed mitigation measures include stabilization of shorelines, reconstruction of walls and stonework, and re-engineering of watershed function.
Baldwin Lake is the Arboretum’s most endangered historic feature. Restoring its former beauty and character, a project of considerable cost and complexity, can be achieved only through the sustained commitment of both the Los Angeles County and the Los Angeles Arboretum Foundation.