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Living Laboratories

Community engagement
Elmer Avenue neighborhood retrofit &
Elmer Paseo green alley

A community enhancement project using a variety of strategies to provide multiple benefits - reduced flooding and water pollution, increased local groundwater supplies, and more green space with participation of engaged resisdents. As part of the LA Basin Water Augmentation Study, supported by multiple partners, this project is aimed at improving local water supply and water quality with the ultimate goal of promoting water transformation and resilience

Additional Resources

Interactive Tour of Elmer Ave 

Elmer Avenue Demonstration Green Street Brochure

Greening Elmer Brochure

Green Alley
Avalon Green Alleys (South Los Angeles)


​Partnership with City of Los Angeles and Trust for Public Lands. CWH works with water agencies and local community partners to develop living laboratories such as green streets, alleys, schoolyards and parks that build community capacity in local water sustainability and project management. This specific project develops low-impact development design interventions for stormwater infiltration in South Los Angeles.

GlenOaks Greenway (San Fernando Valley)


In partnership with LA City and LA City Council District 2, CWH living infrastructure projects collect information that is not only critical to measuring individual project impacts for water quality and supply, but larger social impacts derived from multi-benefit project design such as public health and safety. For this project, CWH leads the planning, design and engagement activities leading towards construction of a 1.2 mile-long climate resilient, all-native plant demonstration park that addresses stormwater capture and infiltration for water quality and supply in the San Fernando Valley. 

Learn more about the GlenOaks Greenway concept design plans.

Los Angeles Unified School District
Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD)


Partnership with LA Unified School District for the Drought Response Outreach Programs for Schools (DROPS). In 2014, the State Water Board responded to Governor Brown's declaration of a Drought State of Emergency by creating the DROPS program. CWH supported DROPS through the convening and managing of the Technical Assistance Team (TA Team), which provided technical assistance to interested school districts and schools with priority to disadvantaged schools. CWH currently supports LAUSD with the implementation of DROPS funded projects on five campuses by providing pre- and post-construction monitoring of Low Impact Development Best Management Practices (LID BMPs) at each school campus. CWH also manages the education and outreach components that include student engagement, community engagement and STEAM curricula, professional development and staff technical training. 

CWH also worked with LAUSD and the State Water Board through Prop 84 funding at Markham Middle School. Not only is CWH lead on the water monitoring for this project but also partnered with Friends of the Los Angeles River to facilitate a series of Professional Development workshops and education and engagement resources for teachers and staff to learn about the LID BMPS and how to incorporate them into existing curricula.  

Through a partnership with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, CWH created a collection of StoryMaps for each LAUSD DROPS school that completed construction. The StoryMaps aim to inspire sustainable school landscapes and make it possible for interested stakeholders to access information about the projects online and remotely. Click here to check out the DROPS StoryMaps! 

Merced Ave Green Street Project 


The Merced Avenue Green Street project focuses on the plan and design of a shovel-ready multiple-BMP retrofit for the Merced Ave. corridor, a 1.3-mile long stretch of Merced Avenue between Fern St. and Lerma Rd. in the City of South El Monte. This Project proposes a multi-benefit approach to manage stormwater runoff at its source in order to meet regulatory compliance by improving water quality and enhancing watershed health. Additional benefits include reducing the urban heat island effect and its carbon footprint, creating new safe bike and pedestrian connections, enhancing public health and beautifying the neighborhood. The project will incorporate a community-based approach that provides opportunities for watershed education and neighborhood involvement in designing the project.

Visit the Project website as we work through the design phase.

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For more information please contact Yareli Sanchez at

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