Sepulveda Basin Wildlife ReserveBull CreekL.A. RiverEncino Creek, Hayvenhurst Creek and Woodley Creeks
Bull Creek

Bull Creek is located east of Balboa Blvd. and is the western border of the Anthony Beilenson Park (Lake Balboa). Bull Creek emerges from drainage channels just south of Victory Blvd., and travels 3000 feet in a straight line before it reaches and flows into the Los Angeles River.

Over the years the channel has been straightened and flood flows have scoured the channel to a depth of approximately 20 feet with steep, unstable side slopes. As a result, the artificial channel cross-scetion provides little support to sustain a healthy riparian system needed to attract and sustain area wildlife. In the 1970’s, Bull Creek was one of the few remnant relatively undisturbed riparian habitats in the San Fernando Valley.

Due to the degraded condition of Bull Creek, the City of Los Angeles in conjunction with the Corps of Engineers developed a restoration plan for Bull Creek, and construction began in spring of 2008. The purpose of the project is to restore native riparian and upland habitat to an area that has become severely degraded to provide additional foraging, nesting, cover, and resting opportunities for wildlife indigenous to the region, and to minimize further degradation of the existing riparian habitat.


above, large California walnut tree shades Bull Creek
just south of bridge. Photo from late 1980’s.


above, Bull Creek supported willows, California walnut, and monkeyflower
during the late-1980’s. Non-native weeds, such as giant reed
and palms were already beginning to infest the creek.

The project features include 28 acres of aquatic, riparian and native upland habitat. Creek bank slopes will be graded to be no steeper than 3 to 1. An oxbow or “C”-shaped side channel will be excavated to allow water to flow from south of Victory Blvd. around an island to the Los Angeles River. Reclaimed water from Lake Balboa will be released into the channel near the oxbow to enhance the existing flow. Interpretive nodes will be placed to offer educational opportunities. Bridges and an elevated walkway will provide pedestrian and maintenance access, and will connect to pedestrian trails on both sides of Bull Creek. The bridges will also serve as overlooks into the habitat areas. Pedestrian access from the western end of the new MTA busway station to the north will be provided.

above, the riparian vegetation along Bull Creek competes with non-native giant reed in this 2007 photograph.

above, Bull Creek enhancement project showing recontoured creek bed (at left), and island and oxbow on lower right.
Soil excavated from the new oxbow is used to create islands just above the oxbow. Photo taken in December 2008.

above, February 2009 view of Bull Creek looking northwest from near road. Plantings are visible on the banks, and the new hills can be seen in the center of the photo.

Above, similar view, April 2010.

Above, view from north bridge on October 8, 2010, looking south. Willows line the creek. Santa Monica Mountains (Encino) seen in distance.

Bull Creek Project Plan
Click here to view 1.07mb .pdf file