Since its inception, planning of the Discovery Center has been a collaborative process linking numerous federal, state and local agencies in cooperation with public institutions and private groups. Planning is also an evolutionary process in which proposals are presented to the stakeholders, including the public, and comments are received, assessed, and used to revise the proposals.
The Discovery Center site and facilities are planned to include a meeting area, classrooms, and hands-on exhibits about conservation, the river’s ecology and how the watershed works. The site will include outdoor classrooms and pathways with interpretive displays to enhance the learning experience within the natural setting.
There have been several significant steps during this process as described below:
Schematic Design Report
A Schematic Design Report was developed and presented to the public in May 2006 and approved by the SGRDCA board in June 2006. Although it included some ideas of potential future development, that design has since been superseded; it is NOT the current plan for the proposed San Gabriel River Discovery Center project
Conceptual Site Plan
In November 2006 the SGRDCA board approved the current proposed plan, the Conceptual Site Plan (11 in. x 17 in. PDF file). It is the result of public and stakeholder input received by the Authority since the Schematic Design Report was released. It is important to note that environmental review for the current proposed plan is NOT complete, and additional changes and refinements may be made to the current proposed plan.
Environmental Impact Report
Notice of Availability of Draft Environmental Impact Report and Notice of Public Meeting, New, June 5
To find and download the Draft EIR and for information about the public meetings for the San Gabriel River Discovery Center, click here.
You can view a table of Environmental Process Milestones (1-page PDF file) as of December 18, 2008. This table has not yet been updated to reflect the lifting of the freeze for approved projects announced by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger on Wednesday, April 22. The freeze delayed scheduled activities including the Draft Environmental Report.
A Strategic Plan (33-page, 3.9 mb PDF file) that will guide the Discovery Center’s development over the next few years was approved by the SGRDCA board in December 2008. The Strategic Plan is the culmination of months of work by a core planning team consisting of staff from the agencies that comprise the San Gabriel River Discovery Center; individuals who represent key community links; and the Metropolitan Group, the consultant that organized the effort into a coherent, action-oriented document. The Strategic Plan has the following goals:
- To inspire people to learn about the natural resources of the San Gabriel River region and how their daily actions impact the environment
- To engage people in environmental learning opportunities and encourage enjoyment of our region’s natural areas
- To collaborate with others to leverage collective knowledge and generate impact and action
- To employ and promote best practices in environmental sustainability
The plan includes two or three measurable objectives to achieve each of these four goals with several specific strategies and actions to be undertaken for each one. The plan builds on concepts set forth in the 2006 Schematic Design Report, but goes beyond the earlier plans by defining the organizational framework and specific actions to achieve them. Importantly, the plan also recognizes the valuable efforts already conducted at the Whittier Narrows Nature Center, and affirms the importance of continuing the outdoor education program existing there.
Related Plans for larger areas are being developed by other organizations.