ML+A designed this sustainable park as an urban watershed demonstration project that accommodates community and school recreational programs, integrated with an extensive network of introduced natural features and ecosystems. Located at the edge of a dense residential zone, the park incorporates active recreation including a synthetic turf soccer field, trails, water features, a children’s adventure area and picnic areas in native habitat landscapes.

The park also incorporates multiple sustainability practices, including storm water collection in a subsurface cistern for on-site irrigation use, meadows and bioswales that filter the water before it enters the cistern, permeable materials in the parking lot and pathways, and buildings with green roofs that utilize natural lighting, as well as have the capability to incorporate solar collection trellis panels.

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A range of Southern California native plant communities knit the park together, creating habitats such as oak savannah, coastal sage scrub, chapparral and meadows that attract a variety of wildlife species. Vista Hermosa is intended to be more than a recreational park, however; it is envisioned as an educational platform from which children develop knowledge, and are inspired to have pride in their community.