72 Million Gallons and 28 acres

An Oasis in the Valley Not Quite Central Park in New York but Close Enough

72 million gallons of reclaimed water; That’s what it took to fill the 27.5 acres, 10-foot deep lake. Lake Balboa was born.

The lake is fed from the Tillman sewage treatment plant nearby and the year it opened was 1992.

Previously the San Fernando Valley had Hansen Dam for fishing and other aquatic activities. But Hansen Damn closed some ten years prior to 1992. The San Fernando Valley was left without since then. (I have some found family outings growing fishing at Hansen Dam.)

Lake Balboa was originally supplied with trout and other varieties of fish. But today who knows what lurks below. Seeing that the water is reclaimed from a sewage treatment plant, I wouldn’t eat anything caught in these waters. Perhaps just catch and release is good enough fun for me.


Freshly caught fish from Lake Balboa
Catch of the day!

Furthermore, swimming is prohibited in the lake due to the nature of the water being reclaimed, however, there is at least one lifeguard on staff in the unlikely event someone should fall into the lake.

The lake does afford aquatic and other activities such as canoeing, self-propelled boats/rafts which can be rented at the lifeguard station, bicycle carts that afford up to nine persons to ride, barbecue grills, and picnic tables, a playground for kids, and remote-controlled boats.

The lake was designed to be the centerpiece of a 160-acre area named Lake Balboa Park and was opened in 1990.

In addition to adding fish to the lake and the aquatic and other activities afforded at Lake Balboa, there were originally 2,000 trees planted around the lake with cherry trees that followed later. Today, you can see these beautiful blossoms which are best viewed in March and very early April. It is a magnificent sight to see.

Lake Balboa is a wonderful place to spend a morning, afternoon, or early evening. It is indeed a place for nature lovers and photography enthusiasts alike.

Why parks, lakes, and botanical gardens are important

I’ve come to this lake for many reasons. As a cyclist rests on the park bench during a 30-mile ride. As a philosopher think and ponder the world and life. To walk the path around the lake which is said to be 1-mile in distance.

Urbanites need a place to unwind and relax from the hustle of everyday urban life. There are only a few other places/activities that offer this such as hiking, running, and a relatively secluded beach.


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