Emerald Necklace Planning



The Final Program Environmental Report (PEIR) is available here.


Project Background

The Emerald Necklace is a 17-mile long network of existing and future parks, greenways, and trails located along the Rio Hondo and San Gabriel River between Peck Road Water Conservation Park to the north and Whittier Narrows Recreation Area to the south. To advance the Emerald Necklace Vision, the WCA is the lead agency for the Feasibility Study & Implementation Planning Project. This planning project has identified a series of proposed trail and greening projects which would provide a continuous, looped network of bike paths and multi-use trails while providing improved connections to communities within and adjacent to the San Gabriel Valley, including Avocado Heights, Arcadia, Azusa, Baldwin Park, Bassett, El Monte, Irwindale, La Puente, Monrovia, Montebello, Pico Rivera, Rosemead, South El Monte, Temple City, and Whittier. 

In 2005, the Emerald Necklace Vision was established by Amigos de los Rios, a California nonprofit organization, in conjunction with various cities and stakeholders. The Vision Plan presented opportunities for the development of linear greenway and trail projects, and led to the formation of the Emerald Necklace Steering Committee. This Committee is led by County of Los Angeles Board of Supervisors First District Office, and includes participation from organization with purview over project implementation, including Los Angeles County Flood Control District, County of Los Angeles Department of Parks and Recreation, County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works, San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy, Amigos de los Rios, and Southern California Edison.

In 2012 the Committee recruited the WCA to coordinate and advance project-level planning. The purpose of this planning has been to 1) evaluate the existing elements of the Emerald Necklace, 2) identified feasible projects that support the Emerald Necklace Vision, and 3) begin the necessary planning and design to advance project implementation. A 2013 Emerald Necklace Master Plan resulted in the identification of 44 projects. The Emerald Necklace Steering Committee identified 29 priority projects, and then further prioritized 16 project for an initial phase of implementation and development. The Committee developed a set of consensus goals that were used when assessing the priority of each project. The goals included:

  • Completion of a trail loop through a “Clasp” at the northern portion of the loop
  • Connecting Whittier Narrows to the trail loop
  • Providing access to the Emerald Necklace for surrounding                 communities
  • Providing access points, missing multi-use/equestrian trail                   elements, and other park elements.

Over time, the implementation of the Emerald Necklace Master Plan will provide improved regional network of linear greenways, parks, and multi-use trails. The Emerald Necklace will also provide educational benefits to the community through its interpretative signage illustrating information about the rivers, their habitats, and cultural heritage.


Phase 1 Projects

The 16 proposed Phase 1 Projects would close gaps in this regional recreational trails network and increase access to hundreds of thousands of people in the project area. Implementation of these projects may occur in any order depending on funding and community needs. They are organized in four distinct regional areas: Quarry Clasp to the north, Whittier Narrows to the south, San Jose Creek to the east, and Westside to the west. Each of the four project areas are described below. Descriptions of the 16 proposed Phase 1 Projects and site-specific figures are provided within the Emerald Necklace Implementation Report - Phase 1 are available under the Downloads section of this webpage [see the left-hand column]. 

 Click on the Phase 1 Project Poster to see a full-sized PDF version

Quarry Clasp - The Quarry Clasp project area is located along the northern end of the Emerald Necklace within the cities of Arcadia and El Monte and in an unincorporated area of the County of Los Angeles. These projects connect the Rio Hondo with the San Gabriel River, allowing for a full loop with access to multiple park resources or “jewels” of the Emerald Necklace. These projects improve regional connectivity while enchaining multi-use and equestrian trail elements.  

Click on the map to see a full-sized PDF version

Whittier Narrows - The Whittier Narrows project area is located along the southern end of the Emerald Necklace within unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. These projects enhancing connectivity to Whittier Narrows Recreation Area. Making this area accessible involves strategic placement of Class I bicycle path segments and new multi-use trails within the area. Internal circulation in the Whittier Narrows area would be improved so that pedestrians and bicyclists can access all park areas currently inaccessible without a car, including the Whittier Narrows equestrian facilities on the east side of the San Gabriel River. These projects also provide access to the Emerald Necklace for surrounding communities, such as Pellissier Village, and removes a current gap in the Rio Hondo Bike Path at the crossing of San Gabriel Boulevard. 

Click on the map to see a full-sized PDF version

San Jose Creek - The San Jose Creek project area is located along the southeastern side of the Emerald Necklace within unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County (Avocado Heights and Bassett) and the city of Industry. These project will provide regional connectivity to the Emerald Necklace by providing linkages with existing trail segments along San Jose Creek. Connections will also be made with the River Park, a jewel of the Emerald Necklace currently under development by the WCA.


Click on the map to see a full-sized PDF version

Westside - The Westside project area is located along the western side of the Emerald Necklace within unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County and the cities of El Monte, Rosemead, and South El Monte. Projects are proposed to develop missing segments of a multi-use and equestrian trail along the west bank of the Rio Hondo. Development of an access ramp at the intersection of Rosemead Boulevard would also provide access to the Emerald Necklace for Surrounding Communities.  

Click on the maps to see a full-sized PDF version


Downloads (PDFs)

Project Posters:

Master Plan Poster 

Phase 1 Project Poster

Phase 1 Implementation Plan Materials:

Final Report

Implementation Plan -Phase 1 Draft PEIR Materials:

Notice of Availability

Community Meeting Presentation Materials (10/26/2016)

Executive Summary

Section 1 - Introduction

Section 2 - Project Description

Section 3 - Environmental Analysis 

Section 4 - Alternatives to the Proposed Project

Section 5 - Other CEQA Considerations

Section 6 -Agencies and Persons Consulted

Section 7 - References

Section 8 - List of Prepares

Section 9 - Acronyms and Abbreviations

Appendix A - Initial Study/NOP and Scoping Comments

Appendix B - Air Quality

Appendix C - Biological Resources

Appendix D - Cultural Resources

Appendix E - Greenhouse Gas

Appendix F - Noise

Appendix G - Traffic