The civic benefits of persistence

It took 10 years and $2.1 million, but this week, Glendale finally got the first of a three-phase project that — when it's all said and done — could become a huge community asset.

We're talking, of course, about the Glendale Narrows Riverwalk, which debuted to the public on Thursday to a throng of crowing officials and eager dog walkers, horse riders, cyclists and park lovers.

It's been a long time, but big dreams sometimes take time to realize, especially when scant government funding is involved. Throw in the complexities of various jurisdictions involved with the Los Angeles River, not to mention private right-of-ways and land deals, and well, work can get stuck in second gear.

But this week should give the public hope that what once seemed like a pipe dream is happening before our eyes. Glendale now has new horse facilities, park areas and a half-mile trail along the Los Angeles River beginning near Paula Avenue and Garden Street.

In the years to come, the Riverwalk project will expand, hopefully culminating in a pedestrian bridge connecting Glendale with the massive Griffith Park in Los Angeles. Funding is a ways off, but if it happens, the connection could have huge ramifications for park-deficient South Glendale.

In the meantime, the public gets the benefit of having a very spruced up Glendale side of the L.A. River border — and a constant reminder of more to come.

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