Rainy Day? Play Day!

December 9, 2019. By Cassy Aoyagi: There are so many things we’ve created for grown-ups, or for the good of LA, only to learn that we’ve actually built a playground.

Grown-ups love bioswales for their aesthetic beauty. Others delight in their ability to absorb water into LA, feeding our groundwater table with filtered rainwater and reducing runoff. Boring!

Kids understand the true power of these features. They have magic! When the New Look for LA opened at Descanso Gardens, the bioswale transformed a Playa Vista Elementary class into a wildlife exploratory team. (Who needs a path? No one under the age of 9!)

By the time we had our own little human, we knew bioswales would work magic on him. It was nice to see these features do something in their downtime, when the weather wasn’t giving them any work.

It took a wet year to finally understand that, even while bioswales and vernal pools are hard at work, they are still the best of play. Starting with the obvious, water allows a kid to take their rock-jumping skills to the next level.

If a bioswale or pool has water, a simple stick is truly a magic wand. With a stick, a kid is a fisherman, a scientist or weather-caster measuring the depth of the rain, a kayaker crossing the ocean – or a dangerous splashing beast. (Beware!)


That isn’t the only magic to be found in these features. If you happen to “fall” into one as a grown-up, be careful. They can quickly turn you into a kid!