April 17, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Brentwood’s Kenter Creek: A Backyard Treasure

 

By Marylin Krell, President, South Brentwood Residents Association

David Paige and James Ward, Kenter Creek Committee

Special to Brentwood News

As with a few other Westside creeks and streams, Kenter Creek originates in the hills north of Sunset Boulevard. Photos by Margery Atkinson.
As with a few other Westside creeks and streams, Kenter Creek originates in the hills north of Sunset Boulevard. Photos by Margery Atkinson.

Kenter Creek is a rare natural urban watercourse, a perennial “Blue Line” stream that runs above and below ground from the Santa Monica Mountains through Brentwood and Santa Monica into Santa Monica Bay. As with a few other Westside creeks and streams, Kenter Creek originates in the hills north of Sunset Boulevard. South of Sunset it includes Canyon View Drive, Anita and its spurs, Wellesley, Centinela and South Carmelina. It flows underground through the Brentwood Country Club, and then re-emerges south of Montana Avenue.

Between Montana Avenue and Wilshire Boulevard, the creek is fed by underground springs and flows throughout the year. In this section, the creek flows through the backyards of approximately 75 homes and is not generally visible at street level. However, the creek and the lush green belt that borders it can be easily traced in aerial photos  – a quiet oasis of vegetation amidst the concrete and asphalt of the surrounding city.

To contain and control flooding, engineers have restructured the course of feeder waters to the creek, diverting storm surges to protect downstream property. While this re-engineering has provided stability and predictability to its banks, the lack of natural flow variations has hampered the ability of the creek to maintain its natural riparian ecosystem.

A major threat to the viability of Kenter Creek and to other watercourses in the area has been the negligent actions of residents. Dumping, landscaping, and structural intrusions have been commonplace. For example, one former resident deposited a non-native crayfish species into the creek, which virtually eliminated the large native Pacific Tree Frog population.

IMG_1585 (2)Margery's creekA group of homeowners along Kenter Creek has organized the Kenter Creek Committee, under the sponsorship of the South Brentwood Residents Association (SBRA). Their goals are to inform the public, to bring all existing construction into compliance, prevent future illegal construction or blockage of its flow to Santa Monica Bay, and restore Kenter Creek, working closely with neighbors and local and state officials.

In cooperation with SBRA Kenter Creek Committee has created a letter and Guide, which includes information about the many federal, state and local regulations which protect the creek.  The Guide has been delivered to all homeowners along the creek south of Montana as well as to local realty offices.

But more work needs to be done. We hope that the homes north of Montana will join in the effort to repair and protect Kenter Creek so that the entire creek can become a viable ecosystem for generations to come.

For further information, please contact Ellie Pelcyger 310-826-1500,

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