April 13, 2024


El Chicano, Colton Courier, Rialto Record

City of Rialto Receives $2 Million Grant for Peaceful and Scenic Lake Rialto Project

3 min read
Rialto City Council with Congressman Pete Aguilar

City of Rialto Councilmember Andy Carizales, Mayor Deborah Robertson, Congressman Pete Aguilar, and Councilmember Joe Baca.

The City of Rialto received $2 million in federal funding to support its Lake Rialto habitat project. Congressman Pete Aguilar secured the funds for the program. The Congressman said, “Ensuring our residents can enjoy safe and clean open spaces for outdoor recreation is necessary to create a healthier, more sustainable community.

“This funding I helped secure will help construct Lake Rialto, 10 acres of lake, wetlands and trails, that will protect vulnerable species and play a vital role in the environmental success for the Santa Ana River Habitat Conservation Plan.” This brings total funding for the $8 million project to more than $5 million, thanks to additional funding sources.

The environmentally beneficial project includes the creation of wetlands and wildlife habitats on city-owned property adjacent to the City of Rialto Water Treatment Plant, which will provide recycled water for the lake itself, which then flows into the environmentally critical Rialto Channel.

Rialto Mayor Deborah Robertson said, “The project design is now 90% complete and we hope to break ground this coming fall.”

The endangered Santa Ana sucker and Arroyo chub swim from the Santa Ana River up the Rialto Channel during cooler weather, but during hotter days, the water can be too warm for the fish. Because of the depth of the lake, much needed cooler water can be taken from the bottom of the lake and discharged into the Rialto Channel, providing potentially significant environmental benefits to critical species. The City of Rialto has worked diligently with potential partnering agencies to explore and maximize all of the environmental benefits of this project.

The lake will also provide a welcome habitat for seasonal wildfowl who migrate to and from Mexico on the Pacific Flyway, providing abundant birdwatching opportunities for the community.

Lake Rialto’s approved conceptual design was released to the public on April 3, 2023.

Mayor Robertson said, “Rialto residents can look forward to enjoying the lake’s open spaces, walking trails and environmental education programs. Special programs for children will enable them to get a taste of the great outdoors right in their own city. We’re so very pleased and honored that Congressman Aguilar has supported this leading-edge project to create an infrastructure that will serve as an environmentally sensitive and attractive recreational facility and wildlife habitat. Support for this model of an urban water stewardship project is something all of our elected policymakers should be advocating. This needs to be at the forefront of their priorities.”

The City of Rialto has grown a lot in recent years with its ongoing development projects. Now, Lake Rialto adds to an impressive list of commercial and residential projects, a different kind of addition to the City’s assets that demonstrates that it “walks the talk” when it comes to planning environmentally sensitive development.

To date the project has received more than $3 million in state and federal funds to advance this important project for the community.


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