Madrona Marsh is a hidden gem in the midst of busy city streets of Torrance. The marsh comes to life during spring, but is still beautiful with the fall colors.
From Friends of Madrona Marsh site:
History of the Marsh
When the Palos Verdes Peninsula was geologically uplifted, it blocked off the Los Angeles River . The natural drainage to the sea was halted and created a large inland drainage area as the river proceeded to shift to the east to its existing course. Historians say that during the early 1800s when the Gabrielino Indians inhabited the South Bay area, Torrance was part of the extensive marshlands north of the San Pedro and Long Beach area. ...
The Madrona Marsh, although geologically relatively young, is reminiscent of the natural state of much of the South Bay area. The Marsh preserve is a remnant of once extensive natural systems that existed along the coastal plain and coastal terraces of Southern California . The preserve is situated on land that has been in oil production since 1924. This is why it was never developed as commercial or residential uses. While the area had gone unnoticed to many there have been some citizens who have been actively aware of the area for many years, For example, the local Audubon Society has used the area since 1967 in their annual bird census, and for years bird watchers parked along nearby streets and watched the area through the fence for their recreation. Biologists teach at El Camino College have used the site as a resource to botany, zoology and geography classes for over 30 years.