The Balara Filtration Plant Park was once a renowned Art Deco park, but it has since deteriorated. Prior attempts to transform the Park into a mixed-style destination, including a water ecotourism hub, an institutional zone, a mixed-use development, and an adventure hub, failed to attract private investment.

MWSS Administrator Leonor Cleofas pet project is to transform the Park from a neglected, run-down MWSS property into a cultural and heritage resource for the community. The first conservation effort focused on the Our Lady of Lourdes Grotto to honor the prominence and centrality of spirituality in MWSS’s endeavors.

The Grotto is located above the hill from the decommissioned Balara-San Juan aqueduct and the Workers Monument, and passers-by now take a second look as the site has been restored to its former glory.

During an inspection/walkthrough last week by the MWSS Management Committee (Mancom), members saw the condition of artistic creations hidden in overgrowth of vegetation and trash from the Balara gate all the way down to the Pansol-Kaingin end-stretch of the Park (Cerro de Carriedo reservoir, art deco images inside the Windmill Park bust of Don Carriedo y Peredo and La Intrepida, Mother Philippines, reptile aquarium, skating rink inside A. Gideon Playground, Anonas Ampitheater, Baby Quezon Terrace).

“It is sad to see our Park has become a dump,” said the Administrator, echoing a common sentiment. We all deserve clean green space.”

In an inspection/walkthrough by the MWSS Management Committee (Mancom) last week,  starting at the Balara gate all the way down to the Pansol-Kaingin end-stretch of the Park, members saw the condition of artistic creations  hidden in the overgrowth of vegetation and trash (Cerro de Carriedo reservoir, art deco images inside the Windmill Park bust of Don Carriedo y Peredo and La Intrepida, Mother Philippines,  reptile aquarium, skating rink inside A. Gideon Playground, Anonas Ampitheater, Baby Quezon Terrace).  A common sentiment voiced by the Administrator resounded when she said. . . “It is sad to see our Park has become a dump.  We all deserve to have clean, green space”.

With the environment and community safety at the forefront of their minds, 50 employees volunteered to clean up Windmill Park, Cerro de Carriedo Reservoir, and Picnic Grove on their weekend day off.   Truckloads of years’ worth of trash, litters like shoes, glass bottles, tetra packs, styropor, old tires, and discarded clothing were hauled to dumpsters and recycling centers.   With all hands-on-deck clean-up, MWSS hopes to make the Park a better place.