Do you know much about the Los Angeles River? If you don’t live in or near the city, did you even know Los Angeles HAD a river? From what many of us have seen on movies and TV, the Los Angeles River really doesn’t look like much other than a concrete sewage canal.
It didn’t used to be that way, but over decades it’s become little more than an eyesore in many locations along its path, acting as more of a burden than the lush, thriving ecosystem it should be. Fortunately, activists and the City of Los Angeles have been working to get the river the attention it deserves. Their efforts have received financial support from the state, and have even been chosen as a focus area of President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors campaign.
The 51-mile river runs through urban LA, winding through several suburbs as well as Los Angeles County. The current project is primarily focusing on a 32-mile stretch starting at Canoga Park and going through downtown Los Angeles.
According to the Los Angeles River Revitalization website, the goal is to transform the river from an eyesore into a recreational environment, ideal for residents and visitors who want to jog, play sports, ride bikes, and enjoy an improved quality of life in the areas surrounding the river. The city is also working toward improved safety efforts against crime and blight, which will hopefully improve neighborhoods and surrounding areas as well.
The river has caught the attention of several students, who are using their education and skill to create short, informational videos on the importance of revitalizing the LA River.
If younger generations are passionate about the revitalization of the river and working toward making it a better place, it’s a pretty realistic goal that it just might turn into a symbol of the value of greener, more sustainable cities.