By Hillel Aron
By Joseph Tsidulko
By Patrick Range McDonald
By David Futch
By Hillel Aron
By Dennis Romero
By Jill Stewart
By Dennis Romero
Besides hiking and biking the L.A. River, and maybe spotting some birds, you might want to get involved in its future. Clean it. Green it. Send your George W. tax cut to the folks who are fighting for it. Here’s the who, what, where:Arroyo Seco Collaborative, www.lariver.oxy.edu, (323) 259-2991 Arroyo Seco Foundation, www.arroyoseco.org, (626) 577-6000 California Coastal Conservancy, www.coastalconservancy.ca.gov, (510) 286-1015 Chinatown Yard Alliance, (323) 660-6683 Coalition for a State Park at Taylor Yard, www.tayloryard.org, (323) 692-7763 Friends of the Los Angeles River, www.folar.org, (323) 223-0585 L.A. County Bicycle Coalition, www.labikecoalition.org, (213) 629-2142 L.A. County Department of Public Works, dpw.co.la.ca.us, (626) 458-5100 Los Angeles River Center and Gardens, www.smmc.ca.gov, (323) 221-9939 Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority,(310) 589-3230 North East Trees, www.northeasttrees.org, (323) 441-8634 San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy, www.rmc.ca.gov, (626) 458-4315 Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, www.smmc.ca.gov, (323) 221-8900 Social and Public Art Resource Center (SPARC), www.sparcmurals.org, (310) 822-9560 The Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers Watershed Council, www.lasgrwc.org, (213) 367-4111 The River Project, www.theriverproject.org, (818) 980-9660 TreePeople, www.treepeople.org, (818) 753-4600 The Trust for Public Land, www.tpl.org, (310) 474-4466 Village Gardeners of the Los Angeles River, (818) 981-1606 The Wrigley Association, (562) 595-5650
WALK IT"Down by the River" walks hosted by Friends of the Los Angeles River: These free, nonstrenuous Sunday walks are open to all ages and last about 90 minutes. Speakers give the lowdown on the nature, history, politics and art of the river. August 19, check out the Cornfield and learn about plans for the abandoned riverside rail yard. September 16, see what’s happening at the Maywood Riverfront Park. November 18, tour Taylor Yard, slated to become a state park with hardcore wetlands restoration. Call (213) 381-3570, or visit www.folar.org. For the river walk newsletter, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Elysian Park Tours, part of the Historic Echo Park walking tours program, is offering river tours in the park September 8 and December 8, starting at 10 a.m. Two-hour tours cover everything from previously existing dams to the complex underground pipes that route water back into the drinking system. Only 20 slots are available per tour — reservations suggested. $3 donation; under 12 years free. (213) 482-4458.
Start training for the L.A. County Bicycle Coalition’s huge second annual Los Angeles River Ridenext May. Hundreds bike along the river to raise public awareness and money ($10,000 this year) to ensure the completion of the L.A. River Bikeway from the San Fernando Valley to Long Beach. Rides of different lengths accommodate bikers of all levels. Contact LACBC at (213) 629-2142 or www.labikecoalition.org.
L.A. County Bicycle Coalition, North East Trees and FoLAR sponsor quarterly bike rides. These two- to three-hour nonstrenuous rides along the scenic Glendale Narrows are open to all ages. Next ride, October 14 at 10 a.m. Meet at the L.A. River Center and Gardens, 570 W. Avenue 26. Call NET for more info, (323) 441-8634.
BYOB (Bring Your Own Binoculars): The San Fernando Valley Audubon Society leads free bird walksin the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Area on the second Saturday of each month, October through March. On August 11, the society will host a Family Flashlight Walkin the Sepulveda Basin. Pack flashlights and the kids. Contact Muriel Kotin at (818) 783-4293 for more info. Kris Ohlenkamp leads another Audubon bird walkin the Sepulveda Basin the first Sunday of every month. Call Ohlenkamp at (818) 894-9332.
In May, the Friends of the Los Angeles River held the 12th annual Great Los Angeles River Clean-Up, or La Gran Limpieza. A thousand volunteers showed up for the two-day event and cleaned up more than 20 tons of trash. Live music, fresh food and the occasional celebrity appearance make for good clean fun. Look for it again next spring.
The San Fernando Valley Audubon Society sponsors a spring cleanupin the Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Area to clear out trash and other debris brought by winter storms. Call Muriel Kotin, (818) 783-4293.
The Village Gardeners are holding planting, weeding and cleanup partiesin Sherman Oaks October 6 and November 4. Schools, groups and individuals are all invited. Call (818) 981-1606 for more information.
Help the Glendale Narrows and Arroyo Seco go green. Join North East Trees for regular tree planting eventsalong the river. Call NET’s hotline, (323) 441-8634, or e-mail email@example.com.
RiverWatch runs a first-rate volunteer programto produce the first comprehensive community-oriented report on the health of the L.A. River watershed. A core group of 60 volunteers work in teams to do everything from analyzing toxic pollutants to assessing the biological status of the river. An amazing program sponsored by FoLAR. Call (213) 925-5274, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
LAST BUT NOT LEAST . . .
The Arroyo Seco Collaborativehas been working on a number of watershed and community-development projects. The big one: an ambitious plan to shut down the 110 freeway in October 2002 to celebrate the Arroyo Seco Parkway. Keep updated on lectures and other events at www.lariver.oxy.edu, or call (323) 259-2991.