Sure, the Los Angeles River is recognized more as an embarrassing concrete-encased flood channel rather than a marvel of modern civil engineering. And yeah, save for a few stretches between the San Fernando Valley and Long Beach (such as Bull Creek, pictured, in the Sepulveda Basin), she might not be all that much to look at. But she’s ours and it’s that time of year when a bunch of her dedicated friends get together to wax about what possibilities for river renewal may come and to give her an extreme makeover.
May 1 (from 9 a.m. to noon) is the big day for La Gran Limpieza, otherwise known as the 15th Annual Great Los Angeles River Clean Up organized by the Friends of the Los Angeles River (FOLAR). Each year these river rats get down and dirty and wet together, freeing their beloved waterway from some 25,000 pounds of debris.
There are 10 clean-up sites, from the Tujunga Wash off the 210 Freeway to the Golden Shore Wetlands off the 710 in Long Beach. More local to LA, clean-ups are planned in Griffith Park, Los Feliz (where I’ll be) and Elysian Valley. The first hundie volunteers at each site get a free t-shirt.
FOLLOW-UP (05.02): A report from the front at the Los Feliz clean-up area