FoLAR's E-Newsletter, February 2012
- Current NewsFoLAR's bi-monthly e-newsletterFebruary 2012Friends of the Los Angeles River : From the Mountains to the SeaLos Angeles River Prioritized in Two Federal Initiatives in 2011Interior Secretary Ken Salazar over Long BeachPhoto by U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles DistrictOn January 12, 2012, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar visited Los Angeles and toured the Los Angeles River by helicopter with Major General Merdith W.B. "Bo" Temple, Colonel Michael Wehr and Colonel Mark Toy of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.North Atwater Park at the LA RiverPhoto by Tami A. Heilemann, Department of the InteriorLater that day, Secretary Salazar joined Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, U.S. Representatives Lucille Roybal-Allard and Adam Schiff, Councilmembers Tom LaBonge and Ed Reyes, California State Parks Director Ruth Coleman, and Omar Brownson of the Los Angeles River Revitalization Corporation in addressing a group of over 100 river stakeholders at North Atwater Park at the Los Angeles River. “Today we are celebrating the partnerships that are transforming the Los Angeles River watershed into a national symbol of how once-neglected urban waterways can be cleaned up and restored to improve the quality of life and boost the economy in America’s communities,” said Secretary Salazar.The River Community Gathers in Atwater VillageThe press conference highlighted the selection of the Los Angeles River for both President Obama's America's Great Outdoors Initiative (AGO) and the Urban Waters Federal Partnership (UWFP). The AGO aims to reconnect citizens with their urban waterways with a focus on recreation, while the UWFP program will enhance communication and coordination between all levels of government to facilitate the goals of revitalization plans river-wide.Sponsor The Great Los Angeles River CleanUp!Los Angeles River at Balboa AvenuePhoto by Rita Hamilton PhotographySponsorship opportunities are avaialble for our 23rd Annual La Gran Limpieza: The Great Los Angeles River CleanUp happening this spring. Last year, 4000 FoLAR volunteers cleaned 25 tons of trash from the Los Angeles River in three hours. We expect the event to grow even more this year! To include your logo on our event t-shirt, contact FoLAR at 323-223-0585 by FEBRUARY 15th.Los Angeles River at Fletcher DrivePhoto by Marcy PetriqueFoLAR hosted a river walk on January 22nd with Save LA River Open Space touring the future opportunity site of the LA River Natural Park on Whitsett Avenue in Studio City.Alan Dymond, Steve Hirsh, Beth Dymond & Laurie Cohn with Save LA River Open SpacePhoto by Mike Szymanski of StudioCityPatch.comOver 30 people (and a few dogs) enjoyed a Sunday morning walk along the Los Angeles River Greenway, learning about activists' work to save the Weddington Golf and Tennis Club parcel from future residential development. In 2008, a vision and concept design was created including critical watershed elements, native habitat restoration, protection of historic recreational facilities, and the preservation of open space for future generations.Site Concept Design for Parcel at Whitsett and LA RiverSince this project would be compatible with the City and County LA River master plans, and many community organizations collaborated in past design workshops, the next obstacle is to actually purchase the parcel for the community. Public and private sources are being explored to fund this important riverfront acquisition.Rendering of Future LA River Natural Park by Save LA River Open SpaceLACBC's Los Angeles River RallySave the Date: Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition will host their 12th Annual Los Angeles River Ride on Sunday, June 10th.Start preparing for the 100-mile century bike ride (or half-century or family ride) you've always wanted to do now! The LA River Ride features 6 different rides for all abilities, brings you to new destinations in LA County, and is LACBC's biggest fundraiser!FoLAR Lobbies for Federal Funding for the Los Angeles RiverARBOR Study SlideU.S. Army Corps of EngineersThis month, FoLAR President Lewis MacAdams embarked on a whirlwind tour of Washington DC on behalf of the Los Angeles River. Lewis and Los Angeles City Councilmember Ed Reyes met with representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, urging them to allocate funds to finish the Los Angeles River Ecosystem Feasibility Study, which will eventually allow for the removal of some concrete.The Corps of Engineers needs $1.4 million dollars to complete the study, which is an essential element of the restoration effort. In a meeting, the Army Corps’ Chief of Program Integration Division, Mark Mazzanti, expressed his sentiment to Lewis that revitalizing the Los Angeles River will “bring value to our nation.”Lewis and Councilmember Reyes also met with Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality to discuss the Los Angeles River being named as one of 101 national sites selected in President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors Initiative.Lewis met with Bob Irvin, the new president of American Rivers, the leading organization working to protect and restore the nation’s rivers and streams. They discussed exciting future collaborations between our two organizations.For use in the upcoming exhibit spotlighting urban rivers at The Smithsonian’s Anacostia Community Museum, Lewis recounted his work on the Los Angeles River in a recorded two-hour interview with museum historian Gail S. Lowe, PhD. The exhibit is scheduled to open in September 2012.Next FoLAR RIVER WALK Feburary 25thThe fate of the Taylor Yard G2 ParcelFuture Vision for Taylor Yard Opportunity Site2007 Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan, City of Los AngelesOur ninety-minute river walk will commence on Saturday, February 25 at 10:30AM on the California State Bowtie Parcel in Glassell Park. We will discuss the status of the adjacent Union Pacific Taylor Yard G2 Parcel. The G2 parcel could be the crown jewel for the Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan, including removal of concrete and creation of wetlands, but currently, an industrial developer is holding an option on the land. Will the river community find the opportunity and resources to aquire this parcel? We are excited to have guest speaker Damon Nagami of Natural Resources Defense Council to give us an update.Los Angeles River at Taylor YardPhoto by Jeremy BacklarRiver walks are free for current FoLAR members, and $10 for non-members. Spaces are limited, and advance sign-up is required. RSVP to contact@... or 323.223.0585.FoLAR receives $25,000 grant from The Coca-Cola FoundationFriends of the Los Angeles River is proud to announce a partnership with The Coca-Cola Foundation to give students and teachers the opportunity to get outside the classroom and explore the Los Angeles River. Through Coca-Cola’s generous grant, FoLAR’s new Source to Sea program will provide teachers in Los Angeles with professional development training in Project WET, classroom lessons and an LA River field trip! This 4th – 6th grade pilot program is full through the rest of the school year, but FoLAR hopes to extend these programs to more grades and more schools next year!If you love the Los Angeles River, you will not want to miss this year's River Update Meeting, hosted by the City of Los Angeles. The City's River Project Office will speak about the status of the Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan, and the US Army Corps of Engineers will talk about the LA River Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study that is in progress. Booths will showcase the many river greenway projects planned county-wide. Visit the FoLAR booth for a free reusable grocery bag.This community meeting is free to the public, and parking is free. The venue is the brand-new Sonia Sotomayor Learning Academies Campus, a stunning property near the Los Angeles River, which is the home of the new Los Angeles River School.Upstream View of Big Tujunga Wash NorthPhoto by Sophia WongOn December 19, 2011, a ribbon-cutting ceremony led by City Councilmember Paul Krekorian celebrated the long-awaited transfer of 277.5 acres of open space from the Angeles National Golf Club to the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority. The parcel, which includes Big Tujunga Wash North Channel and extends into the Angeles National Forest, will now be preserved as recreational open space and protected from future development, thanks to the many years of activism from a coalition of stakeholders.Ribbon-cutting at Angeles National Golf ClubIn addition to the transfer of land, owners of the golf club will spend $42,000 annually for 25 years for trail maintenance, $15,000 for the MCRA to develop signage for the area and $250,000 to create and maintain equestrian trails in the Foothills.