Strait Outta Compton
By Zachary Damato
51 miles. 15 cities. 1 project. The LA River Corp’s L.A. River Project (http://www.larivercorp.com/) is focused on building a healthier L.A. River by implementing a diverse and innovative renovation plan. This plan consists of bike paths, walking paths, water quality monitoring, planting more native vegetation, and many other features that are yet to be revealed to the public. This will impact local neighborhoods by transforming the LA River into a destination instead of an unused piece of land in one of America’s busiest cities. Similar to the Naru Project, the LA River Project is focused on public-private partnerships to help further the mission of improving our urban rivers.
The LA Project is approaching this 51 mile stretch of river like an open canvas; previously consisting of viaducts and flood passages. This urban strip will become home to unique river projects allowing for habitat restoration and human recreation
As part of the USACE’s focus on urban river ecosystem restoration, the LA river project will split the projected cost of $1.3 billion dollars with federal funding. It shows the support urban rivers are receiving and the importance for communities around the world to care. Currently, their efforts are most concentrated along the LA River in Northeast Los Angeles that runs from Griffith Park, at the border with Glendale, to the heart of Downtown LA.
The L.A. River project not only brings local communities closer to their river, but local businesses and artists; L.A. has partnered with famous architect Frank Gehry to bring a sense of long term design to the project to withstand centuries of change. "The opportunity to work on a complicated piece of infrastructure like the L.A. River is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," Gehry said in a statement. Speaking from experience, it takes an entire community to care about local urban river restoration. However, when you’re aware of the possibilities from kayaking to river swims, it gets exciting to discuss the potential.
Lastly, with projects such as the L.A. River Project, Flussbad and Naru, it shows together, we can create a thriving environment, increase public green space, be smarter about water conservation, create a vibrant arts & culture corridor as well as a whole new way for neighborhoods to interact as communities and with nature.
To view a detailed report about the project go to www.lariver.org/Partners/LARiverArmyCorpsStudy