Meet The Charity: FOLAR

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FOLAR is one of Green Wish’s most long-term charities.  They have been one of our beneficiaries since Green Wish started.  FOLAR, or Friends of the LA River, was founded in 1986 to protect, preserve, and restore both the natural beauty and the histor of the LA River.

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITY!  Coming this Saturday is FOLAR’s 24th annual La Gran Limpieza (“The Great LA River Cleanup”), in which volunteers gather at 15 cleanup locations along the river’s path to remove debris.  In past years, as much as 25 tons of trash and other materials has been removed from the river.  This is a perfect opportunity to get out and learn more about this amazing river, while doing your part to help with rehabbing and support of the continued natural and historic contribution of this unique Los Angeles fixture.  Register to volunteer today – the event takes place on Saturday morning, 5/18/13, from 9am to noon.

More about FOLAR…

FOLAR is a proponent of urban restoration for the LA River, and their goals are sweeping but, they believe, attainable! FOLAR’s key goals include:

1. Restoring the L.A. River’s natural habitat
2. Developing recreational and commuter bikeways, pedestrian paths and horse trails on the riverbanks; as well as places for canoeing and kayaking in the River
3. Applying flood-protection technologies that emphasize the restoration of a healthy ecosystem
4. Reforesting and re-vegetating the River’s watershed to control seasonal flooding and debris flow
5. Creating educational programs which bring students to celebrate and study the River and to explain the importance of the River, its tributaries an its watershed
6. Fostering efforts to monitor and improve water quality in the River and its tributaries, and to control toxic pollution from dumping and storm drains
7. Coordinating community-based clean-ups and graffiti removal along the River in cooperation with other groups and agencies
8. Creating an LA River Conservancy to coordinate public management of the River, to enact land-use ordinances and zoning laws and to manage development in the riparian corridor
9. Placing the LA River bridges on the National Historic Registry, thus protecting and enhancing their historic and aesthetic value
10. Encouraging appropriate uses of reclaimed water for irrigation and recharge of aquifers, thus promoting sustainable development.

In its pursuit of these goals, FOLAR has achieved numerous milestones, including (from the FOLAR website):

  • Fighting the Los Angeles County Drainage Area (LACDA), which proposed building walls 2-8 feet high along the last twelve miles of the River to increase flood protection (our efforts were key in modifying the original plans, and led to the creation of the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers Watershed Council, a principal forum for discussion of the Rivers’ future)
  • Successfully mobilizing efforts to create a community park at the Cornfield Yards — a 30-acre parcel of land between Chinatown and the Los Angeles River, which had been slated for warehouse development (the Chinatown Yard Alliance brought together diverse stakeholders including FoLAR, the Sierra Club, the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association, Concerned Citizens of South Central L.A., Mothers of East Los Angeles and the Latino Urban Forum)
  • Winning the battle to create a State Park at Taylor Yard — a 220+ acre former railroad yard with more than 2 miles of living riverfront.

Thanks, FOLAR, for all that you do for our local environment! We’re happy to support you through donations.

We hope to see you out on the River this weekend for La Gran Limpieza!