Friends of the LA River Pushing for LA River Restoration Plans

LA River near Downtown LARecently, the leaders of the non-profit LA River Revitalization Corp. announced ambitious plans to create a 51-mile-long bike path and greenway along the river, from the Valley to Long Beach. A key milestone towards implementing this plan and revitalizing the River is awaiting final recommendations from a long-term study conducted by the US Army Corp. of Engineers, which holds the ultimate decision-making power over the River.

The study focuses on an 11-mile stretch of the river between Union Station and Griffith Park.  Ultimately, the study recommends improvements that would restore ecological value and habitat to the Los Angeles River corridor. The study will detail four action “Alternative” plans that range in scope of impact and in cost, and will outline the Alternative plan that is the US Army Corps’ ‘tentatively selected plan’ (TSP).

To make the biggest impact on the LA River and lessen the cost burden required by the City of LA, Green Wish partner charity FOLAR (Friends of the LA River), along with other advocacy groups, is pushing for the Army Corp. to get behind Alternative 20, which would widen the river to accommodate terracing on much of its eastern bank (from roughly Los Feliz Boulevard downstream to Fletcher Drive) and redevelop the so-called Piggyback Yard, which covers 125 acres across the river from Union Station. In addition to those changes, Alternative 20 would provide new connections to the L.A. State Historic Park near Chinatown, and fund substantial ecosystem restoration at the Verdugo Wash, near the border of L.A. and Glendale.  Importantly, Alternative 20 would also stipulate that the federal government shares the cost of the $1B project with the city.

FOLAR is asking for help in voicing support of Alternative 20, including feedback to the US Army Corps of Engineers when the study is released on Sept. 6 and opened for public comment.  Please help FOLAR get behind this important project which will give this key green component of Los Angeles, the restoration effort it deserves.  Stay up-to-date on developments around this study by liking FOLAR on Facebook or following FOLAR on Twitter (@FoLARtweets).

Read more background on this issue in a recent LA Times article.

Photo credit:  Flickr user kla4067