Blog - We Are The LA River Corp

My River Supporter Story - Pablo Osorio & Maria Kuzminskaia

The Los Angeles River is a significant place for me. It is an essential part of Los Angeles, and I always felt the river holds a hidden potential. For some time, I lived east of Los Angeles, and I took the train regularly. The river was intriguing to me. Before graduating from architecture school, I contemplated its bridges. Daily, I could see its water running under them a few moments before arriving at Union Station.

Often, I come back to the river, and I enjoy cycling, taking the Metro, or driving around the area. The river is always extending its endless concrete arms to all of us. It continuously reminds us that it is very much alive.  One can see vegetation here and there, and different bird species playing in the water. Plus, it is dynamic. It constantly changes with the seasons. Nevertheless, its pleasant openness seems to be an invitation to re-imaging it with more parks and outdoor venues cutting through the middle of the city. Undoubtedly, it connects people and entire communities directly to nature and to one another.

Pablo_Osorio_Maria_Kuzminskaia_LA_River.jpgIn 2012 I met Maria. She is my best friend and colleague. We met while were doing research work at the Southern California Institute of Architecture (SCI-Arc) located next to the Los Angeles River. Throughout the years, we have enjoyed walking and biking around the river. We've sketched it. We've filmed it. We've photographed it. Also, we have developed projects together that represent our profound love for the river, and the city of Los Angeles. 

We currently working on a couple of projects at the conceptual stages that embrace nature and the future of the city via the LA River. Los Angeles River Habitable Bridge is one of those projects. It is a mixed-use mega-structure proposed above the 1st Street Bridge. It connects directly to new parks, gardens, and urban farms located along the river. The new structure is completely detached from the historical bridge. It also proposes protected bicycle lanes, more public transportation, and it anticipates the use of autonomous vehicles in the near future allowing for more green open areas replacing parking lots. 
Similarly, Floating Gardens is another one of this kind of projects. We developed it with the collaboration of many talented professionals. It proposes a variety of greenhouses that provide healthy environments for endangered plant species. The garden is educational, and at the same time, it connects communities around nature near the river. Thanks to these ongoing collaborations, Maria and I also became professional partners. In 2015, we opened an award winning design studio interested in architecture, urban planning, and landscape design. Certainly, for many years the river has been inspirational to us, and we continue to re-imagine its promising potential. We have come to realize that the river tells great stories about the city of Los Angeles and its people. And, its settle magic has brought us together.

02-Aerial_Far_View-LA_River_Habitable_Bridge.jpgMaria and I care for the river and its ongoing revitalization. It includes its historical bridges. They are great monuments. They symbolize greater civic ideals connecting both sides of the city. Similarly, the L.A. River connects people, plants, and animals. We think the revitalization of the river promises to bring a positive impact to multiple urban areas. We strongly believe that the Los Angeles River holds a great potential. It can bring communities and nature closer together like never before.

 

Please see what we are interested in doing at MetropolitanmomentuM

The Los Angeles River has inspired us many times. And, it still does. We fully support River LA’s mission, to integrate design and infrastructure to bring people, water and nature together along all 51-miles of the Los Angeles River. Thank you for all that you do for our river and our region.

Sincerely,

Pablo Osorio and Maria Kuzminskaia

River LA's mission is to ensure the 51 mile Los Angeles River integrates design and infrastructure that brings people, water and nature together. We champion river-oriented policy and sustainable public spaces while creating innovative models for community benefit and participation. We would be grateful to have your support as a sustaining donor of the organization.

For more information, feel free to email us directly at info@riverla.org or join our email list.  

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Mark Pestrella named Director of LA County Public Works

 

River LA applauds the County of Los Angeles for naming Mark Pestrella as Director, County of Los Angeles Public Works. Pestrella currently serves as the Acting Director of the Department and will assume his new role on Monday, March 6. LA County Public Works is responsible for the design, construction, operation, and maintenance of roads, bridges, flood control, water supply, water quality, and water conservation facilities.

River LA is currently collaborating with the County and its Public Works Department, as well as regional agencies, city leaders, and community groups, in updating the LA River County Master Plan. The revamped plan aims to create a single comprehensive view of the River that will benefit the community and the environment.

“Mark has been a creative and forward-looking partner that shares our passion for the River,” said Omar Brownson, Executive Director of River LA. “We look forward to continuing our work with him and the County to create a truly connective 51-mile active transportation and recreation corridor along the LA River.”

 

 

 

 


River LA's mission is to ensure the 51 mile Los Angeles River integrates design and infrastructure that brings people, water and nature together. We champion river-oriented policy and sustainable public spaces while creating innovative models for community benefit and participation. We would be grateful to have your support as a sustaining donor of the organization.

 For more information, feel free to email us directly at info@riverla.org or join our email list.   

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My River Supporter Story - Sean McCarthy

 

My Act of Civic Pride

For about the past 5 years I’ve been maintaining and painting over graffiti on the Balboa bridge over the L.A. River in Lake Balboa.

I live one mile from the Balboa Bridge so it has received the lion’s share of my time. I’ve spent, on average 3 hours per week for 5 years painting the bridge including painting over graffiti. After painting the white upper part of the bridge with the Encino Chamber, I painted the space on the inside of the vertical concrete post between each of the two horizontal concrete bars. This took Thanksgiving weekend and the week of Christmas and New Years of 2011 to complete.

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The next project was painting the south side walkway. It took most of the Spring and Summer of 2012. This is where a checkerboard pattern began. In 2012 / 2013 I painted the 36 green railing sections on the top of the bridge. Each side took 2 months to paint. Next, I painted the north side walkway. That was the summer of 2014. 

In 2015 I painted the storm water collector on the southeast side of the bridge. This took about a 2 months to complete. Finally, the summer of 2016, I painted the pillars under the bridge. This project took about 3 months to complete.

I like to think of this as an act civic pride. What began as a public relations exercise has resulted in one of the largest non-sanctioned public art projects in the San Fernando Valley. 

I am very proud of the people who have helped me along the way:

Elders and Sisters of the Church of Latter Day Saints, members of Woodland Hills Rotary and members of the Encino Chamber.

I feel passionate about the River and the work of River LA because the river corridor provides public space at the center of historic Los Angeles. The City is pumping millions of dollars into bike paths for the public to enjoy the river yet it has done very little to combat the ubiquitous graffiti. My concern is that families and individuals feel comfortable and safe walking along the river. That is why I’ve come up with this easy and effective way to combat and ultimately eliminate the eyesore of graffiti.   

Sincerely,

Sean McCarthy

 


River LA's mission is to ensure the 51 mile Los Angeles River integrates design and infrastructure that brings people, water and nature together. We champion river-oriented policy and sustainable public spaces while creating innovative models for community benefit and participation. We would be grateful to have your support as a sustaining donor of the organization.

For more information, feel free to email us directly at info@riverla.org or join 

our email list.  

 

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My River Supporter Story - John O'Hara

 

My River Supporter Story (as a pro bono attorney helping out RiverLA):

I lived in Los Angeles for almost a decade before I finally saw the Los Angeles River.  That's technically not true--like any other fan of Terminator 2: Judgment Day and the many other movies shot within its concrete banks, I'd seen its vehicle-heavy cameos dozens of times--but I didn't see the River as an ecologically viable, living and flowing waterway until I actually visited it.  

Since that first taste of the River (not literal . . . yet), I've picnicked in its parks, practiced yoga at a brewery a stone's throw from its path, crossed and re-crossed its historic bridges (on the way to some Kanom Krok at LAX-C), run a half-marathon along its banks, admired sparkling classic cars displayed in its bed, and stand-up paddled in its waters as a competitor in a boat race.  It’s always one of my first stops when showing new people around LA, and there’s nothing more satisfying than winning over a River skeptic.

As much fun as I’d had on the River, I didn’t appreciate its true potential and importance (far beyond recreation) until I met Omar of River LA at an L.A. River Night Run put on by Detox Retox Events (now Good Bibes).  We discussed their ongoing Greenway 2020 campaign--to connect all 51 miles of the River together into a single bike and pedestrian network—and their pocket parks under their Rio Vistas initiative.  Ever-charmed and impressed with Omar's grandiose vision for what the River could be for the city, I asked whether I could do anything to help the organization and River revitalization efforts.

In a turn that will surprise no one familiar with the tenacity of the River LA folks, Jason Foster at River LA called my office the next day, pitching the opportunity to help out on a project to create a tool that could help guide the revitalization of the River, viewed as a whole, for years to come.  In the face of that ambitious scope, I had to sign on.

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River LA presents to IVCLA delegates

 

The International Visitors Council of Los Angeles(IVCLA) a non-profit organization that implements the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program of professional and cultural exchanges visited River LA today to share the key insights from large infrastructure projects from their respective countries and hear about the opportunities our region has to bring people, water, and nature together along all 51 miles of the Los Angeles River.

If you are a member of a group that is interested in learning more about the LA River and River LA's efforts, contact us at info@riverla.org.

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Upcoming Events

FoLAR Great LA River CleanUp

Saturday, April 29, 2017 at 09:00 AM · 4 rsvps
Willow Street Estuary in Long Beach , CA
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North Atwater Park in Los Angeles , CA
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