Projects - River LA

We Build to Transform the River.

We design to attract public and private dollars for projects that spur river revitalization for everyone. This approach positions us to leverage and build upon an anticipated 1 billion dollars in federal funding as a part of the US Army Corp of Engineers's focus on river ecosystem restoration. 

We have a unique value add. We bring the many actors together and navigate complex interests along the Los Angeles River. We are building a broad-based coalition across multiple sectors, working cooperatively and transparently to carry out our mission.


As part of California's Strategic Growth Initiatives, Proposition 84 has funded an urban greening plan to study how to encourage and implement urban agriculture in the Cornfield Arroyo Specific Plan (CASP) area of Los Angeles.



We're committed to improving the design and understanding of implementable urban agriculture in the CASP of Los Angeles as a means to create a healthy, sustainable neighborhood by strategizing a single green planning framework inclusive of a multiplicity of goals.



A successful greening plan will be impactful, feasible, identifiable, and maintainable. It will focus on connecting people to the land and each other, equitable access to passive and active green space, economic opportunities at all scales, and enabling a livable community that promotes health and stewardship.





“Rio Vistas” are street ends by the LA River which are public rights-of-way that can be transformed for aesthetic, recreational and environmental benefit. As outlined by the LA River Revitalization Master Plan, more than 300 streets intersect with the LA River. Many of these cul de sacs are unmarked, overgrown, derelict or have unauthorized private encroachments.  


In conjunction with Glen Dake/Miguel Luna (GDML) and the NELA Riverfront Collaborative, we worked with LA River High School students, community members, school administrators, and industry professionals to design and develop ’shovel-ready’ projects along the LA River in Elysian Valley, where 27 streets dead end into the LA River. LA River High School students applied project learning to the design of sustainable interventions that convert neglected street ends into community assets or “Rio Vistas” for public use. With community input and participation, students developed designs for three Rio Vistas that abut the L.A. River in Elysian Valley.

Improving street ends will re-orient neighborhoods towards the LA River, open up access to the existing bike path, and allow for enjoyment of waterfront open space. Rio Vistas could include installing green infrastructure, improving pathways, benches, and adding low-maintenance, drought-resistant plantings.

RIO VISTAS: Micro Grants

There has never been a better opportunity to reinvest in, reimagine the use of, and transform the future of the LA River for the greater good of our region. The time has come for us to create more than a river of concrete--to create:

  • A revitalized waterway safely enhancing the quality and quantity of water flowing through our region.

  • A reimagined landscape providing abundant parks and open space while nurturing our region’s natural biodiversity.

  • A connected network of neighborhoods uniting our region with improved mobility and shared access to arts, culture, recreation and community programming.

We believe a healthy, vibrant and resilient river region is going to take creative public-private partnerships driven by transparent data, broad participation, and beautiful design--from our collaboration with LA-based architect Frank Gehry, a diverse group of technical experts, and the public to evaluate the river’s possibilities across all 51 miles to create the LA River Index; to the Greenway 2020 movement we helped launch that has every mile of the Los Angeles River Greenway currently in planning, design, or under construction; to our Rio Vistas parklettes that provide access to the LA River and create space for communities to engage with each other and their neighbors.

The Opportunity

As outlined by the LA River Revitalization Master Plan, more than 300 streets intersect with the LA River. Many of these dead end streets have fences or barriers that prevent safe access to the LA River. River LA worked with LA River High School students, community members, and industry professionals to design and transform 3 street-ends into access points, or Rio Vistas, along the LA River in Elysian Valley.

Rio Vistas is a collaborative project led by River LA that aims to transform street-ends into vibrant community access points along the LA River. We are currently seeking community partners to help us activate our pilot sites in Elysian Valley.

The community-led designs on Newell, N. Coolidge, and Clearwater streets include low-maintenance drought resistant landscaping; the removal of derelict fencing, graffiti, and bulky items; as well as community driven art and other riverly amenities. They help re-orient our neighborhood towards the LA River, provide safe access to the existing bike path, and allow for enjoyment of the waterfront open space.

While we are building out the sites, we are looking for neighbors and community partners to help us spread the word about the project and bring people together along the LA River.

We plan to award up to ten $1,000 micro-grants. Apply here for a $1,000 grant to host a #RioVistas event at the street-ends and along the greenway to engage the local community and build support for the LA River.

Terms & Conditions

The events should be participatory and engaging, but we’d love to see what you can dream up regarding the format and design.

River LA has a few special requests which will apply to every grant and they are as follows:

* River LA will send out invitations to and publicize every awarded Micro Grant.
* Micro Grant winners will also send out invitations and publicize their projects.
* Micro Grant winners will provide source material for River LA to use to help publicize awarded activations, including, but not limited to:

- Team Head Shots
- Team Bios
- Blue prints/planning documents
- Any photo/video/print collateral that we might be able to repurpose
- River LA requires that each awarded Micro Grant include an event check-in and that the check-in data is shared with 
River LA.
- River LA reserves the right to table at each awarded activation, which could include but is not limited to sharing River 
LA materials and surveying attendees.
- River LA reserves the right to set up banners and related signage at every awarded Micro Grant’s check-in station.
- River LA reserves the right to do a 5-minute introduction at the start of every awarded activation.

We encourage all events and programs to build on the special sense of place and vibrancy that exists along the LA River in Elysian Valley. Local organizations and young people are strongly encouraged to apply. A 501c3 designation is not required. If you are not a 501c3, a 1099-MISC IRS form may apply.

A certain number of micro-grants will be set aside for proposals that demonstrate cross-community and cross-river collaborations anchored by an Elysian Valley representative, e.g. organizations from up and down the LA River partnering with Elysian Valley groups, etc.

Events should take place between September 2016 and August 2017. Once grantees are chosen, we will schedule one grantee event/program(s) per month. Marketing and technical assistance will also be provided as needed.

We hope to learn what about the LA River is exciting to you, as well as whether there are additional data we might track or activations we might promote to keep you coming back.

Applications will be approved on a rolling basis until 12 noon PDT on August 10th, 2016, so please makes sure to apply early. Please email us at with any questions.


We are working to break ground on the first philanthropically-funded bridge in Los Angeles. It will also be the first cable-stayed bridge to be built in the region. LA Kretz crossing will connect the newly-expanded North Atwater Park to the 4,200 acres inside of Griffith Park via a bicycle, pedestrian and equestrian bridge across the Los Angeles River.

The bridge, which will offer spectacular views of the river, the surrounding parks and downtown Los Angeles, will be visible from the adjacent I-5 Freeway and will announce the river’s rebirth to countless travelers each day. We raised nearly 5 million dollars in private funds and is managing the project's development. Currently, we have completed Construction Drawings and anticipate completing the project in 2017.

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