River LA works with community stakeholders and residents to create a healthy, vibrant, and resilient LA River region. Over the years, we’ve done this in a variety of ways. Scroll down to see some of our most successful engagement work and be sure to check out our blog for the latest news from the LA River.
Los Angeles River Master Plan
The Los Angeles County Department of Public Works started a two-year process to update the Los Angeles River Master Plan (LARMP) in March of 2018. We lead the community engagement and outreach in partnership with other nonprofits, local leaders, and people living along the river.
This plan builds upon the work of previous river plans, which you can reference below:
In 2013, River LA launched Greenway 2020 to advocate for connecting all 51 miles of the LA River Bike Path. Collaborating with other community partners, River LA hosted community one-on-ones, policy brown bag lunches with stakeholders, and community activations. Once the 51 miles of the LA River are connected, the LA River will be one of the longest urban recreational arteries in the country.
Rio Vistas Micro Grants
Through Summer 2017, River LA provided micro-grants to community partners, organizations, and local enterprises that drove cultural programming at street ends near the LA River. These grants empowered people to engage with local communities on projects and issues relating to the river. These grants celebrated quality public spaces that maximize shared value, build and nurture the relationship between people and their environment, and help create resilient and thriving cities. This was part of our large Rio Vistas program, which you can read further about here. Below you'll find some sample events from the river!
Broccoli City’s Hashtag Lunchbag Event (Pictured above) - Broccoli City’s Rio Vistas satellite event emphasized bringing diversity to give back to the community along the river. Broccoli City partnered with Hashtag Lunchbag to host an afternoon of dancing, courtesy of DJ Printz, sandwich making, and celebrating our great river.
LA Walks - La Walks is hosting a Rio Vistas “Walk ‘n’ Roll” to walk the LA River to advocate for safe, accessible, fun and equitable walking. This Placemaking event highlighted areas of the river in need of repairs while bringing together walkers of all ages!
Lower LA River Working Group
River LA served as a member of the state-appointed Lower LA River Working Group (LRWG), a network of:
political and community stakeholders,
and members of the public from the southeast cities of LA County.
River LA worked as members of the community to identify ways to make important progress on the river. The LRWG explored ways to retain the important health and safety needs of flood control while considering opportunities to address issues related to economics, health, equity, safety, accessibility, and connectivity in the corridor’s communities. This Working Group was created by legislation passed by California State Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon.
In 2016, River LA hosted a series of public listening sessions titled “River LA Listens.” The Listening Sessions were attended by over 200 members of the public and focused on community-specific topics. Using the LA River Index, each conversation shared in-depth reports detailing on a variety of river-focused issues. This included:
the multi-benefit design opportunities for community-desired equitable and sustainable land use;
water quality improvements and reclamation;
parks and open space with green infrastructure;
and social equity.
At each session, River LA facilitated conversations between community members and shared progress updates on the creation of the LA River Index. River LA also conducted over 1,000 digital surveys to collect wider feedback on the Los Angeles River from community members unable to attend the sessions.
Urban AG on the CASP
The Cornfield Arroyo Specific Plan (CASP) allowed urban agriculture as a land use for the first time in 2014. We applied for and secured a Prop 84 grant to do a feasibility study to explore opportunities to create a healthy, sustainable neighborhood by strategizing a single green planning framework inclusive of a multiplicity of goals.
We researched how zoning changes could allow for a district to emerge from both a possible land-use perspective ('Where should what be located, e.g., high-intensity controlled environment farms vs low-yield raised-bed farms.') as well as an economic perspective ('Can our proposal of this ideal land actually provide sustainable business opportunities?').
Our assumptions always tied back to the LA River and creating complete streets. In the end, we delivered a feasibility study whose conclusions led us to believe Urban Ag in the CASP is a viable district model.