This month the San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy and Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy opened a new era of joining forces by granting the LARRC with further funding that will help kick off Frank Gehry’s study of the Los Angeles River.
Los Angeles, California- Last week the Los Angeles River Revitalization Corporation (LARRC) received a substantial grant of $500,000 from the San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy to help jumpstart the work of Gehry Partners and its team of experts, including OLIN Landscape Architects, Geosyntec and many others. This team of world class thinkers are collaborating to establish an integrated design study and technical analysis of the Los Angeles River. In addition to the Rivers and Mountains Conservancy grant, LARRC also received a $1 million matching grant from the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy earlier this month.
Both grants directly bolster the goals of the LARRC and Gehry Partners in delivering a data-driven analysis of the river, which will allow Gehry Partners to formulate a set of recommendations for a range of river interventions and capital improvements committed to public spaces that highlight the unique strengths, and effectively address the distinct challenges of the communities along the river. Ultimately, this study will help establish the unique identity and multi-use benefits for the entire 51-mile length of the Los Angeles River, while also maintaining its essential function as a flood control channel.
“The LA River and the entire region received another amazing vote of confidence, this time from the San Gabriel and Lower Los Angeles Rivers and Mountains Conservancy, “ said Omar Brownson, Executive Director of the LA River Revitalization Corporation. “This is truly a momentous occasion that represents a growing will to create a coherent data-driven vision of the entire 51 mile Los Angeles River for sustainable public spaces, while creating innovative models for community benefit and participation.”
“We have this tremendous opportunity before us to work together in recognition of the river,” said Mark Stanley, Executive Officer at the Rivers and Mountains Conservancy. “The river can truly be the signature community benefit that extends 51 miles through the spine of our metropolitan area.”
The public partnership from both conservancies in Los Angeles County represents the broad regional support for LARRC’s goal of establishing an integrated 51-mile river throughout the southland. With the recent and significant influx of funding, LARRC is confident that the assembled design team will be able to accomplish their goals for the LA River study. It is a groundbreaking moment for LARRC and the entire River Community.
“There are portions of the Los Angeles River that can only be adequately envisioned by one of the most creative architects in the world today,” said Joseph T. Edmiston, Executive Director of the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. “Frank Gehry views the physical embodiment of the L.A. River as an opportunity. The river has all this ability to carry water, which is only needed a small fraction of the time. How do we better utilize that space, especially where the river goes through the most disadvantaged communities? We need the best minds to help answer these questions.”
Since the announcement of Gehry’s involvement, a diverse group of local and statewide leaders have publicly supported LARRC’s efforts. As the support continues to grow, stakeholders and elected officials throughout California, including State Assemblymember Anthony Rendon, State Senator Ricardo Lara, and California Secretary of Natural Resources John Laird, have continued to speak on behalf of the LARRC.
“The $500,000 grant from the Rivers and Mountains Conservancy and the previous financial support by the Santa Monica Conservancy toward the Los Angeles River Revitalization Corporation’s 51-mile study represent an historic commitment by key stakeholders to restore the L.A. River,” said Assemblymember Rendon. “I support all efforts to revitalize the L.A. River in its entirety and this financial support is a positive step in the right direction.”
“Revitalization of the L.A. River, particularly the lower L.A. River, is a conversation long overdue,” said Senator Lara. “With today's announcement of new grant funding, we have a unique opportunity to continue developing the river into a resource that all local communities can enjoy and be proud of for generations to come.”
“I applaud all of those that have worked tirelessly to make reality of LA River restoration,” said Secretary Laird. “This milestone for the LA River Revitalization Corp. serves as further testament to the hard work and dedication of the entire LA River restoration community. Ultimately, this is about parks, recreation, healthier lives, and a connection to the natural world in a densely urbanized area.”
The Rivers and Mountains Conservancy and Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy grants are the latest of the recent developments in funding that have supported LARRC’s efforts and Gehry Partner’s study. LARRC will continue to pursue both private and public funding to activate their initial study for the LA River.
About the Los Angeles River Revitalization Corporation
The LARRC is a non-profit organization with a mission to ensure that the 51-mile LA River integrates design and infrastructure that brings people and nature together. The LARRC was created as an independent organization by the City of Los Angeles to support the revitalization of the Los Angeles River. We champion river-oriented policy and sustainable public spaces, while creating innovative models for community benefit and participation.
We believe that the 51-mile Los Angeles River is integral to our quality of life and essential to building the healthy, vibrant, and resilient region in which we all want to live.