Imagine a dead end–the only thing between you and a walking path along the LA River is a chain link fence.
Now, imagine that instead of a fence, there was open access to the LA River Bike Path. Instead of a fence, there’s a little ‘parklet,’ providing shade, a place to sit, a water fountain to refill your bottle, and a beautiful mural. Instead of a barrier, an entrance, and a spot to celebrate all of this in the middle of LA.
River LA set out to help make these visions a reality through our Rio Vistas program. Rio Vistas are designed by the community for the community in an effort to breathe new life into street-ends in the most creative and inclusive ways possible.
What are Rio Vistas?
Rio Vistas are street-ends that are public rights-of-way we’re transforming into opportunities to access aesthetic, recreational, and environmental benefits along the LA River. But more than that, they’re just really cool.
LA River High School students, community members, Glen Dake/Miguel Luna (GDML) and the NELA Riverfront Collaborative, industry professionals, and everybody in between have teamed up with River LA to design and develop ‘shovel-ready’ projects along the LA River in Elysian Valley.
Why Rio Vistas?
More than 300 streets intersect with the LA River, many of which have barriers that prevent safe access to the LA River. We believe the LA River is at the heart of a healthy, vibrant, and resilient region we all deserve. Rio Vistas are one solution to the lack of access to the LA River.
As part of the River LA’s Placemaking approach, a key component of the Rio Vistas program is activating the places we build. We’ve done that through a Micro Grant program, awarding $1,000 grants for people that feel a passion for the LA River to plan and create experiences to share with their friends and neighbors at our Rio Vistas.
More than physically building improvements to space, these individuals and organizations are creating experiences that celebrate the area and the surrounding neighborhoods.
When Will These Launch?
Landscaping on our first three Rio Vistas has already begun with the next phase of construction scheduled to begin later this spring. For those of you too eager to wait until the parklettes are complete (like us!), we have some events in the spaces we’d love for you to attend:
May 13, 12:00 pm | Rio Vistas Micro Grant Activation featuring Rosalie Lopez
May 27, 12:00 pm | Rio Vistas Micro Grant Activation featuring Broccoli City
June 17, 12:00 pm | Rio Vistas Micro Grant Activation featuring LA Walks
July 15, 12:00 pm | Rio Vistas Micro Grant Activation featuring Las Fotos
July 29, 12:00 pm | Rio Vistas Micro Grant Activation featuring SKNSMK + BENDER
Want to get involved?
We’re so excited about these Rio Vistas and the work of these individuals, organizations, and their networks. If you’re as excited as we are, and want to join our work, consider starting a project like these for your neighborhood. We love to hear stories of the LA River Community empowering each other, so be sure to follow us on social media and share your #OurLARiver pics!
We can’t do this without the support and work of river advocates like you.