For the first time since the River was channelized, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers studied and approved a plan that looks at removing concrete from stretches of the channel, making way for vegetated, widened, and terraced River banks. The ARBOR Plan focuses on an 11-mile stretch from Griffith Park to downtown Los Angeles, the longest continuous natural-bottom section of River where vegetation and wildlife are plentiful. It sets the gold standard for urban river restoration, identifying places where wetland habitat can be restored, and water quality can be improved without compromising flood protection.
FoLAR is focused on a future for the LA River where equitable public access and ecological restoration are prioritized – removing concrete from the River where appropriate is the best way to accomplish this. That’s why we are calling for over 100 continuous acres of open space along the east bank of the River in the Glendale Narrows. We support concrete removal and meaningful ecological restoration at the Taylor Yard G2 River Park project, which will reconnect people with nature, and we oppose the Casitas Lofts Luxury Development, which threatens to choke off public access to and restoration of the River.
Promoting green infrastructure as a means to return wildlife habitat, clean runoff, and recharge aquifers, while also improving public health and community wellness are key to this effort. Now more than ever FoLAR must continue to inspire and involve diverse community members – especially those in the disadvantaged communities proximal to the 100 acres – through the Great LA River CleanUp, Source to Sea watershed education, and Crack the Concrete Community Engagement programs.