Get Your Feet Wet: L.A. River is Now Open for Recreation

For many Angelenos, this year's Memorial Day turned out to be more than just the unofficial first day of the summer -- it was the beginning of a new era. The Los Angeles River, whose concrete channelization in the 1930s created a web of bureaucracy that largely prevented the public from legally entering the river, began its official Pilot Recreation program on this holiday. The natural-bottomed Glendale Narrows section of the river, between Fletcher Drive and San Fernando Road, is now open for recreation until Labor Day.

While a crosstown rivalry was brewing up at Chavez Ravine in Elysian Park, down the hill in Elysian Valley it was all about communities coming together. At Marsh Park, near the north end of the Recreation Zone, city officials, like city councilman-elect Mitch O'Farrell, and long time L.A. River stakeholders, like Lewis MacAdams of Friends of the L.A. River, were seen mingling with those eager to get their feet wet.

Here are views of some of the day's excitement, from kayakers and fishers, to those just enjoying the narrow strip of nature that will hopefully soon be open year-round, and become a sense of pride for all Angelenos. For more information, visit the L.A. River Pilot Recreation Zone website.

L.A. River is open for recreation between Fletcher Drive and San Fernando Road, from Memorial Day to Labor Day Individuals can bring their own kayak, or rent from several organizations who will be offering tours this summer Locals and visitors gathered for the opening speech and ribbon cutting ceremony River access point for kayaks at Marsh Park The banks of the river are open for walking and lounging, though no dogs are allowed The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) are responsible maintaining the program Wayfinding markers indicate points along the river. ''8'' indicated Marsh Park ''Enter at Your Own Risk'' Many observers were excited to see some legal recreation on the river Lewis MacAdams, poet and co-founder of Friends of the L.A. River, was on hand to celebrate the opening of the Recreation Zone Fishing is allowed, with a license, in the Recreation Zone Anglers can expect to find mostly carp in the river waters ''Rattlesnake Rapids'' is one of the entry points for kayakers Photos by Yosuke Kitazawa