Ellen Mackey is Senior Ecologist with the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, where she has been cataloguing and mapping Los Angeles's native plant population. We spent an afternoon with Dr. Mackey at the base of the San Gabriel Mountains and the Tujunga Wash (one of the many tributaries to the river) and spoke with her about the native plants that once existed in the Los Angeles River.
While describing the role and beauty of these different species, Mackey ran her hand through a stand of California sage. "This is what the official scent of California should be," she said.
Above are videos of ecologist Ellen Mackey explaining how the Tujunga Wash is an exemplifies the original LA River ecosystem.