Northeast Los Angeles Placemaking Competition: Atwater Beautification

Project submitted by: Karina Reyes

A project for Atwater Village


Project Summary and Scale

Our project to to have monthly community clean ups, add more trash bins, and lights so people can feel safer in the river.


Why are you committed to this project?

We are committed to this project because we live in the Atwater area and want to improve the river. By improving the river we will get more people to appreciate it.


What are the most relevant characteristics of project site and scale?

The most relevant characteristics is that our team is planning to improve the LA River by adding trash cans, bike/walking lanes and area lights. We also want to have once a month clean ups to beautify the river and make it a friendly environment for everyone to enjoy being there. We care about having the environment of the river clean because it can cause problems for the animals, plants and people.


Describe how this project will reinforce a sense of place or enhance the built environment.

This project will reinforce a sense of place by making the neighborhood look more friendly, and a place anyone will want to go to, and encourage people and community members to join our projects to help have a better sense of togetherness. This is important because many members in the community that are low income and do not have the time or cannot afford to go to nice areas. Having an inviting area for community members to go to will help remedy this problem. Adding vegetation, trash cans, and solar panel lights that are eco-friendly will enhance a sense of place.



Provide a description of the project's necessary planning activities.

For our project, we plan to conduct surveys in order to see what kinds of events, and projects our community members want to see and be a part of. Once we have this information, we plan to spread the word through social media such as Facebook and Twitter, flyers, and posters. By seeing what members in the community would like to have it will give it a sense of place for families and tourists.

What is a rough estimate of your project budget?

In our project we estimate approximately twenty trash cans, also we estimate that we will need around ten solar panel lights that are eco-friendly. Another thing we are going to need is to even out the pavement for a smooth pathway so bikers, runners, and walkers can have a safe walkway. We estimate that our budget will be around 100,000 dollars.


How does this project leverage existing resources and efforts?

Miguel Luna, from Urban Semillas an organization that seeks to promote social justice and cares about the environmental issues- talked to us about suggestions for cleaning and beautifying the river. Mr. Luna is very passionate about this issue because he believes the community residents should have a place to call there own. He also emphasized the need to clean the area because population growth affects the animals and the river, the vegetation, and the residents who can develop breathing illnesses by not having a clean river. Solving these issues can help a lot of issues we are facing today.


What community need is your project serving?

Our project will improve various aspects of the river like improving the water quality and changing the way people view the river. It's also serving a need for having more events at the river like being able to catch healthy fish and kayak, but knowing that the water is clean to do this.


If your project is realized, what does success look like?

If our project gets realized success would be that we would have a cleaner river, which would mean sanitary water, healthy plants and trees, and better air quality for nearby residents and visitors such as tourists. It would give environmental awareness because many people still don't know what affects the river. The river would also have a greener space and would be safer due to having more lights. Most important the community would have pride knowing the river is safer and cleaner to go.


This project was submitted by students from the KCET Departures Youth Voices program. Learn more about their process here.


How to Vote for the People's Choice award: On the bottom of each submission page, is a ballot. Click the titles below to explore the submission, and once you've decided on your favorite, cast your vote. Feel free to vote for more than one (select several at once) and you can submit one vote per day until end of day February 27. See all submissions here.


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