Northeast Los Angeles Placemaking Competition: Elysian Valley Monthly Cleanups

Project submitted by Melissa Munoz

Project designed for Elysian Valley


Project Summary and Scale

We want to improve the quality and environment of the L.A. River in Elysian Valley by organizing monthly clean-ups, installing new trash cans and encourage more community residents to participate. We are Team Green from the L.A. River School.


Why are you committed to this project?

We're committed to this project because the river is important to us, its been part of our lives for a long time, we'd like to see a difference happen and get more people aware of the issue. We want to decrease the amount of trash around and in the river.


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

The most relevant characteristics of the river is the amount of trash and the stuff that we see in the river. Also the lack of people that go to the river because they think it's a dirty river. People are not aware how the litter they throw in the river affects everything. We are focusing our efforts in Elysian Valley because that is where we live.


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

This project could increase the river's biodiversity and appeal. If we succeed with our plan on reducing the trash, wild life that disappeared a while ago will return. By reducing the trash in river the vegetation will increase, enhancing the river's beauty. The biodiversity in the river won't be the only thing that would improve with this project. By improving the look of the river it will attract individuals around the community to visit this landmark and take their time to appreciate it. If the river looks positive, people will have a positive outlook on it too.



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

We will need about 30 trash cans, solar panels, doggy bags, and signs. The trash cans have to be attached to the lamp post to prevent theft. Also we would like to have picture on the trash cans that represent parts of the river or the community, get some people to help paint them if they want. We will also contact organizations that help deal with the river clean ups that we will want to have every month. Like the second Saturday of the month.


What is a rough estimate of your project budget?

Our cost estimate for each trash can would be about $300, and one trash can would be located at about every four light poles. Each solar panel would cost around $300 to $600 dollars. A pack of doggy bags would cost around $30 each. The cost for each sign to notify people would cost would be around $30 each. We would reach out to community organizations, businesses, and schools to see if they want to sponsor a trash can and its up keep.


How does this project leverage existing resources and efforts?

We will contact organizations (FOLAR, LARRC, etc.), community members, schools, and businesses already active in river revitalization to partner in this effort. Each trash can will have the organizations name, logo, and website/twitter, that way they will also get people aware of their organizations. They would also be able to financially sponsor the trash can. We would work with all these people and organizations to schedule the clean ups. That way hopefully more people can get involved on a regular basis.


What community need is your project serving?

The community need that our project is serving is reducing the trash in the L.A. River so it can attract more people. The river has been a recreational place for many years. People go to hang out, walk, take a ride on their bike, but the issue that has kept people away has been the amount of trash along the river. With river cleans ups the river will slowly but surely begin to become better. It could teach young children from the community how trash that we produce could affect others, themselves, and future generations, and get people aware.


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

If our project is realized more people from our community will participate in keeping the river clean and see the benefits of working together. We will see more families and friends having a good time in a clean river environment. We will see the transformation of the river in Elysian Valley.


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