The NELA River Collaborative project builds upon the growing momentum of efforts already underway to transform the Los Angeles River into a "riverfront district" and to create a focal point of community revitalization. For more information visit www.mylariver.org
KCET Departures is the media partner of the Northeast Los Angeles Riverfront Collaborative.
On April 27, 2013, the Northeast L.A. Riverfront Collaborative hosted the River Bike + Walk Spectacular at Marsh Park in Elysian Valley. During the festivities, community members and visitors shared their stories and experiences of the river as part of the KCET Departures StoryShare event. Here are their stories.
Name: Miguel Ramos
Occupation: Organizer for Multicultural Communities for Mobility
My name is Miguel Ramos. I'm an organizer right here in the Northeast LA for an organization called Multicultural Communities for Mobility. We focus on low income areas and we want to bring more infrastructure for people for pedestrians and cyclists through these areas.
What has been your experience with the L.A. River?
My L.A., I've lived in the Northeast side of Los Angeles for all my life. So I've always been around the river and it's just, the experience around the river has always been changing, but it's always natural. It's part of the environment. As you can see here in the background we have a lot of the vegetation, fishes passing by, birds flying by, and you always get the people from the community kind of walking around on the paths. So it's always been very beautiful.
How would you envision a "Riverfront District" in Northeast L.A.?
I would envision the riverfront as open space, a big open public green space, where people can have access and find ways to connect with other communities. Because this stretch of the river goes for miles and miles. So I think connecting all these communities along the riverfront would be crucial for this sustainability of the river, for it to stay green, for people to get more involved, how it could be more sustainable in the urban environment.
How would you connect those communities?
My way of connecting these communities would be through a bicycle. I love riding my bike. I ride my bike all the time. I use the river path all the time. So it would be amazing just to see all these people of these communities connect through the bicycle, just to have something in common that they could connect to, and not only that but the open space that they have right next to them.
How do you think the transformation of the L.A. River will change your community?
I think it'll definitely benefit the community, if it's envisioned in a way where it gets more of the community input, you know. That's always crucial as well, making sure that the community is mostly aware of what's happening along the river, just so the community can change with the river, and they can both be happy with each other.
If there was one place in Northeast L.A. that you would change, where would it be and how would you change it?
For me I love the river how it is, but I mean to make it more of an accessible space, I'd love to, the whole river, being able to have easier access, to all the communities of Los Angeles, not just the ones on the riverfront.
Fill in the blank: "I want my L.A. River to be..."
I want my L.A. River to be green.
Tell us your vision for a Riverfront District using the form below. Click here to see more interviews.