Long a neglected part of our city's landscape, the Los Angeles River once defined life in the area. Before there was a California, or even a United States, the Gabrieleño Indians had a community of over 45 villages dotting the San Fernando Valley and present day Glendale, and the River was their foundation, providing water and a diverse selection of food.
Although the river was fairly dry for most of the year, winter rains often brought with them dramatic and unpredictable flash floods well into the 1930s. After a devastating flood in 1938, Angelenos began to demand flood control measures, resulting in the Army Corps of Engineers' work over the next 30 years to essentially turn the river into a man-made storm drain.
Now, work on the Los Angeles River has moved from flood control to conservation, as advocacy groups and individuals take on the task of preserving and restoring the river and its wildlife. The Los Angeles River itself is increasingly the site of artistic, social, and educational activity, once becoming a lifeline linking a growing and diverse population.
What is your L.A. River story? Share with us the stories, memories, and places of interest along the 52-mile waterway that cuts through and connects our city.
Tell us your L.A. River story in the "Responses" tab above.