How Do You Use the Los Angeles River?

The Gabrieliños bathed and fished in it; Mexicans built an aqueduct from it; gringos grazed their cattle on it; artists perform and intervene on it; council members played in it; fly fishing aficionados pull from it; the homeless find free, safe sustenance from it: graffiti artists paint Google-sized murals on it; immigrants eat from it; cyclists ride by it; kayakers surf through it; kids walk and hike by it; people ride horses beside it. But what about you? How do you use the L.A. River?

We want to learn how you use the River so that our city officials can make an informed decision about how to revitalize it. Please fill out the brief questionnaire below and let us know what you think. Our Regional Water Quality Control Board, Council District #1 and KCET Departures thank you for your time and support.

Herald-Express photographer Coy Watson Jr. (left) and reporter Fred Eldridge attempt a boat expedition from Hyperion Ave. to Long Beach. This storm was the inducement to begin concrete channelization of the L.A. River.

Courtesy of Los Angeles Public Library


Riverboy: "The Mask", A Poem by Lewis MacAdams


Rosaries, A Poem by Ann Pibel

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I love this city and most of its efforts to preserve, renew and revitalize many of its treasures. One treasure that has been over looked and often vilified is the spontaneous art work created in and around the river. From the giant lowrider cars painted near atwater village that were visible from the 5 fwy. to the 2 largest graffiti murals ever painted. What may at a glance seem like an dubious distinction has a great socio-cultural importance as well as an art historical one. It was recognized by the natural history museum in its exhibit about the life of the LA river. It also appears in art books available at the Musée du Louvre. For whatever reason some more conservative members on the city leadership fail to see it for what it truly is. It is a vital part of the city where future art stars are born, where creative expression is nurtured and it gives a home to a vital art movement that has grown to a world wide form of expression. I almost every industrialized country in the world there are giant graffiti parks, festivals and events celebrating this urban art movement. Los Angeles used to be the mural capital of the world. What happened LA? Can we find a way to bring this aspect safely and respectfully back into part of the LA river tradition. Is there a way for this art form to continue to exist it one of its most important homes. Or should we let the energy spill back onto the street were there is no time to develop an art only a few seconds to mark a scrawl on the wall to remind you that the youth is here and they are hungry to express themselves?


The L.A. River is one of our greatest resources. But among our primary concerns should be the continued restoration of habitat for native species. Kudos to FoLAR for its annual cleanup.


Elysian Valley residents are taking action to stop train noise and pollution along the LA River in Taylor Yard. Elyisian Valley residents started this process when no one in city hall or any government employee would listen. Kudo's to the residents of Elysian Valley for speaking up for their rights. Cypress Park residents need to join them because this issue includes them. They also live along the river.

City councilmembers care about the river to make themselves look good but do not care about "people" that live along the river.

Please look at the website and attend this very important meeting.