Becoming a Part of the Change on the L.A. River

Melissa examines the data being collected at the NELA Placemaking Workshop

Last week the the students at the Los Angeles River School (LARS) had a visit from George Villanueva, project manager for the Northeast Los Angeles Riverfront Collaborative (NELA RC). He discussed the mission of the collaborative, and shared some of the work the NELA RC has been doing in the community.

Youth Voices students are currently developing projects that connect to this larger re-envisioning of the river, with the focus distinctly on what they can do to improve their communities. Most of the students live in the five neighborhoods along the river in northeast Los Angeles: Glassell Park, Lincoln Heights, Cypress Park, Elysian Valley, and Atwater Village -- areas directly affected by the changes taking place along the river. The objective of Youth Voices at the L.A. River School is to support and encourage the students to becomes leaders of their communities, and advocates for the type of change they want to see.

NELA RC project manager George Villanueva presenting to the Youth Voices class.

LARS students think about what's missing in their community.jpg

Later that evening some of the students attended the last of the five NELA Placemaking workshops that was taking place at the Glassell Park Senior Center. They heard from members of LA Más and Mia Lehrer+Associates, as well as other members of the Glassell Park community, and helped identify the area's resources, points of interest, and community assets. The goal of this, as well as the previous four workshops, was to help define a common vision for the community, and identify viable projects that can implement that vision.

It was great to see the students ask questions, share their ideas, and become part of this discussion and planning. We will be revisiting some of the ideas they explored at the workshop, as the LARS students continue to refine and develop their projects and their vision for a Northeast L.A. riverfront.

A student finds his neighborhood on a map. <em>Photo by Justin Cram</em>

LARS student identifying community assets and resources.

How long is your commute? <em>Photo by Justin Cram</em>


LARS students

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