Community Interview: Araceli Melendez on Cleaning Up the L.A. River

Youth Voices is working with students from the Los Angeles River School to re-imagine the L.A. River and the surrounding communities as part of the Northeast Los Angeles Riverfront Collaborative. The student teams are exploring and investigating their communities by mapping assets, conducting outreach, and collecting stories through interviews with local residents and experts. Follow their work here and on Twitter and Instagram at #kcetyv.

Our community cause is cleaning up the L.A river. It is very important to keep the river clean because everyone is affected by the trash in the river, whether they are on a bike, walking, or just sitting on the banks. And of course the fishes and birds that are in the L.A. River are especially affected.

Araceli Melendez is a resident of Elysian Valley. We selected her for our interview because she has been involved in other river projects, like the Rio Vista Project. She also goes running in the river and would really like to change and improve some of the problems she sees.

What do you think are some ways we can improve the L.A River?
We can clean the L.A River. We can start by making our community cleaner because everything we throw on the streets goes into the river.

How long have you lived by the L.A River?
I have lived by the L.A River since 8th grade, so about five years.

What are some things about the river you think need to be fixed?
First is the trash that is in the L.A River, we can have river clean ups and get volunteers. Getting volunteers means getting the word out to more people.


Community Interview: Miguel Luna from Urban Semillas


Community Interview: Elysian Valley Resident Ruth Gallardo