Compiling the Evidence: Cleaning up the L.A River

Los Angeles River in Atwater Village

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 Angelels Riverfront Collaborative. The students have formed teams to explore and investigate their communities, map assets, collect and share stories, data and community input for their projects. All the while they are learning and expanding their knowledge of digital media and civic engagement. Follow their work here and on Instagram and Twitter (@team_blue5) by using #kcetyv.


Our team is working on cleaning the L.A River in order to get more people to come and visit and enjoy the river. We really want to make the river a better place for the entire community. If we get people to get involved with our project and the river they will be aware of how important it is to take care of the river.

We chose this community cause because we feel some people may not know the importance of the river and how it can affect the community around it and the wildlife. We want to improve the river and make it better.

What did you learn about this issue in the community?
We learned that many people don't pay attention to what is going on in the river. We feel its important to keep our environment clean. We learned that we can make a difference in our community's future.

Who did you interview?
We interviewed a neighborhood resident named Araceli Melendez, and an expert named Miguel Luna. Miguel is a community advocate for a variety of issues surrounding the L.A. River.

They pretty much agreed that it's very important to keep the river clean. They would also like to participate in the river clean up we would organize.

They suggested having a meeting with the community to see what they think of our ideas and if they have any suggestions or ideas of their own to make our project better.

What are other ideas towards improving this aspect of your community that you've come up with or discovered?
Some ideas include having monthly meetings to discuss the river clean ups, when we should have them, and how we are going to dispose of all the trash we collect.

What is the community support for your cause?
The community members we have talked to mostly agree with our project and think it's important to keep the river clean and nice.

How does your team plan on encouraging community involvement in your team's cause?
We could have meetings to encourage awareness so people can know how important it is to keep the river clean and also learn about different ways they can get involved.

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