Artbound

Artbound

Start watching
Fine Cut

Fine Cut

Start watching
SoCal Wanderer

SoCal Wanderer

Start watching
a large damn with graffiti of a woman with a hammer on it, mountains in the background

Earth Focus Presents

Start watching
Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali

Start watching
Southland Sessions

Southland Sessions

Start watching
Professor T

Professor T (Belgium)

Start watching
Emma

Emma

Start watching
Guilt

Guilt

Start watching
Line of Separation Key Art.

Line of Separation

Start watching
Us

Us

Start watching
The Latino Experience

The Latino Experience

Start watching
Key Art of "Summer of Rockets" featuring Keeley Hawes and Toby Stephens.

Summer of Rockets

Start watching
Death in Paradise Series 10

Death in Paradise

Start watching
millionaire still

KCET Must See Movies

Start watching
Independent Lens

Independent Lens

Start watching
Tending Nature
New Special Airing Nov. 14

Tending Nature

Start watching
Earth Focus

Earth Focus

Start watching
City Rising

City Rising

Start watching
Lost LA

Lost LA

Start watching
Member
Your donation supports our high-quality, inspiring and commercial-free programming.
Support Icon
Discover all the ways you can make a difference.
Support Icon
The Leadership, Advancement, Membership and Special Events teams are here to help.

Exploration: Students Visit the L.A. River's Bowtie Parcel

Support Provided By
LFCSA Students visiting the Bowtie Parcel for the 1st time | Photo: Evelyn Serrano
LFCSA Students visiting the Bowtie Parcel for the 1st time | Photo: Evelyn Serrano

Students from the Los Feliz Charter School for the Arts are re-imagining the Bowtie Parcel along the Los Angeles River as part of a project entitled, the L.A. River Design Project. Youth Voices is highlighting the student's work and creative process as it connects to our civic engagement and digital media curriculum.

The Los Angeles River is the longest paved waterway in the world, running through thirteen different cities as it winds its way from Canoga Park to the Pacific Ocean. The 51 miles provide a home to two-hundred species of birds and nineteen species of reptiles and amphibians. The waterway has also appeared in dozens of movies, but remains largely invisible even to people who pass by several times a day.

The Los Feliz Charter School for the Arts (LFCSA) is located near the L.A. River, just north of the area known as the Bowtie Parcel. Although restricted from accessing the River by railroad tracks and fences, the school community nonetheless feels a strong connection to the River. Third grade students from the school are currently on a journey to learn more about the River and envision it's future. The L.A. River Design Project is an opportunity for these students to participate in a process of re-imaging what the Bowtie Parcel could become, and for city planners to benefit from the unique insight that children can provide.

The L.A. River Design Project is a product of the Arts for L.A. ACTIVATE program. The Design Project was imagined by ACTIVATE program member and LFCSA parent, Sonny Calderon, who proposed a project that would be replicable in other schools, and would have at its core the focus on youth as active participants in the life of their city.

For their project the LFCSA students will design a public use plan for the space, and create models that could be used by city officials as inspiration for the actual planning of the parcel. This allows the students to delve deeper into our understanding and stewardship of the river, while developing a sense of civic agency as full participants in the life of their city.

In April, students took a short field trip onto the lot and learned about preservation and exploration of the river's ecosystem with representatives from California State Parks, which owns the Bowtie Parcel, and staff from Clockshop, a multifaceted arts organization based in Elysian Valley.

Photo by Charlie L., Student
Photo by Charlie L., Student

Armed with a discovery worksheet and digital cameras, students set out to capture their observations of what they saw, smelled, and felt alongside the L.A. River. Guided by questions such as "What information can you gather using your senses?" and "What could be improved about this place?" students saw this unique space with wonder and potential.

Charlie's Worksheet
Charlie's Worksheet
Linus' Worksheet
Linus' Worksheet

Other students used their digital cameras to capture images of the native and non-native plants, and the animal life that thrives alongside the riverbank.

Photo by Simon B., Student
Photo by Simon B., Student
Photo by Simon B., Student
Photo by Simon B., Student
Photo by Simon B., Student
Photo by Simon B., Student
Photo by Charlie L., Student
Photo by Charlie L., Student

Students also explored and learned about "The Unfinished Obelisk," a temporary installation by artist Michael Parker located on the Bowtie Parcel as part of The Bowtie Project, a collaboration between California State Parks and Clockshop to activate the unused parcel. The horizontal 137-foot monolith is a smaller scale replica of an Ancient Egyptian archaeological site.

Photo by Charlie L., Student
Photo by Charlie L., Student

Support Provided By
Read More
a fire truck with smoke in the background

California Tribes Support Each Other and Seek Inclusion in State Wildfire Response

State agencies' lack of familiarity with Native lands has often led to interference with tribal evacuation efforts and unnecessary destruction of culturally sensitive habitat. To address the significant gaps between tribal needs and available assistance, even the smallest tribes do whatever it takes to care for their members and support other tribes.
a man rides his bike across an intersection and the air in hazy

The Health Effects of Wildfire Smoke Hit Vulnerable People Harder

Wildfire smoke can travel hundreds, even thousands, of miles downwind, exacerbating health conditions and impacting marginalized communities most.
 Sign reading "Imperial Beach" with sunset in the background.

A Small-Town Mayor Sued the Oil Industry. Then Exxon Went After Him.

The mayor of Imperial Beach, California, says big oil wants him to drop the lawsuit demanding the industry pay for the climate crisis.