First Day at the LA River


Our first field trip to the Los Angeles River was amazing. It was a beautiful sunny day and a great time to be outdoors. We had time to reflect on what we thought about the river before actually meeting an expert on the wild life that is in the river. I did not know that there were 13 different fish species and hundreds of birds that live by the river.

The expert that my class and I got to meet was Shelly Backlar. She told us that she had loved birds ever since she was a little girl and that the wild life of the LA River has helped a lot of animals survive in this great city of LA. We all had fun, walking by the river, and talking to Shelly Backlar about the history and the reason why the Los Angeles River was paved. It turns out that the Los Angeles River was the reason why the Indians came to settle here. They needed a place that provided them with water and food. The River had clean pure water that came from a great distance and the fish from the river gave the Indians food in order to survive.

In 1938, there were two consecutive floods caused by the LA River. It flooded houses, and farms, which killed some people. The LA district decided that for safety reasons the river had to be paved. Unfortunately, the river now is considered a dump, where all the waterways end up on the river and eventually to the ocean.

We feel that we can change the past, and that we can find other ways to conserve this beautiful landmark that contains history, and a beautiful side to nature.

I had been to the River several times. I have walked by it, and thought about how dirty it is. That is all that it has ever been to me - an ugly river. It doesn't even look like a river. Now I know that it is much more than that. Animals actually live there, and I feel bad that people don't properly get rid of their trash, especially the plastic bags that end up inside the river. As my class and I walked by the river we saw a tire, trash bags, a sandal, and chip bags. These are all things that have been caused by humans and it is affecting this beautiful river where wildlife live. The amazing part about this place is that it defended itself from us and it did not let 13 miles of its natural habitat to be paved, but we still have to fix 39 miles of the river.


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