On the heels of Worldchanging LA writer Foster Kerrison's in-depth series about the LA River, the City of Los Angeles released its much-anticipated Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan -- a comprehensive plan to make our river into something more than an ugly concrete channel.
The $2 billion Master Plan lays out a 20-year blueprint to makeover the 32-mile section of the LA River within the City of Los Angeles; the entire river spans 51 miles. Plans consists of 239 projects, including a massive clean-up of the river, creation of new parks in many parts of the city, and an effort to allow more vegetation and wetlands to replace some of the concrete in serving the river's current flood-control role.
This revitalization effort connects social, cultural, economic, and environmental issues by bringing diverse communities together to participate in shaping each revitalization project. Projects must serve multiple uses, from creating public access to new parks and other recreational spaces, to restoring nature and putting sustainable practices into place, to encouraging sustainable economic development, thereby adding value to underutilized areas and communities.
The Master Plan effort was spearheaded by the Los Angeles Ad Hoc River Committee, established in June 2002 and currently composed of 5 members of Los Angeles City Council. With the intent "to function as a clearinghouse for River projects, to encourage community involvement in River improvements, and to help coordinate River-related projects within the City," the LA Ad Hoc River Committee officially began working on the Master Plan on September 2005, with funding from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.
To foster community involvement and stakeholder input, a series of workshops have been organized. The next public workshops (PDF) -- the first since the Master Plan's unveliling -- will be held later this month, beginning with one on Feb. 24, 2007, in Boyle Heights. Each workshop will include a 1-hour discussion of the plan, followed by public hearings.
So attend a workshop to learn more and to put in your two cents; you can also comment through the Master Plan website after reading the Master Plan, all of which is avaliable for download. Still not sure where the LA River is? Here's a nice PDF map to get you started on your river quest.