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TABLE OF CONTENTS Welcome Greetings from the MRCA

L.A. River Yes, L.A. Has a River! MRCA Opens New Park River Pocket Parks


p.3 p.8 p.9

Partnerships and Programs Kayak Trips on the River L.A. River Cleanup

p.11 p.12

The Natural Side The Living River


Front Coverr: Soft-bottom portion of the LA River

Greetings from the MRCA... Dear Friends,

The saying “Out of sight, out of mind” certainly applies to our Los Angeles River, as you’ll read in this summer issue of Symbiosis.

Here’s a good question: Can a city truly forget about “its only significant river?!” If there was ever an example of such a case, it would be Los Angeles with the L.A. River. For decades, hidden underneath freeway overpasses, behind unsightly gates, and encased in cement, many residents and visitors never see, or unfortunately even know there is the L.A. River, an important natural feature of L.A. Initially the river played a major role in defining Los Angeles, from the city’s location to the layout of its streets, railroads, and houses.

As you know, cities built near rivers initially integrate its benefits into the city’s infrastructure and people depended on rivers as a source of water and transportation. In the early years of our city, the L.A. River performed in similar ways, but has since been stripped of much of its character and functionality.

Fortunately, attitudes and perspectives are beginning to change as many are recognizing the L.A. River as not just a storm drain, but that it can be transformed into something much more, such as a place for recreation, and for communities to gather. Working alongside cities, nonprofit organizations, and other groups, the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority is creating parks, trails, and natural lands next to the L.A. River. Places like Marsh Park and Confluence Plaza aim to reconnect the people of Los Angeles to their river. And this is just the beginning as more river friendly projects are on the horizon. In fact, just recently a kayaking program has been created for the L.A. River with the MRCA Rangers playing a key role in its operation.

In this edition of Symbiosis, we focus on the past and future of the river, and how the MRCA is playing a major role in the revitalization. I hope you enjoy these stories about our projects and programs along the river, as we work hard to bring back life to this once forgotten river.


George Lange, Chair Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority

2 Symbiosis

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