NBCUniversal Evolution Plan contributes $13.5 MILLION to LA River Greenway
On April 23rd, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved the NBC Universal Evolution Plan. As a public benefit, NBCUniversal will help jump-start the effort to revitalize the Los Angeles River by building an almost one-acre trailhead park and providing funding that will allow the County and its partners to complete KEY MISSING LINKS on the LA RIVER BIKEPATH.
“NBCUniversal’s unprecedented generosity guarantees that not only will there be a riverfront bicycle path past the studio, but that a major share of the planning and design for the long-sought section of bikeway between Studio City and Griffith Park will be accomplished. The cooperation between NBCUniversal and the environmental community has set a very high bar for the rest of the media companies that line the banks of the River’s “Studio Stretch” in the years to come. We can only hope to emulate the fine work Los Angeles County, the Board of Supervisors and NBCUniversal has just made happen.”
Friends of the Los Angeles River
April 23, 2013
Click for additional resources:
Los Angeles Times
Blog Page of County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky
NBCUni Motion Unsigned COUNTY April 2013
Volunteer for La Gran Limpieza: The Great LA River CleanUp on Saturday, May 18, 2013
Invite everyone you know to come out for a work-party down by the river!
We seek event sponsors, in-kind donations and raffle prizes.
15 river sites:
Sepulveda Basin, Haines Canyon Channel, Bette Davis Picnic Area, Glendale Narrows Riverwalk, Arroyo Seco Pasadena, Los Feliz, Sunnynook Footbridge, Marsh Park, Steelhead Park, Fletcher Drive, Bowtie Parcel, Taylor Yard, Compton Creek, Willow Street Estuary, & Golden Shore Marine Reserve
Service hour certificates available.
LA River Pilot Recreation Zone in Glendale Narrows Summer 2013
NEW LA River PILOT RECREATION ZONE WEBSITE
The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority is excited to announce the launch of the new L.A. River Pilot Recreation Zone. From Memorial Day to Labor Day this summer, for the first time ever, any member of the public will be able to take their kayak down to the L.A. River in Elysian Valley—on a 2.5 mile stretch from Fletcher downstream to Figueroa. MRCA rangers will be watching out for safety, and anyone can come on down to that stretch of the river every day during daylight hours to walk, kayak or fish.
Inflatables will not be allowed. A fishing license from the Department of Fish and Wildlife will be required.
Trail Map by MRCA
LA CITY CLERK SITE for MOTION 11-1403
Echo Park PATCH ARTICLE
LA RIVER FLYFISHING BLOG
Download a PDF of the 38-page DRAFT PILOT PROGRAM REPORT
Sepulveda Basin South Reserve Vegetation Plan Creates Controversy
VEGETATION DENUDED at HASKELL CREEK CONFLUENCE TO LA RIVER (Photo by Glenn Bailey)
On December 22, during a bird count, the San Fernando Valley Audubon Society discovered work done by the US Army Corps of Engineers in the Sepulveda Basin South Wildlife Reserve. Much vegetation was cleared, and a decomposed granite path was bulldozed into a utility road. The USACE has halted work until a meeting is held with local environmental groups about the project.
The South Reserve is bounded by Burbank Blvd to the north and Sepulveda Dam to the south. This includes the confluence of Haskell Creek and the Los Angeles River. This area is an end point to permitted summer kayak runs.
TRACKS FROM HEAVY EQUIPMENT CREATE A NEW UTILITY ROAD IN SOUTH RESERVE (Photo by Grove Pashley)
STATE SENATOR KEVIN DE LEON PROPS UP CRUSHED VEGETATION WHILE TOURING SOUTH RESERVE (Photo by Grove Pashley)
NATIVE OAK DAMAGED BY EQUIPMENT AT SOUTH RESERVE (Photo by Glenn Bailey)
HASKELL CREEK CONFLUENCE DENUDED of VEGETATION (Photo by William Preston Bowling January 2013)
Here are communications from stakeholders:
YouTube of Field Walk January 13, 2013 Part 1 by Steve Fine
YouTube of Field Walk January 13, 2013 Part 1 by Steve Fine
NRDC Switchboard Blog
LA Regional Water Quality Control Board investigation
YouTube Video #1
YouTube Video #2
Jan Perry / Tom LaBonge motion 13-0024_MOT_01-04-13
US Army Corps of Engineers LA District STATEMENT January 3, 2013
SFV Audubon letter 12-26-12
Sierra Club Angeles Chapter Comments
SBWASC letter re south reserve
SPL-2012-001-DLL FONSI Sepulveda Dam Vegetation Management
12-29-12 Senator de Leon Letter to Assistant Secretary Darcy regarding Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area
01-03-13 Senator de Leon Letter to Colonel Toy on Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area
Senator Pavley letter 01 04 13
CNPS Letter to Colonel Toy 1-7-13
Sepulveda Basin Wildlife Steering Committee website
Below are recent press links:
LA Daily News March 19, 2013
Encino Patch Feb 20, 2013
Encino Patch Feb 12, 2013
KCET.org February 8, 2013
NPR February 6, 2013
Encino Patch January 26, 2013
Echo Park Silver Lake Patch January 29, 2013
LA Daily News Jan 28, 2013
KPFK Uprising Radio
Pasadena Star News
KPCC Pacific Swell
Los Angeles Times January 16, 2013
LA Daily News January 11, 2013
Wall Street Journal
LeShow Radio Program January 13, 2013 segment 53:51
KCET The Back Forty Blog
LAWeekly Slide Show
Los Angeles Times
KTLA Television News
KCAL9 Television News January 4, 2013
KCET.org Jan 8, 2013
LeShow Radio Program December 30, 2012 segment18:54
Daily News January 5, 2013
Encino Patch Update January 9, 2013
KPCC-FM Air Talk
Woodland Hills Patch
Studio City Sherman Oaks Encino_News_2pgs
Lewis MacAdams on LA River Bike Path in Los Angeles Times Op-Ed, November 14, 2012
Los Angeles has a great opportunity, but it will require action.
On Wednesday, NBC Universal’s plan for a major expansion will go before the City Council for final approval. The plan, thanks in part to effective agitating by Los Angeles River advocates, bicycle riders and neighborhood activists, represents a fine civic bargain, but there is also an opportunity to accomplish much, much more.
For those who live in Los Angeles, there is a lot at stake in this deal. NBC Universal and its corporate masters — currently Comcast, the largest cable operator in the United States — have been trying to expand Universal’s footprint since 2006. The company’s wish list for its 391 acres includes adding nearly 2 million feet of office and studio space, building two 500-room hotels and creating new attractions for the company’s theme park, including a new Wizarding World of Harry Potter ride.
In the company’s original proposal, the Los Angeles River — which runs parallel to the studio for a mile in a box channel, separated from Universal by a privatized service road owned by Los Angeles County — received only modest upgrading: a 1.5-acre riverfront park along the studio’s northern boundary.
But architect Bill Roschen, president of the city of Los Angeles’ Planning Commission, saw a larger opportunity. In his view, he told me, any deal the city struck with Universal “had to be an example of good planning and establish consistent policy on the river, an example subsequent agreements will have to adhere to.” The commission plays only an advisory role to the City Council, but he was determined to make that count.
At first, a mutually beneficial deal for river improvements seemed out of reach. The old Technicolor building on the Universal lot blocked access to the river, as did the Island Apartments just upstream. But after long negotiations, agreement on a deal was announced, and it was very good for the river.
In exchange for a development agreement, Universal agreed to donate $3 million to the L.A. County Department of Public Works to build a mile-long bike path on the service road between the studio and the river. Universal agreed to give the county half a million dollars to do a feasibility analysis and preliminary design for a riverfront bikeway extension from the 101 Freeway in Studio City to Griffith Park, currently the northern end point of a bike path that starts in the Atwater Village neighborhood. Universal also committed $375,000 to the Department of Transportation for bike lane work on streets around the studio.
One of the best things about the deal is that it points the way for future negotiations with riverfront businesses. There are at least four other conglomerates along the river’s “studio stretch.” CBS Studio Center is upstream from Universal. Warner Bros., ABC Disney and DreamWorks are all downstream. All either face away from the river as if in embarrassment, or, in the case of CBS and Warner Bros., straddle it. Universal will provide an example of ways that studios and the river can interact.
So why isn’t it time to rejoice? Because, while the bike path addition and feasibility study contained in the deal bring the city closer to a commuter bike path from Union Station to the San Fernando Valley, they don’t finish the job.
The deal worked out between Universal and the planning commission includes a “goody bag” of nearly $1.5 million for a laundry list of civic pet projects. There is $50,000 for the zoo and $50,000 for Travel Town. There are hundreds of thousands of dollars for traffic mitigation and street beautification in neighborhoods surrounding the studio. These are undoubtedly all worthy things.
But what would make a far bigger difference for Los Angeles residents — including those who work at Universal Studios — is completion of the long-stalled commuter bike path extension south from Atwater Village to Union Station.
With Universal poised to add a crucial piece of the bike path, we need to find a way to finish the job. A first step would be to redirect the money in Universal’s goody bag toward that end. Then, as other businesses along the river ask for permission to expand or rebuild, they too should be asked to kick in. In terms of regional significance, no better use of a goody bag can even come close.
Lewis MacAdams is the president of Friends of the Los Angeles River.
MISS ME donates almost $1 MILLION toward LA River Ecosystem Study
Friends of the Los Angeles River, Miss Me, Inc. and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa today announced a donation of close to one million dollars to The City of Los Angeles that will complete funding of The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ massive, multi-year LA River Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study.
L to R: Gary Lee Moore, City of LA Bureau of Engineering; Lewis MacAdams, Founder of FoLAR; Colonel Mark Toy, US Army Corps of Engineers; Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, City of Los Angeles; Enrique Zaldivar, City of LA Bureau of Sanitation; Lilly Kim, Counsel for Miss Me; Nancy Sutley, White House Council for Environmental Quality; Councilmember Tom LaBonge, City of Los Angeles; Josephine Axt, US Army Corps of Engineers
Photo by Grove Pashley
Wall Street Journal
LA Downtown News
The Los Angeles WAVE Newspaper
Park LaBrea News – Beverly Press
US Army Corps of Engineers LA District Story
US Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District Flickr
KCET Departures Blog, July 2012
EPA Watershed News
LARiverStudyOverview PDF Document
October 9, 2012
For More Information: Dienna D’Olimpio, BBPR, Inc. 310-656-4668
FASHION MANUFACTURER MISS ME DONATES NEARLY $1 MILLION TO FRIENDS OF THE LOS ANGELES RIVER TO GIVE TO CITY OF LOS ANGELES FOR ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION FEASIBILITY STUDY
Donation Closes Funding Gap Needed to Complete
City and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Joint Project
Friends of the Los Angeles River (FoLAR), Miss Me, Inc. and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa today announced a donation of close to one million dollars to The City of Los Angeles that will complete funding of The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (Corps) massive, multi-year LA River Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study.
Prior to the Miss Me gift, given to FoLAR to donate to the City of Los Angeles, the City had fulfilled its 50% cost-sharing commitment for the study totaling $4,850,000. While President Obama’s FY2013 budget requests additional funding for the Corps to continue the feasibility study, FoLAR and Miss Me’s $970,000 donation will enable the Corps to complete the study sooner.
The donation was announced at a press conference today at North Atwater Park in Los Angeles, overlooking the Los Angeles River.
“With the generous donation from Miss Me we are one step closer to revitalizing the Los Angeles River,” said Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraiagosa. “A revitalized river will be the spine of the City – a liquid network of parks, nature trails, pedestrian walkways and bike paths that will connect our communities.”
Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council in Environmental Quality, a participant in the press conference commented, “The restoration of the L.A. River exemplifies the goals of President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors Initiative, which include expanding access to outdoor resources, restoring the health of our rivers, and promoting green spaces in urban communities. Meeting the goals of this restoration effort will provide valuable outdoor assets to Angelinos and promote the health and economic vitality of Los Angeles communities.”
“As we celebrate today’s milestone in our nation’s dedication to clean water, I want to reaffirm our commitment to the LA River,” said Col. Mark Toy, Los Angeles District commander. “If authorized by Congress, this study will showcase ecosystem restoration in an urban environment, creating important aquatic habitat and ecologically connecting the Santa Monica and San Gabriel mountains. The Corps of Engineers is well positioned to lead the way in transforming 20th century concrete infrastructure into sustainable, 21st century urban waterways that continue to provide flood damage reduction benefits.”
“This generous donation is important to the health of the Los Angeles River, the health of the environment, our neighborhoods and our families who live, work and play here,” said Councilmember Ed P. Reyes, who spearheaded the City’s Los Angeles Revitalization Master Plan. “Completing the feasibility study is a major step in restoring the L.A. River, an effort projected to deliver significant environmental and socioeconomic benefits, including the creation of 19,000 new jobs. I thank Miss Me, FoLAR and our partners at the federal level for making this possible.”
“The Los Angeles River is this city’s beating heart, and this new infusion of funds cannot come at a better time.” said Councilmember Tom LaBonge.
Lilly Kim, legal counsel and company spokesperson for Miss Me said, “As we are interested in protecting the natural beauty of the Los Angeles River, we are pleased we can play a part in restoration efforts by helping the Army Corps of Engineers complete their feasibility study.”
Lewis MacAdams, president of FoLAR, said ”We’re here today to celebrate a wonderful example of corporate citizenship by business leaders dedicated to the community. We thank Miss Me for their generosity and urge other companies to follow their example.”
The Los Angeles River Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study (nicknamed the ARBOR study – Area with Restoration Benefits and Opportunities for Revitalization) focuses on the mostly soft-bottomed Glendale Narrows, an 11-mile stretch of the river from the north tip of Griffith Park to downtown Los Angeles. It will identify opportunity sites where ecological value and aquatic habitat connectivity can be restored to the river, potentially removing some concrete while maintaining adequate flood protection. This study will further the benefits of many Los Angeles River revitalization projects. Project construction will create jobs in Los Angeles.
Charged with local oversight of the study, the City’s Bureau of Engineering and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will continue to provide regular status reports to the City’s Ad Hoc River Committee. In coming months, the two partner agencies will present to the public several alternatives, including ideas that have been received from a broad range of community stakeholders.
About Friends of the Los Angeles River (FoLAR)
Friends of the Los Angeles River is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization whose mission for the past 25 years has been and remains to protect and restore the natural and historic heritage of the Los Angeles River and its riparian habitat through inclusive planning, education and wise stewardship. FoLAR’s goal is a swimmable, fishable, boatable Los Angeles River bordered by a greenway from the mountains to the sea.
About Miss Me
Miss Me® launched its first collection in the Spring of 2001 – with the single purpose to dress the modern girl who was no longer definable, but multi-dimensional in character and style. With this recognition and appreciation, Miss Me® designs for those who hold a multitude of passions, personas and cultures. Successfully capturing the many identities of a woman, Miss Me® creates two lines to provide versatile pieces that represent every facet of the Miss Me® woman – from casual wear, formal wear to nightlife styles. Miss Me® has grown to be everyone’s favorite piece in the closet, never compromising comfort for style.
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Governor Brown has signed SB 1201 LA River Expanded Public Access Bill!
Many thanks to State Senator Kevin de Leon for introducing SB 1201 on February 22, 2012. The bill was signed by Governor Brown on August 28, 2012 . The bill will take effect January 1, 2013. Thanks to ALL the river friends who sent letters and phone calls in support.
“The passage of SB 1201″, says FoLAR President Lewis MacAdams, “fundamentally establishes that in the eyes of the State of California, the Los Angeles River is a river, not just a flood control channel; and must be treated that way by Los Angeles County.”
“The people of Los Angeles will begin fulfilling the long-held dream of having access to a natural oasis in the middle of our city, ” says State Senator Kevin de Leon.
DOWNLOAD TEXT OF SB1201
Read press about SB1201:
LA River Fly Fishing Blog
LAWeekly Environment Blog
Echo Park PATCH August 2012
KCET Departures August 2012
Governor Brown’s Office Announcement August 2012
LA TIMES BLOG
KCET Departures blog by Lewis MacAdams 2012
CURBED LA August 2012
Echo Park-Silverlake PATCH
LA CREEK FREAK BLOG
VOICE OF AMERICA – Senator de Leon at La Gran Limpieza: The Great Los Angeles River CleanUp 2012
SIGN THE PETITION SUPPORTING SB1201
Paddle the LA River Tickets SOLD OUT – Standby is Available
Tickets went on sale TUESDAY, JULY 17 for guided kayak tours of the Los Angeles River in Sepulveda Basin. THE ENTIRE SEASON SOLD OUT IN TWO DAYS.
Rain make-up dates of Sept 28 & 29 may be released for sale mid-September if they are not needed. This will be announced.
There is an opportunity to buy a ticket on STANDBY. Show up on Tues, Thurs, Fri or Sat for any of the three daily runs: 7AM, 10:30AM, 1:30PM (EXCLUDING Aug 14 & 28). Bring cash in exact change: First and second runs are $50 lasting 2.5 hours. Third run is $25 lasting 1 hour. Riders must have proper attire (read PADDLE website) and must sign a waiver. Age 10+. Each run has a maximum of 15 kayakers, so standby tickets may be rare; please don’t be disappointed if you can’t get a seat. Keep trying; last season there were some successful standby riders.
The website for the program is: www.paddlethelariver.org
You may follow the program on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/PaddleTheLARiver
You may follow the program on Twitter at @PaddleLARiver
A map of the kayak route can be viewed HERE.
The first rides will run starting on Saturday, July 21. The 2012 season will last ten weeks until Saturday, September 29.
Run times will be 7AM (full trip $50), 10:30AM (full trip $50), and 1:30PM (shorter path $25) on tour days.
The Paddle the LA River program represents the collective efforts of several environmental organizations uniting to enhance public perception about the Los Angeles River. By paddling this scenic stretch, people experience first-hand that our urban River is part of an ecosystem that is both beautiful and significant to Los Angeles’ past and future. Thanks to our partners: Los Angeles Conservation Corps, Mountains Recreation & Conservation Authority, Urban Semillas, and The River Project, as well as The City of Los Angeles and The US Army Corps of Engineers.
KMEX Univision’s Primera Edicion with Gabriela Teisser
Heal the Bay Featured News Blog
Buenos Dias, Telemundo
Studio City PATCH
Los Angeles Times August
FOX Good Day LA
CBS Los Angeles/KCAL9 News
ABC7 EYE ON LA
Los Angeles Times
NBC.com Southern California
Studio City PATCH
US Army Corps Newsletter
Press/Media may contact publicist, Mike Mena of Ileana International at 310-316-0612.
PLEASE NOTE: George Wolfe of LA RIVER EXPEDITIONS partnered with SAN JOAQUIN RIVER STEWARDSHIP PROGRAM to receive A USACOE PERMIT TO EXECUTE A SEPARATE KAYAK PROGRAM ON SUNDAYS AND MONDAYS. This has expanded river access on the Los Angeles River to 7-days a week! Tickets for these runs are distributed at www.lariverexpeditions.com. TICKETS SEEM TO BE SOLD OUT AT THE PRESENT TIME.
Register to Volunteer for The 2012 Great Los Angeles River CleanUp on Saturday, April 28!
FoLAR’s 23rd Annual La Gran Limpieza: The Great Los Angeles River CleanUp
April 28 from 9AM to Noon
Volunteers are invited to clean the Los Angeles River
at 15 locations across Los Angeles County.
To view SITE MAPS on our CleanUp Page CLICK HERE.
To REGISTER ONLINE as an individual or family CLICK HERE.
To volunteer as a group, call FoLAR at 323-223-0585.
To download our EVENT FLYER CLICK HERE.
To download our PARKING PLACARD CLICK HERE.
To download our FOLAR LIABILITY WAIVER CLICK HERE.
To download our LONG BEACH FOLAR LIABILITY WAIVER CLICK HERE.
To download our COUNTY LIABILITY WAIVER CLICK HERE.
To download our CALENDAR ALERT CLICK HERE.
To download our PRESS RELEASE CLICK HERE.
For CORPORATE SPONSORSHIP Packet CLICK HERE.
US Secretary of the Interior Salazar Commits to LA River Revitalization
DOI Press Release:
AMERICA’S GREAT OUTDOORS: Secretary Salazar, Mayor Villaraigosa and Other Leaders Commit to Transform Los Angeles Riverfront into Model Urban Waterway and Park
01/12/2012LOS ANGELES, CA
— Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today joined Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and other leaders to highlight progress made to restore the Los Angeles River Watershed and call attention to projects underway to transform it into a model urban waterway and park.U.S. Representatives Lucille Roybal-Allard and Adam Schiff, California State Parks Director Ruth Coleman, and Omar Brownson from the Los Angeles River Revitalization Corporation also joined today’s event in Los Angeles.The Los Angeles River Watershed has twice been identified as a priority project
for the Obama administration under the President’s America’s Great Outdoors (AGO) initiative and the Urban Waters Federal Partnership
(UWFP). Both initiatives seek to reconnect Americans to the great outdoors and revitalize urban waterways in underserved communities across the country.
“Today we are celebrating the partnerships that are transforming the Los Angeles River watershed into a national symbol of how once-neglected urban waterways can be cleaned up and restored to improve the quality of life and boost the economy in America’s communities,” said Secretary Salazar. “Once known for pollution and poverty, these watersheds can become model urban parks cherished for their trails and access to river recreation.”
“We are grateful that the Obama administration has made the LA River a priority through America’s Great Outdoors and the Urban Waters Federal Partnership,” said Mayor Villaraigosa. “By working together, we can create an emerald necklace of parks, walkways, and bike paths that will protect the river’s environmental integrity and promote access and economic growth for all Angelenos.”
Among the priority projects identified in the America’s Great Outdoors Initiative is the Los Angeles River Trail. Almost 5.7 million people live within 10 miles of the trail, which connects urban residents to a network of the region’s great parks and outdoor recreation areas.
The City of Los Angeles has committed to connecting people to the river and trail through the Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan, which has identified more than 240 potential projects to restore riverside habitat, increase public access to the river and promote recreational opportunities around the river. Furthering this goal is the Corps’ proposed study to map out specific projects to transform a concrete lined river into an ecological and recreational treasure.
As part of America’s Great Outdoors, over the next 12 months, Interior and other federal agencies will partner with state and local stakeholders to focus on supporting the City of Los Angeles’ efforts to implement the Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan along the nine-mile Glendale Narrows reach of the river, with a focus on recreation.
Interior and partners will improve recreational opportunities by enhancing existing trails, developing a sign program for access and interpretation, and assess water-based recreation such as kayaking and canoeing.
The Los Angeles River Watershed is one of seven pilot areas under the Urban Waters partnership, which involves 11 federal agencies. Secretary Salazar thanked EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson for her leadership in launching this partnership, and transformative work in the city.
As part of the urban waters partnership, in the next year federal and local partners will sponsor an Urban Waters Ambassador to work alongside local partners and accelerate on-the-ground projects; complete the restoration and expansion of the North Atwater Creek park; build a new campground at the Hansen Dam Recreational area in Lakeview Terrace; complete construction of a new wetlands park to provide much-needed recreational opportunities in South Los Angeles; and establish a 3,000 foot greenway along the Tujunga Wash, creating wildlife habitat that connects with an existing wildlife corridor.
The factors that make a great urban waterway, a great urban park, and a successful urban community are the same—committed residents, access to a great river and adjoining green space, clean water, and protection of the natural assets that draw residents and tourists to the waterfront.
For a fact sheet on the Los Angeles River watershed, please click http://www.urbanwaters.gov/pdf/losangeles.pdf.