A lunchtime press conference on Monday, August 8, 2011 will announce the new pilot non-motorized boating program on the Los Angeles River in Sepulveda Basin under permit from the US Army Corps of Engineers.  The lead agency will be Los Angeles Conservation Corps, and the secondary agency will be The Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority.  Friends of the Los Angeles River will participate as a partner along with Urban Semillas, The River Project, and L.A. River Expeditions.

The website to purchase kayak trip tickets is: http://paddlethelariver.org

Follow the program on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PaddleTheLARiver

Watch for updates on Twitter:

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Training leaders for Los Angeles Conservation Corps’ kayak & canoe program.  Courtesy of Paddlethelariver.org

To showcase the historic kayak & canoe program, FoLAR will host six special ninety-minute docent-led river walks adjacent to the Los Angeles River at Balboa Blvd. in the Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area.  Walkers can snap a photo of boaters floating downstream and learn more about river revitalization, access, and recreation issues.

Walks are scheduled for:

Sunday, August 21

Saturday, August 27

Saturday, September 3 (Labor Day Weekend)

Saturday, September 10

Sunday, September 18

Sunday, September 25 (World Rivers Day)

Walks take place from 11am – 12:30PM.  Tour will meet in the dirt parking lot of Anthony C. Beilenson Park in Sepulveda Basin Recreation Area.  This is located on Balboa Blvd. north of Burbank Blvd.

Docent-led walks are free to FoLAR members and $10 for non-members.  Tour capacity is limited; please RSVP to: contact (at) folar (dot) org or 323-223-0585.

Friends of the Los Angeles River is pleased to take part in this historic program.  We view this pilot boating program as a near-term FIRST STEP toward future general public recreational access for the Los Angeles River.  It is currently illegal for the public to enter the channel of the river without a permit per Los Angeles Municipal Code Section 41.22 – Loitering – River Bed.  Those who enter independently risk citation.  We encourage you to click the image below to view FoLAR’s 2011 document, “Recommendations for Near-Term Recreational Access and Use of the Los Angeles River”.

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2011 marks the 25th anniversary of Friends of the Los Angeles River, whose goal is a swimmable, fishable, boatable Los Angeles River.  We congratulate the many passionate river pioneers for having the vision to see the promise of the Los Angeles River.  We applaud the government officials who have taken action to make river revitalization and access a reality.  We encourage many steps forward on the path toward a river greenway from the mountains to the sea.  And we greatly appreciate the hard work from everyone at Los Angeles Conservation Corps, who is providing staff, vehicles, equipment, insurance, and press relations for this 7-weekend program that not only places 280 boating enthusiasts in the water, but that also spreads information and images to educate the public about this valuable natural resource in Los Angeles.

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George Wolfe of L.A. River Expeditions collects trash from his kayak at FoLAR’s La Gran Limpieza: The Great Los Angeles River Cleanup