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FoLAR Delegation to Tour Revitalized Isar River in Munich, Germany

We’re off to See the Isar!  Both Lewis MacAdams, FoLAR’s founder and president, and Shelly Backlar, Executive Director, are traveling to Germany as guests of the City of Munich to celebrate the completion of a decade-long restoration project on the Isar River.                     City Councilmember Tom LaBonge and the Goethe Institut L.A.’s Margit Kleinman are also part of the delegation representing Los Angeles and its River.

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 The Isar River in Munich, Germany

In October 2008, FoLAR partnered with the Goethe Institut L.A. to host representatives who have “re-naturalized” the Isar River through the heart of Munich, along with representatives from the Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan Team for an exchange of information and inspiration at a public presentation.  We held a ceremony in which we poured water brought from the Isar into the Los Angeles River at Los Feliz to commemorate their restoration successes while celebrating efforts to transform our River.

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 Councilman Tom LaBonge “mingles the waters” of the Isar River and the Los Angeles River in Glendale Narrows

We took the Isar team on a tour of the Los Angeles River, showing them opportunity sites in the natural-bottom Glendale Narrows and in the more urban downtown area. 

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 The German Delegation enjoys the view of Downtown LA.

Our visit culminated with RioFest L.A. where we closed down the 6th Street Bridge and transformed it into a German beer garden with an L.A. twist, serving bratwurst and tacos while celebrating the hope and possibility of a restored Los Angeles River.

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 Party on the 6th Street Bridge in Downtown Los Angeles

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Sister Rivers presentation with Lewis MacAdams – Photo Courtesy of The City Project 

On our trip in August 2011, we will give two presentations to Munich city officials about the efforts to revitalize the Los Angeles River.  We will tour the headwaters of the Isar in the Bavarian Tyrol where we will see how River water is treated to drinking quality with ultra-violet light.  We’ll even celebrate Munich’s Mayor’s birthday at a party on August 5.  

On Saturday, August 6, the City of Munich will celebrate the completion of a decade-long effort to revitalize the Isar River.  We’re told that the officials who came to Los Angeles were inspired by the party we threw back in 2008.  This time we will be their guests.  The celebration begins with a ceremony at the Munich Rathaus, City Hall, and then with a barbecue along the banks of the Isar for the entire city. 

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The Isar River in Munich

We are honored for this opportunity to exchange ideas and stories and look forward to sharing our insights with you when we return.

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