19 Oct Diversions LA at the FoLAR Fandango
A fandango is a party, and there was a big party for FoLAR, the Friends of the Los Angeles River, last Saturday night. Where? Along the banks of the river of course, now mired in flood channel concrete and separated from the glowing spires of downtown by train tracks and warehouses.
Held on the east side of the River in what is becoming a burgeoning arts district, the event drew 700 plus guests, local politicians, and of course, FoLAR founder, Lewis McAdams. “I want people to be aware of Alternative 20, which the Corps of Engineers has signed off on. It’s going to take 1.35 billion dollars to take out eleven miles of concrete, and if we can do that, we can restore the river, and really get it going,” McAdams says. The issue is funding: the Corps wants the city to pay 80% of this cost, and the city is seeking a 50/50 split. McAdams, was born in Texas, and he has a vision as big as his home state where the river is concerned. Next year will mark the 30th year for FoLAR, and while the organization has achieved much, their dedication to a renewed and renewable river is unstoppable.
The evening was dedicated to the celebration of FoLAR’s achievements over the past year, building a pro-river community. Attendees were encouraged to sign FoLAR’s Alternative 20 petition – which can still be signed at www.folar.org/action – to ensure proper funding of the river’s revitalization. FoLAR’s goal is to create a swimmable, fishable, bikeable, boatable Los Angeles River greenway, a vision promoted at the event.