31 Dec 2016: LA River Year in Review
Happy New Year River Friend!
As we look towards an exciting and optimistic future for the Los Angeles River in 2017 and beyond, I want to take a moment to celebrate our all we were able to accomplish in 2016 with you by our side.
2016 marked the 30th anniversary of that fabled evening when Lewis MacAdams cut a hole in the chain link fence around our River declaring it open to the people. With that, Lewis started FoLAR and thus began the River movement that you have helped sustain. With all the poetic flare you might expect, this significant anniversary produced a pivotal year for FoLAR and for the River itself. Together, we turned out the vote for ballot measures that will help transform your River, produced our largest annual River clean up yet, and realized the long-awaited adoption of a plan for 11 miles of River restoration.
I am honored to take the helm as the new Executive Director of FoLAR and look forward to continuing this River crusade with all of you. Thanks to the support of River advocates like you, in 2016 we:
- • Engaged and educated voters for the successful passage of Measures A & M and Proposition HHH. This victory fully funds the completion of the LA River bike path, generates hundreds of millions more in funding for parks in our River communities, and will help provide supportive housing to LA’s homeless population, many of whom live in and around the River.
- • Rallied more than 3,000 River Advocates like you to call for River restoration. Thanks to their action, we saw the adoption of Alternative 20 and the allocation of the federal cost share for its implementation in the Water Infrastructure Investment Act (WIIN).
- • Removed 70 tons of trash during our Great LA River CleanUp with the help of more than 9,000 volunteers – making it the largest urban river cleanup in NOrth America.
- • Hosted more than 150 community events including nature walks, bike rides, art events and more!
- • Brought more than 16,000 visitors to the River at The Frog Spot – our River-side community hub
- • Engaged 12,000 community members throughout the watershed with our River Rover.
- • Served more than 40 K-12th grade classes through our Source to Sea school programs.
In 2017 we will continue our endeavor towards publicly accessible and ecologically vibrant Los Angeles River through our work in community engagement, education, advocacy, and thought leadership. The LA River is the future of Los Angeles. Whether you live in Canoga Park, Compton, or Long Beach the River touches your life. We’re fighting to restore habitat for native species, to bring communities together on the River, and to create healthy, open, spaces for all Angelenos.
With your support, 2017 will be the Year of the River as we reach more communities, inspire more advocates, and shape the programs, plans and policies that ensure this River remains YOUR River.
As always, thank you for your support, your action, and your dedication. See you on the River.