14 Dec FoLAR’s Year of New Beginnings: A Look Back at 2022
Thanks to the many LA River advocates that supported us this year, 2022 has been a year of community and a year of firsts for FoLAR.
At our very first River Fest – FoLAR’s open-air community film festival and fall fundraiser – 550+ Angelenos gathered to watch short films on the big screen that showcased the nexus of nature, health, climate change, art, and the LA River, enjoy food from local food trucks, interact with with 30+ booths from organizations supporting the LA River, and much more.
After six years of transformational leadership from FoLAR’s beloved Marissa Christiansen, we welcomed decades-long environmental education and non-profit leader in California, Candice Dickens-Russell, as our new CEO. Following a few years of challenges and uncertainty, we brought volunteers back for our first fully in-person CleanUp since the beginning of the COVID pandemic, and removed over 50,000 pounds of trash from the River. Our new, expanded membership program offered FoLAR members early access to special events, quarterly raffles, and access to our brand-new member exclusive newsletter.
Continuing our commitment to K-12 environmental education and bringing Angelenos of all ages to the River, this year our education team also provided field trips, curriculum, and workforce development to over 5,000 K-12 students in LA. Over 90% of the students served by FoLAR met the California Department of Education’s LCAP metrics to identify schools of high need. Our free monthly Habitat Restoration Day events have helped restore and remove invasive plant species from 95 acres of land. With this year’s successes, lessons learned, and new challenges, our small, but mighty team is even more resolved to continue working toward our mission: Building capacity for communities, students, and future leaders to advocate for nature, climate, and equity on the LA River.
This giving season, we hope you’ll join our mission and support Friends of the LA River with a donation.
Friends of the Los Angeles River is a 501c3 nonprofit whose mission is to build capacity for communities, students, and future leaders to advocate for nature, climate, and equity on the Los Angeles River. FoLAR is a leading force in educating youth, guiding policy, and connecting communities to the River.