03 Feb Our Volunteers Keep the River Movement in Motion
In 1989, Lewis MacAdams rallied thirty community members together to pick up trash in Los Feliz. Over the years, those 30 grew to thousands, and FoLAR volunteers have now removed over 800 tons of trash from Canoga Park to Long Beach while mobilizing over 75,000 Angelenos.
Our volunteers, also known as River Stewards and Docents, have fueled the River Movement since the beginning. But what fuels volunteers? Some volunteer because they are passionate about protecting the animals, others for school credit, and many because they want to connect with new people and places. Regardless of the motivation, volunteers from every walk of life come together on our LA River to make a difference. This participatory action forms a new constituency around the LA River – one that believes in an LA River where community members are welcomed along the River’s banks, and where Angelenos protect wildlife and connect with one another in the process.
In recent years, we have expanded our volunteer events to include a Habitat Restoration Day at Sepulveda Wildlife Basin. At these events volunteers help with education and outreach efforts, bird surveying, weeding, and planting. This was a great success and we hope to host more restoration events in the future. Check out a pic below from our last Habitat Restoration event before the pandemic, in February 2020.
Looking for volunteer opportunity and community science efforts safe during the pandemic? Look no further!
Are you itching to get outside and volunteer? Consider joining a community science project! Community science is a way for anybody to participate in scientific research. Community science projects rely on the public to collect and submit data. Please visit FoLAR’s Student Research page and scroll down for a list of community science projects in Los Angeles. Try choosing a project that interests you! Do you like squirrels? Check out the Southern California Squirrel Survey!
Our Student Resource page also features how-to guides for the apps Litterati and iNaturalist. Litterati is an exciting way to pick up trash and submit pictures. By collecting data on trash, it can reveal patterns to help reduce pollution, and thus protect our River!
We would love to see your volunteering in action! Use our portal to send us photos or reflections from your volunteering or community science. Follow us on instagram @folarorg and use the hashtag #STEWARD21.