CITY HALL -- Dozens of Los Angeles River advocates packed the forecourt, rotunda, and City Council Chamber this week to celebrate the second annual LA River Day, an event which serves to raise awareness about the 51-mile stretch of urban waterway in the City of Angels.
Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell, chair of the City’s Arts, Parks, Health, Aging and the Los Angeles River Committee, kicked-off the event with a resource fair in the forecourt and rotunda. Later during the City Council meeting, Councilmember O’Farrell and his colleagues proclaimed LA River Day in the City of Los Angeles, with special recognition for the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) for its work to revitalize the river.
“We are looking to bring the river back to life with habitat restoration and other projects that will bring people to celebrate, rather than turning their backs to the river,” said O’Farrell. “River Day is a way to highlight all the successes and all of the challenges that we must face to bring the river back to the extent that we would like to see and to really recognize all of those who have helped to improve the river over the decades.”
The council presentation also included the premiere of season two of the LA River Follies. The second in the series featured cameos from many river advocates, as well as Councilmembers and staff, and ends with the unveiling of the winner of the Golden Paddle Award. This year, the award went to Bureau of Sanitation General Manager Enrique Zaldivar. Season one and season two can be viewed on Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell's YouTube channel.
The LA River Day resource fair featured exhibits from the Department of Water and Power, Bureau of Engineering, Bureau of Sanitation, Friends of the Los Angeles River, Los Angeles River Revitalization Corporation, and the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, and the USACE special guest Bobber the River Dog.
LA River Day also shined the spotlight on Councilmember Tom LaBonge for his stewardship of the River during his 14 years in office.