The Los Angeles River flows quietly through the eastern edge of Griffith Park. Ever since Interstate 5 cut the river off from the park in 1957, the river has gone largely unnoticed and many people have forgotten that areas east of the river are part of Griffith Park. All that is about to change with the LA River Revitalization which will bring the 52-mile river back to life and people back to the river.
Last summer the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority and the LA Conservation Corps field-tested the Paddle-the-LA-River project where rangers escorted groups of kayakers down a two-mile stretch of the river from the Sepulveda Basin. The project was so popular it sold out the first day! They hope to offer another program in
the Griffith Park area this summer.
US Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar came to the refurbished N. Atwater Creek on January 12, 2012, to announce that the LA River was selected as one of two America’s Great Outdoors projects in California. The venture will enhance the 9-mile Glendale Narrows reach of the river where it flows through Griffith Park as a recreational corridor. All projects along the river are coordinated by the LA River Cooperation Committee.
Additionally, the LA River Watershed was selected as a pilot site for the Urban Waters Federal Partnership–an effort by eleven federal agencies to stimulate local economies, create jobs, improve the quality of life and revitalize urban waterways across the country. The Army Corps of Engineers is doing an eco-restoration study to examine potential riparian and wetland restoration, recreation areas and economic development as well as
check water quality and supply.
Small projects to bring native landscaping along the bike path and pocket parks like
the Sunnynook Park will gradually restore some green to the concrete river to make it a more inviting place.