At the 24th Annual La Gran Limpieza: The Great Los Angeles River Cleanup on Saturday, May 18, Angelenos will join Friends of the LA River (FoLAR) and other prominent community members to clean the Los Angeles River at 15 cleanup locations throughout the county from the San Fernando Valley to Long Beach. The event will run from 9a–12p.
“Neighbors will enjoy a ‘work party’ atmosphere to make trash abatement fun including live music, gift giveaways, raffle prizes, and refreshments,” states Shelly Backlar, Education Director. “Cleanup activities provide an opportunity to explore current and future river park sites in the developing greenway as well as some locations normally off-limits to the general public. Volunteers will pull trash from the soft-bottom sections of the river which abound with fish and birds,” she adds.
FoLAR expects more than 3,000 volunteers to pull 25 tons of garbage from the river and three tributaries in three hours. A diverse group of enthusiasts will roll up their sleeves and work on the river sandbars side-by-side. Activists, elected officials, artists, celebrities, neighborhood councils, wildlife experts, bicyclists, equestrians, kayakers, dog walkers, fisherpeople, teachers, students, families, architects, and journalists all share a fascination with the past, present, and future of the Los Angeles River, and the river community grows stronger each year.
Volunteers who pull plastic bags and other trash from the river vegetation see first-hand how trash from the streets reaches the river and ocean, inspiring stewardship all year long. Repeat volunteers uphold the tradition of comparing their “River Treasures,” the weird, wacky, and unexpected items found. Past River Treasures have included Christmas lights, a mini trampoline, and a collectible buffalo nickel in a case!
At five river sites, Sepulveda Basin, Bette Davis Picnic Area, Steelhead Park, Compton Creek, and Willow Street Estuary, citizen scientists will form a trash sort team to divert a percentage of trash for characterization. Data will be recorded about type of trash material, plus weight and volume, for a public report, which will express how river trash content may change over the years in response to mitigation efforts.
For more information and to hear the latest exciting announcements on the event, please visit folar.org and the FoLAR Facebook page.