Bridging the Gap in the Los Angeles River Greenway
With decades-old efforts to return the 51-mile Los Angeles River to green space gaining traction, ensuring that communities along the waterway benefit equitably has been a challenge. Community Conservation Solutions and its partners are working to bring the San Fernando Valley its share. A segment of river trail there will soon connect existing paths to create a five-mile continuous stretch, bringing recreational amenities and urban nature to residents.
The Planning Report sat down with Esther Feldman of Community Conservation Solutions and Mia Lehrer of Mia Lehrer and Associates to discuss the significance of this greenway project to the region: "The Valley is one of the most park-poor places in the State of California, well below the averages that the National Recreation and Parks Association recommends: 6-10 acres of easily accessible open space for every 1,000 people. By creating these linear greenways in the Valley, we’re shining a spotlight on the need for river trails in other places around the county."
Feldman, who has championed Los Angeles River revitalization since 1994, went on to discuss the transformational aspects of nature and the significance of natural ecosystems within urban spaces: "It never fails to amaze me when I walk along the LA River, and particularly this section, that it’s half a block from Ventura Boulevard—one of the busiest thoroughfares in the county. And yet, it is quiet and peaceful at the river. There you are, watching red tail hawks soar and egrets fly by, with ducks on the water… By building these segments of river trails that connect, we really make it possible to 'come down to the river.'"