In every bottle, a creek or two… (again)

January 20, 2022 § 4 Comments

Thanks to Ian James for getting the environmental cost of bottled water on the front page of the LA Times and giving a boost of visibility to the local protectors of this creek. Please keep in mind as you read the article that Strawberry Creek is not the only local creek being sold in plastic bottles on supermarket shelves for one company’s profit at the expense of the water supply of our local creeks and watersheds. There is a list of creeks on the label of every Arrowhead bottle sold.

I’ve been fascinated by how this list clarifies our relationship to nature. Nature isn’t simply what’s out there in some pristine separate world, but Nature is in a larger sense, how we have shaped the world we live in, including even our urban world and all the manufactured and refined products we surround ourselves with everyday. (Thanks, Jenny Price, for articulating this!)

Back to creeks. Of the two bottles shown in the photo below, one was purchased in Southern California, and the other was purchased in a location in Oregon that gets significantly more annual rainfall than Los Angeles. Yet the list of creeks listed as sources of water is exactly the same. They are all in Southern California. Is it not a little appalling that we are allowing companies to bottle the water produced by local precipitation falling on our local landscapes, while the LA Basin struggles to upkeep our local groundwater supplies? While we allow our local streams to be bottled for profit and shipped to other states that are wet by comparison, the accepted method of maintaining local groundwater supplies for public water supply in Los Angeles has come to be filling local aquifers with water taken from other streams that are hundreds of miles away.

This situation is not really optimum in terms of local water resiliency, energy use, biodiversity, or any other sustainability metric. But is this a wicked, unsolvable problem? Does the problem really seem that complicated?

For a long time, I’ve been meaning to write about Sparkletts. This company has historically been such a point of pride in Northeast Los Angeles, that one nearly forgets the flip side of the story, which is that the waters they sell in plastic bottles are waters that would otherwise be contributing to the base flow of the Los Angeles River.

Eagle Rock is a very rare community in the LA Basin, from a watershed point of view. The community sits atop its own water basin. The Eagle Rock community is (theoretically) positioned (physically positioned, at least) to be able manage its own groundwater levels in its own interest. However, there is only one entity that withdraws water from the Eagle Rock basin. That entity is Sparkletts.

So does Eagle Rock have any particular incentive to increase local groundwater levels? Because of Sparkletts’ rights, any efforts to increase groundwater infiltration in the community of Eagle Rock would not necessarily result in raising the water table, nor in contributing additional flow to a creek that is one of many tributaries to the LA River. Instead, any additional groundwater gained through infiltration would simply increase the amount of water supply available to Sparkletts to put into plastic bottles to sell.

The size of the Eagle Rock watershed is not large, so it’s likely that any spring water from NELA could only account for a very small volume of what the company produces overall. Watermaster reports show that generally, in recent years, just under 200 acre feet of water is extracted yearly. This is not a lot of water when compared to the amount of potable water cities consume or how much profit a large company generates. But it would be a significant amount of water for urban habitat restoration projects, such as is planned downstream at the LA River’s Taylor Yard. 

This is how I understand the issues, but I’m happy to hear any other perspectives on this, so your comments are welcome. Please share your own thoughts about streams and bottles below or on our facebook group.

Grist’s L.A. River Series

August 1, 2012 § Leave a comment

The nearly unrecognizable Los Angeles River in the West San Fernando Valley

This week, Grist is publishing a very good 4-part series on the Los Angeles – written by Christian MilNeil. So far, they’ve posted parts one, two, and three. They have lots of worthwhile things to say, and they quote quite a few friends of the blog, including Melanie Winter and Jenny Price.

Check it out starting here.

L.A. Urban Rangers River Ramble this Thursday at MOCA

August 2, 2011 § 1 Comment

Los Angeles Urban Rangers are not afraid of getting their feet wet this week!

L.A. Creek Freak has received this urgent communique from L.A.’s Urban Rangers regarding their Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) activity night – this Thursday August 4th 2011. It’s FREE and you just might learn something while having fun and thinking about some serious art.

We’re passing the Rangers’ message along to you verbatim:

HELLO!

After our successful inaugural Engagement Party expedition to the peaks of Bunker Hill, we will be off rambling along the river this Thursday. Biking is encouraged!

L.A. River Ramble
THURSDAY, AUGUST 4, 7–10pm
Trailhead located at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA

Hone your river-scouting skills during this activity-filled hike to America’s most famous forgotten river. Participants will journey through the riparian corridor of art, industry, and infrastructure to explore the past and future of the L.A. River in Downtown and its place in the megalopolis’ watershed.

The event is FREE to the public and no reservations are required.

Wear sturdy shoes and carry water to avoid blisters and dehydration. Biking the L.A. River Ramble trail is strongly encouraged.

For further information, please visit moca.org/party or contact education [at] moca.org. We hope to see you!

In your service,
Los Angeles Urban Rangers
laurbanrangers.org

So… Don’t make your reservation right away. Gear up and pedal down to MOCA’s Little Tokyo trailhead this Thursday at 7pm. Arrive early to score extra brownie points.  The L.A. Urban Rangers include friend of the creek freaks Jenny Price and many more groovy and gregarious go-getters. Rumor has it that you might be able to ask your pressing river questions to L.A. Creek Freak’s very own Joe Linton, who’s been conscripted into urban rangerdom for the evening!

Zine Breaks Ground on West Valley River Greenway

March 10, 2011 § 1 Comment

Los Angeles City Counclmember Dennis Zine announcing the West Valley L.A. River Greenway project

This afternoon, before an assembled crowd of about fifty, Los Angeles City Councilmember Dennis Zine presided over a groundbreaking ceremony for a new stretch of Los Angeles River greenway and bikeway. Construction has begun on the 2.2-mile segment of landscaped bike path, extending from the Vanalden Avenue footbridge to the end of Hartland Street, just upstream of the Mason Avenue Bridge.

L.A. Creek Freak reported on this project earlier; for details check here for project background, here for art and design, and here for funding and phasing.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Akiko Crawford’s River Artwork

January 18, 2011 § 3 Comments

4th Street and 6th Street Bridges over the L.A. River - painting by Akiko Crawford

Feast your eyes on this L.A. River art by Akiko Crawford. Click on each image to link to larger versions. Creek Freak ran one piece of hers of in an earlier post, then she recently posted a handful of wonderful river and bridge images, so I figured I’d check in with her and run a bunch here. There’re more, and other urban sketches, designs, renderings, photos and other stuff at Akiko Crawford: Portfolio and Art Blog.

Western end of 4th Street Bridge - drawing by Akiko Crawford

« Read the rest of this entry »

News and Events – 12 November 2010

November 12, 2010 § 2 Comments

Spotted yesterday: pre-striping markings on the Elysian Valley segment of the L.A. River bike path. They're three short white lines in the foreground of this photo. Bike path officially under construction since mid-2009 officially opens on December 4th - announcement below, more details soon.

RECENT NEWS

> The Daily Breeze reports that West Basin Municipal Water District’s desalination plant in Redondo Beach opens today, Friday November 12th 2010. Creek Freak Conner Everts “would like to see them do more conservation, reclamation, and then decide if they need a desal plant.”

> At Spouting Off, Heal the Bay’s Mark Gold reports on promising regional water board votes and efforts to reduce trash in local waters. See also HtB’s Ban the Bag rally below.

> Guess the animals and win a poster from L.A. Stormwater. Deadline is next Wednesday November 17th 2010.

> Will Campell bikes the Arroyo Seco and shoots another great riders-eye-view video.

> L.A. Times Greenspace looks into scary drinking water issues in California’s San Joaquin Valley.

> Congratulations to The City Project’s Robert García on being awarded the American Public Health Association’s Presidential Citation!

UPCOMING EVENTS

> Bike the Los Angeles River from Griffith Park to Long Beach this Sunday November 14th 2010, departing at 7:30am from the Autry Museum. Details at Biking in L.A.

> Heal the Bay invites you to a rally to Ban the Bag – at 8:30am on Tuesday November 16th 2010 supporting the L.A. County Board of Supervisors as they vote to ban plastic bags in county unincorporated areas. Check here for details.

> On Thursday, November 18th 2010 at 7pm, the Arid Lands Institute at Woodbury University presents Morna Livingston speaking on Steps To Water: The Ancient Stepwells of India. It’s part of the lecture series: Excavating Innovation: The History and Future of Drylands Design. The free public talk takes place at Fletcher Jones Auditorium, Woodbury University, 7500 Glenoaks Boulevard, Burbank 91510.

> On Saturday November 20th 2010 from 9am-1pm, the Elysian Valley Neighborhood Council, Council President Garcetti, and L.A. County Public Health host a free Health Fair. The event takes place at the Elysian Valley Recreation Center (1811 Ripple Street, L.A. 90039) and includes a free raffle for a new bicycle, courtesy of the Los Angeles County Bicycle Coalition.

> The Santa Monica Bay Restoration Foundation is holding its monthly Ballona Wetlands Community Open House with tours Sunday November 21st from 9:30-1:00. Guided tours leave at 10am, 11am, and 12 noon. Meet at the Fiji Gateway, 1320 FIji Way in Marina del Rey 90292, across from Fisherman’s Village.

> On Sundays November 28th and December 5th 2010, Jenny Price leads the All-Valley L.A. River Thai Noodles & Cuban Sweets Tour. It goes from the start of the L.A. River in Canoga Park to Griffith Park, and includes the Great Wall of Los Angeles mural on the walls of the Tujunga Wash. Tours go 8:30am-4pm, click here for info and to sign up.

> At 12noon on Saturday December 4th 2010 the Elysian Valley portion of the L.A. River Bike Path will officially open. To emphasize the shared nature of the facility, it’s being called the L.A. River Pedestrian/Bike Path.  Creek Freak will post more event information here soon!!

> Duarte dedicates its Encanto Park Bioswale and Outdoor Nature Classroom on Tuesday December 7th 2010 at 9am. Encanto Park is located at 751 Encanto Parkway, Duarte 91010.

Ballona Wetlands Symposium - December 8th

> On Wednesday December 8th 2010 the Santa Monica Bay Restoration Commission will host a free public Ballona Wetlands Science and Research Symposium. It takes place from 8:30am-5:30pm at University Hall 1000, Loyola Marymount University, 1 LMU Drive, LA 90045. For info and to rsvp email Karina Johnston kjohnston [at] santamonicabay.org

News and Events – 21 September 2010

September 21, 2010 § Leave a comment

Undated historic photo of Red Car trolley crossing the L.A. River below the Glendale Hyperion Bridge. Given the complete lack of vegetation in the river, this was likely right after concrete channel construction. From Coralitas Red Car Property - click on image for link

 

NEWS 

> Culver City construction on the Ballona Creek bike path from Overland Avenue to the Westwood Avenue pedestrian bridge. Looks like another good creek revitalization project, but bicyclists should expect detours now through January (Culver City Bicycle Coalition

> Federal funding secured for the Watershed Council’s Water Augmentation Study (Congresswoman Linda Sánchez

> Downstream cities are installing nice single-purpose gray grates to keep trash out of the Los Angeles River (L.A. Times and L.A. Now – also earlier Creek Freak coverage, though we somehow missed coverage any accompanying source control efforts.) 

> Genetically modified salmon coming soon to a plate near you? (L.A. Times Greenspace

> Beautiful graphical history of the meanderings of the Mississippi River (NPR

> Long Beach awarded grant for river parkway wetlands restoration project at DeForest Park (Supervisor Don Knabe

EVENTS 

> L.A. River panel tomorrow September 22nd (Zócalo

> Coastal CleanUp Day on September 25th 2010. (Heal the Bay

> Jenny Price River tours on September 26th and October 3rd (Hidden L.A.

> Ballona Wetlands Science and Research Symposium on December 8th 2010. (Creek Freak

(Just the headlines, m’am, courtesy of Joe being busy with CicLAvia – come and check it out on October 10th!)

News and Events – 12 September 2010

September 12, 2010 § Leave a comment

Coastal CleanUp Day is coming Saturday September 25th to a creek near you. Click image or scroll down for links and information.

RECENT NEWS:

> The Huffington Post has the latest photos from another Los Angeles River boating expedition, spearheaded by Anthea Raymond. Looking forward to the day when kayaking the mighty Los Angeles isn’t the news that it is today.

Not Enough To Waste booklet - now online!

> Green L.A. Coalition’s Water Team’s Not Enough to Waste booklet is now available on-line at their excellent water resources website notenoughtowaste.org. Read the booklet here. Creek Freak’s earlier review here.

UPCOMING EVENTS

> Los Angeles’ latest class of Coro Fellows will be presenting on The Logic of the Los Angeles River on Monday September 13th, 2010 – tomorrow. It’s free, and takes place from 6pm to 7pm at the Atrium Room at the Los Angeles River Center, 570 W. Avenue 26, LA 90065. Readers may also be interested in the Coro-hosted Surfacing the Solutions: A Critical Discussion of California’s Water Crisis coming up on Thursday October 14th. Here’s the Save the Date announcement.

>Jenny Price’s L.A. River tours continue Sunday September 26th, and Sunday October 3rd. Information and reservations here. Latest unexpected river tour fauna sighting update here.

>On Wednesday September 22nd 2010, Zócalo presents a panel discussion on the future of the Los Angeles River, featuring Mike Woo, Marc Salette, Jim Stafford, Mia Lehrer, and Michael Maltzan.

> On Saturday September 25th 2010, the California Coastal Commission and Heal the Bay spearhead the largest volunteer clean-up in the known universe: Coastal Clean-Up Day. Many many sites to choose from on local rivers, creeks (and, oh yeah, beaches!), including the Los Angeles River, Arroyo Seco, Dominguez Channel and more.

News and Events – 8 September 2010

September 8, 2010 § 1 Comment

RECENT CREEK FREAK NEWS:

>Elmer Avenue is a star! It’s a project that richly deserves this week’s coverage from KPCC and the L.A. Times. (Creek Freek knew Elmer way back before he made it big. Proof.)

Garvanza Springs Image c.1880 - from Huntington Library via Myriad Unnamed Streams in Water, CA. Click for link

>L.A. Creek Freak’s Jessica Hall and Jane Tsong have contributed to a very informative and beautiful online media book Water, CA: Creative Visualizations for a New Millenium. Fellow travelers Cleo Woelfle-Erskine, Isabelle Duvivier and Claude Willey are also among the 20+ featured contributors.  Jessica Hall’s Daylighting Consciousness and Streams is an excellent new version of an early Creek Freak article. Jane Tsong’s Myriad Unnamed Streams piece (about creeks in North East L.A.) appears on her website in even greater detail. 

>Recommended reading: State Senate: Industry Bagmen – Mark Gold’s autopsy on the death of the AB1998 – a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags. (LACF linked to this earlier, but it got kinda buried under a long article.)

UPCOMING EVENTS:

>Jenny Price’s L.A. River tours continue Sunday September 12th, Sunday September 26th, and Sunday October 3rd. Information and reservations here. Maybe also brush up on the tour’s new unwelcome features here.

>On Wednesday September 22nd 2010, Zócalo presents a panel discussion on the future of the Los Angeles River. Mike Woo moderates the following panelists: Marc Salette of Chee Salette Architecture, Jim Stafford of Perkins+Will, Mia Lehrer of Mia Lehrer + Associates, and Michael Maltzan of Michael Maltzan Architecture. Make a reservation early, because these Zocalo talks fill up.

Police Harrass River Tours in Downtown L.A.

September 2, 2010 § 7 Comments

LAPD escorts River tour leader Jenny Price at the 6th Street Bridge tunnel in downtown Los Angeles. Photo by Richard Sherer

“And the cops have busted us. This is one bad ass tour of the LA River!!!”
Tweeted by BJustin 2:44pm August 21st 2010 

Creek Freak has frequently recommended Jenny Price and her wonderful Los Angeles River tours. Sign up for her upcoming tours on this Saturday September 4th 2010, as well as Sunday September 12th, Sunday September 26th, and Sunday October 3rd. The Huffington Post recently ran an excellent review of Price’s tour, with photos and a short interview (and Thirteen Ways of Seeing Nature in Los Angeles is actually required reading for all creek freaks!)   

Price has led river tours for more than 10 years. Since last month, they have a new and unwelcome feature: the Los Angeles Police Department. 

« Read the rest of this entry »

Search Results

You are currently viewing the search results for "Jenny Price".