News and Events – 20 June 2010

June 20, 2010 § Leave a comment


On Spring at Los Angeles State Historic Park - photo from CA State Parks

> On Spring has opened at the site of Sam’s Lunch, adjacent to Los Angeles State Historic Park. The restaurant offers healthy yummy food. Mainly open at lunchtime (hours Tues-Sat 11am-3pm.) The park is once again the site of archeological explorations… but there’s still plenty of park open for use!

> Whenever a driver hits the brakes, copper gets onto our roadways and makes its way into our creeks and streams, impairing fish health. H2ONCoast reports that states, including California, are looking to take steps toward making this less of an issue. (and, of course, ride a bike!)

> Are stronger federal protections on the way for the San Gabriel River and the San Gabriel Moutains? L.A. Times’ Louis Sahagun reports on recent efforts


> On Thursday June 24th the city of L.A. hosts a couple of public River Revival meetings where you can get the latest on the city’s riverly revitalization. Same meeting repeats 1pm-4pm and 6pm-9pm at the L.A. River Center and Gardens at 570 West Avenue 26 in Cypress Park. See flier for information.

City Listening II this Saturday

> Creek Freak’s Joe Linton will among many excellent speakers at de LaB’s City Listening II at 7pm on Saturday June 26th 2010 at Spring Arts Tower, 435 S. Spring in Downtown Los Angeles. For more information and to purchase tickets go here. Anyone who arrives by walking, riding their bike or taking public transportation receives a very special walking-themed door prize!

> Creek Freak’s Joe Linton will give a talk on the Los Angeles River at 2pm on Tuesday June 29th 2010 at L.A. County’s Culver City Julian Dixon Library as part of their Make Waves at Your Library Summer Reading Program. The library is located at 4975 Overland Ave., Culver City 90230.

> L.A. and San Gabriel Rivers Watershed Council hosts  Harvesting the Rain: Decentralized Stormwater Management seminar from 9am-4pm on Wednesday June 30th 2010 at the Autry National Center. Includes afternoon tour of Elmer Avenue.

> The city of Glendale hosts a public meeting for input on future phases of their Glendale Narrows Riverwalk project – including a planned bridge connecting bicyclists and pedestrians to Griffith Park. The meeting is at 6:30pm on Wednesday June 30th 2010 at Glendale’s Grayson Power Plant at 780 Flower Street, Glendale, CA 91201. See Creek Freak background on the project here.

Glendale’s Glendale Narrows Riverwalk Coming Soon

May 26, 2010 § 11 Comments

Map of overall City of Glendale Riverwalk project - courtesy city of Glendale

It’s been a long time coming but it looks like the city of Glendale is finally poised to improve their short stretch of the Los Angeles River. Their riverfront linear park will be called the Glendale Narrows Riverwalk, and construction of the initial phase is expected late summer 2010. Creek Freak sat in on a briefing about the project this week and is happy to bring you lots of details about its various phases. « Read the rest of this entry »

News and Events – 11 May 2010

May 11, 2010 § 1 Comment


>The Studio City Los Angeles River Natural Park proposed for the existing Golf and Tennis site is “the craziest g*****n thing I’ve ever seen in my life” says owner in today’s Daily News. Earlier Creek Freak coverage of the issue here and here.

> Blogdowntown tells how L.A.’s 1929 First Street Bridge is being put back together. 

Fairy Shrimp - photo from What's That Bug?

> What’s That Bug finds fairy shrimp at Rio De Los Angeles State Park wetlands.

> County Supervisor Don Knabe funds improvements to the San Gabriel River Bike Path in the cities of Lakewood and Cerritos.

> When bicycling in New Orleans “forget your compass and follow the River” says NOLACycle (via Streetsblog)

> Construction to begin in July on the city of Glendale’s long-delayed Glendale Narrows River Walk project – per L.A. Times

> Win free reusable bag by taking L.A. City Bureau of Sanitation’s stormwater survey. Follow their informative L.A. Team Effort blog. 


> The county of L.A. invites the public to a meeting regarding the Lower Arroyo Seco Bike Path at 6pm this Thursday May 13th at the River Center’s Los Feliz Room. Creek Freak project background here and here.

> Rock the Boat video screens 7:30pm on Friday May 21st at L.A.  Eco-Village. RSVP and details at Facebook event page.

> Register now for the L.A. County Bicycle Coalition’s annual Los Angeles River Ride taking place on Sunday June 6th.

News and Events – 17 February 2010

February 17, 2010 § Leave a comment


>The L.A. County Bicycle Master Plan Bicycle Advisory Committee meets tonight Thursday February 17th at 7pm at the Board Overflow Room at Metro. The county bike plan, which Creek Freak outlined here, includes bike paths along county-maintained rivers, washes and creeks. There’s also a series of ten county bike plan community meetings running February 22nd through March 25th, held in various locations all over the county. For more info on all these, go to the meeting page on the county’s bike plan website.  

County photo of the vacant under-freeway right-of-way along the Arroyo Seco. View is looking northeast toward Avenue 26, with the Arroyo Seco channel just out of the picture to the left. Avenue 26 is across the middle of the image with the Avenue 26 Bridge in middle left. Freeway ramp connecting southbound 110 to northbound 5 is on the right.

>Los Angeles County is proposing a new scope for the funded Arroyo Seco Bike Path project. The new plan is to build the next phase along the southeast bank of the arroyo from Avenue 26 to San Fernando Road. This scales back a proposed ~1.5-mile bike path (from Avenue 43 to Avenue 26) to an ~0.3-mile bike and walk path, but the less ambitious new scope appears more likely to actually get built. The newly proposed stretch would be located in a right-of-way that is currently mostly empty space (below the interchange of the 5 and the 110 freeways) but also includes a portion of a city of L.A. Bureau of Sanitation yard. The county hosts a project meeting tomorrow Thursday February 18th at 6pm at the Los Angeles River Center. Check out the county’s 9-page background report, with photos and a map and L.A. Creek Freak’s earlier article on the conflicts over the earlier proposed bike path(Thanks Arroyo Seco Foundation for posting the county’s documents on-line.)

>Same night as the Arroyo Seco meeting, the city of Glendale hosts a public input meeting for its Glendale Narrows River Walk project. It’s Thursday February 18th at 7pm at the Pacific Community Center.

>C.I.C.L.E.’s creek freak bike ride is this Saturday February 20th, departing 12:30pm from the River Center. Rain cancels, and some is predicted for early Saturday – check the site that morning around 9am to confirm that the ride is on.

>State Assembly Speaker Karen Bass hosts a Ballona Creek clean-up event on Sunday February 21st at 10am at Overland Avenue.

> The city of Pasadena Bicycle Master Plan is also underway. The current draft  proposes bike paths along the Arroyo Seco (near Jet Propulsion Laboratory) and along Eaton Wash (from Eaton Canyon Nature Center to the 210 Freeway.) Pasadena will hold a public input meeting on their draft plan on Tuesday February 23rd at 6:30pm at City Council Chambers.


>Live “streaming” on the Arroyo Seco, and a dozen other California streams, via USGS (In the Watershed)

Hoping to expand Glendale’s creek protections

October 12, 2009 § Leave a comment

a small wetland has been created by ponding of the creek's flows at a road culvert.

a small wetland has been created by ponding of the creek's flows at a road culvert.

Another view.

Another view

Is this a creek?  If you had a stream protection ordinance in your city, should this stream be covered by it?  Lee Scott, a Glendale resident, alerted Creekfreak to the fact that, while the city of Glendale admirably has a stream protection ordinance it only covers blueline streams. So his neighborhood stream has been at risk of development.

When I drove by there last week, a deer bounded out of the creek.  The creek zone was cool and moist, with sycamores, poison oak, and some reedy plants – due to the poison oak I didn’t try to get too close to take a better photo.  But it was clearly a nice intermittent-looking stream surrounded by live oaks.  Upstream, a road culvert caused ponding of the stream’s flows, creating a small wetland environment.  Looking downstream from above, the stream cut a deep ravine, one that I’d want help getting in and out of.

Protecting this steep, southern California stream only helps environmental quality – it protects water quality and habitat, and improves the quality of life of the people who live around it.  Too often we rely on the USGS or the Army Corps to tell us what a stream is – when we can clearly see for ourselves whether water has formed a stream channel, if there’s a clear direction of flow, and habitat specifically adapted to a creek environment.

Mr. Scott will put the issue on the table in a 3-minute public comment during the first “Oral Communications” period of the City Council meeting on Tuesday, October 13.  If you are in the community, show your support with a 3-minute testament to what some of these unmapped streams mean to you.  The meeting starts at 6pm, not sure exactly when the first public comment period will be – but don’t be shy, fill out that speaker card and speak from your heart.

And since the issue of creek protection comes up  – a lot – here’s a new page with some info to hopefully reduce the frustrating search for what-to-do when a creek in your neighborhood is at risk: Mini-primer on how to save your creek.

News and Upcoming Events – December 3 2008

December 3, 2008 § Leave a comment

Look ma, I’m a consolidator!

Disturbing Photos of Los Cerritos – Viewer Discretion Advised – Long Beach Press Telegram coverage of county maintenance crews vacuuming up tons of debris from the Los Cerritos Wetlands.  Shocking photos by Jeff Gritchen. Perhaps we should send the Green Gorilla out there, or, even better yet, prevent that trash from getting in our rivers by reducing its sources.  Perhaps banning styrofoam would be a good start. (thanks Curbed LA)

The Aquarium of the Pacific new watershed environmental exhibition, classroom, and native garden

At the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach: new watershed environmental exhibition, classroom, and native garden! (click on photo for Aquarium website)

Aquarium of the Pacific’s New Watershed Exhibit – Los Angeles Times blogger Louis Sahagun profiles the Long Beach aquarium’s newest and greenest exhibit with a three-dimensional model of the Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers.  The content sounds great, and it’s all wrapped up in a LEED-certified green building.  I am hoping to take some neices and nephews down there over the holidays for an on-the-ground review – keep your RSS tuned to LA Creek Freak.

Duarte Approves San Gabriel River Greenway Project – Cities of Duarte and Azusa, the Army Corps of Engineers, and the RMC (Lower Los Angeles and San Gabriel Rivers and Mountains Conservancy) are working together to move forward with the El Encanto Nature Trail along the upper San Gabriel. I only wish the Pasadena Star News coverage didn’t use the unfortunate phrase “paving the way.” 

Beginnings of the Verdugo Wash Greenway?City of Glendale approves community garden site along the Arroyo Verdugo.

Piscine Pasadena Project Procures POWER PrizePasadena Now reports that the Central Arroyo Seco Stream Restoration project, which restored habitat for the threatened Arroyo Chub, was honored by Public Officials for Water and Environmental Reform (POWER.)  Kudos to the city of Pasadena and the Arroyo Seco Foundation!  They deserve a round of applause.

Upcoming Meetings and Tours:

The city of Los Angeles and the Army Corps of Engineers invite you to a River Update Meeting on Thursday December 4th (that’s tomorrow) from 5:30pm to 8:30pm at the Metropolitan Water District Board Room at 700 North Alameda Street, LA 90012 (easy transit access – next to Union Station.)  First half of the meeting is on LA city projects, second half is on the parallel Army Corps’ Los Angeles River Ecosystem Restoration Feasibility Study.  (Note: Apologies for my previously incorrectly announcing that this meeting would include an EPA navigability hearing.  It won’t.  The navigability stuff is scheduled not for December 16th… I will let you know more details on that meeting when I get them.)

Creak Freek’s Joe Linton will lead a mini-tour of the Los Angeles River this Saturday December 6th.  Departs promptly at 2:30pm (arrive at 2:15pm) at Los Angeles State Historic Park (easy transit access – Metro Gold Line Chinatown Station.)  The car caravan tour will last about 2 1/2 hours, touching down at four sites from lush and scenic Elysian Valley to the concrete Arroyo Seco Confluence to the new state park at the Cornfields.  Costs $10 for Students, $20 for general public.  Organized by Alexis Lantz, UCLA School of Urban Planning.  Space limited – as of right now there are only a few more slots available.  For info and to rsvp email alexislantz [at]

Jenny Price leads Friends of the Los Angeles River’s first tour of the Lower Los Angeles River this Sunday December 7th.  Bus departs from the River Center at 9am.

The city of Los Angeles is hosting a couple of public hearings about the River Improvement Overlay zone (called the RIO and reviewed by Creek Freak here.)   These take place on Friday December 12 at 12 noon in Van Nuys, and Monday December 15th at 8am at City Hall.

Urban Photo Adventures Los Angeles River tour December 13 and 14

Urban Photo Adventures Los Angeles River tour December 13th and 14th

Urban Photo Adventures hosts a photo safari through the gritty industrial underbelly of the mighty Los Angeles River on Saturday and Sunday December 13th and 14th. “New Lousy Economy Pricing!” Well organized and highly reccommended and docented by author/illustrator/blogger Joe Linton.  Creek Freak reviewed here and posted more photos here.  Great recent images and rave reviews at Urban Photo Adventures site.

And don’t miss the downtown Los Angeles Library’s ongoing “L.A. Unfolded” historic map exhibit (reviewed here.)  It’s up now and continues through January 22nd 2009.

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