VOICES--The LA River needs YOU! Friends of the Los Angeles River (FoLAR) is organizing its 29th Annual La Gran Limpieza / Great RIver CleanUp. Now less than a month away from kicking off three weekends of River CleanUp in celebration of Earth Month. This CleanUp is the Largest Urban River CleanUp in the nation’s history - and it relies on the participation of Angelenos like you to take hands-on action in support of River restoration.
Last year FoLAR mobilized over 10,000 volunteers to remove 100 tons of trash from the LA River. In the past 28 years, an estimated 50,000 FoLAR-led volunteers have removed over 400 tons of garbage from the LA River that would have otherwise washed into the Pacific Ocean.Together with our partners and community members, we can achieve a brighter future for our River.
“When you see so many people on the River working together in their FoLAR shirts it warms your heart,” says Marissa Christansen, Executive Director of FoLAR. “I am so inspired when I think about countless members of the River community pouring their love into our River over the last 29 years.”
FoLAR strives to celebrate the diversity of the River with a unique experience at each site. In addition to the trash pick-up, each of our nine Clean Up sites features eclectic musical talent that join FoLAR in the CleanUp to connect with the LA River community.
Select sites will also feature the LA River Rover - FoLAR’s 38’ mobile visitor and education center. FoLAR is working with Los Angeles Homeless Service Authority (LAHSA) to inform our safety talks and work with FoLAR staff, site captains, and volunteers on best practices around people experiencing homelessness in our River channel.
LAHSA outreach specialists – who work regularly with individuals experiencing homelessness in the riverbed - will be on site to provide additional hands-on services to those experiencing homelessness, to inform safety and to help Clean Up participants identify the difference between trash and personal belongings, so as not to disturb persons experiencing homelessness.
This year FoLAR’s registration and waiver process is all digital! You can sign up online as an individual, with your family, or register your group. Group organizers should instruct teammates to register, fill out their waiver online, and add their group name to the “Organization” field of the waiver. Make sure you tell everyone on your team to use the same name when noting your group. Visit FoLAR’s website: www.folar.org/cleanup-2018 to view all nine sites and register to join the CleanUp.
(Marissa Christiansen is the Executive Director of Friends of LA River.)