LA River Revitalization: Guidelines for Expanding Open Space Adopted, Prioritizing Disadvantaged Communities

Los Angeles, CA -- The Upper Los Angeles River and Tributaries (ULART) Working Group adopted the Upper Los Angeles River and Tributaries Revitalization Plan (The Plan). Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez led the multi-agency working group to focus resources on park-poor neighborhoods.





FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 17, 2020
Press Contact: Tran Le, tran.le@lacity.org, 213-257-0475

LA River Revitalization: Guidelines for Expanding Open Space Adopted, Prioritizing Disadvantaged Communities

Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez leads the multi-agency working group to focus resources on park-poor neighborhoods

Los Angeles, CA -- The Upper Los Angeles River and Tributaries (ULART) Working Group adopted the Upper Los Angeles River and Tributaries Revitalization Plan (The Plan).

The Plan identifies more than 300 opportunity sites for recreation and conservation projects that could bring open space amenities to over 625,000 disadvantaged residents within a half-mile of the river tributaries. Projects prioritize disadvantaged communities along the Aliso Canyon Wash, Pacoima Wash, Tujunga Wash, Burbank Western Channel, Verdugo Wash, Arroyo Seco, and the Upper Los Angeles River. 

The Plan provides a framework to guide local government in pursuing funding for and implementing projects that restore natural habitats in areas that have been cemented over for decades. These projects will improve natural resources in the region and expand open space in park-poor areas throughout Los Angeles County by:

  • Increasing access to open space within walking distance to 1.53 million people   
  • Capturing 8,000 acre-feet of stormwater per year
  • Planting and maintaining 250,000 trees
  • Providing 1,000 miles of shaded green streets and trails 
  • Preserving, enhancing, and creating 6,000 acres of urban wildlife ecology

“The Plan brings long-overdue attention to the often ignored upper portion of the LA River and surrounding communities. We must reverse decades of haphazard development that left this region without open space and accelerate greener, healthier neighborhoods for our kids and future generations,” said Los Angeles City Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez, who led the ULART Working Group that oversaw the Plan’s development as Chairperson. 

“This conversation is especially important today amid the COVID-19 crisis -- greater investment in open space and the physical environment means better health outcomes for our families,” said Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez.

The Plan was a collaborative process that collected input from members of the surrounding communities by addressing the unique and diverse needs of each area. Over a period of 20 months, the Working Group convened 33 public meetings to gather feedback and develop a collaborative, inclusive planning process. Local non-governmental organizations were tapped to help inform the public and draw participation from diverse segments of the local population.   

The Plan has a bilingual, 20-page Reader’s Guide available online at www.upperlariver.org, along with the full plan document. The Guide outlines the improvements proposed and the extensive community outreach process that led to the development of the Plan.

The ULART Working Group was established by State legislation in 2017 to develop the ULART Revitalization Plan, which was administered by the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy. The appointed Working Group was made of representatives from the State of California, Los Angeles County, and the cities adjoining the Upper LA River, along with community leaders, and was assisted by non-government organizations helping as partners in outreach and engagement. 

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ABOUT COUNCILWOMAN MONICA RODRIGUEZ

Los Angeles City Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez serves as the Chair of the City’s Public Safety Committee and represents the 7th Council District in the Northeast San Fernando Valley which includes the neighborhoods of Sylmar, Mission Hills, Pacoima, Lake View Terrace, Sunland, Tujunga, North Hills, Shadow Hills, and La Tuna Canyon.