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Urban Waters Partnership

Accomplishments: Los Angeles Urban Waters Location

2016

Urban Waters Ambassador Recieves Mayor of Los Angeles Commendation

The mayor gave an official commendation to Pauline Louie, the Urban Waters Ambassador for the Los Angeles River, on September 15th, 2016. The award recognizes her achievements as part of the Urban Waters Federal Partnership, saying: "I, Eric Garcetti, as Mayor of the City of Los Angeles, do hereby commend and offer appreciation to Pauline Louie and the Urban Waters Federal Partnership for the exceptional service to the City of Los Angeles in bringing new life to our Los Angeles River."

2015

Juan Bautista de Anza Historic Trail Certification - Los Angeles River Corridor

The exploratory expedition led by Spanish Lieutenant Colonel Juan Bautista de Anza and 240 people from Culican, New Spain camped along the Los Angeles River in 1775 on their way to San Francisco.  In 1781, a member of the Anza expedition, Jose Vicente Feliz, returned to help establish El Pueblo de la Reina de Los Angeles - or what we call today the City of Los Angeles. As much as the Los Angeles River helped to define a mysterious landscape for weary explorers in 1775 with water, food and respite, the certification of this portion of the Trail reveals the role of the Los Angeles River in the City's history, and the complexity of its influence in its future. 

The Urban Waters Federal Partnership worked with the City of Los Angeles and the National Park Service certified this portion of the river as historical and marked the event celebrating along the River on October 15, 2015 with local officials, including the mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti.  To highlight the connection between the natural and cultural heritage of Los Angeles through the Every Kid in a Park Initiative, over 400 local 4th-Grade students joined National Director Julie Williams and Mayor Garcetti in receiving their free annual family pass to national recreational lands, and being sworn in as Junior Rangers.

Los Angeles River and Aliso Creek Confluence Park

The Trust for Public Land has worked to identify opportunities to bring parks, trails and green streets to low and moderate income communities locked in the hardscaped urban core of Los Angeles. The fenced, concrete-lined meeting spot of the Los Angeles River and one of its San Fernando Valley tributaries at Aliso Creek is being transformed into a recreational hub along the River that includes a natural park, outdoor community meeting areas, public art, and 1.5 miles of walking and biking paths.

The Urban Waters Federal Partnership has been working with its partners including the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development which provided Community Development Block Grant funding, to showcase the engagement of federal programs typically less-utilized in environmental projects in multi-benefit neighborhood projects that includes river revitalization, expanded recreation, and storm water management as a driver of community economic development.

Green Infrastructure and Climate Change Resilience Charrette

In support of Urban Waters partners working to increase the number and effectiveness of green infrastructure projects in the Los Angeles area, the EPA and the City of LA conducted a Green Infrastructure and Climate Change Resilience Charrette on September 24, 2015 that drew over 75 practitioners from a diverse range of stakeholders involved in local infrastructure planning. The event was designed to move stakeholders from discussion about the dire need for water conservation and storm water management to ground-level design and action. Participants focused on three transportation corridors within the LA River Watershed aligning with an overarching resiliency theme of heat island relief, urban connectivity/revitalization, and local water supply enhancement. Breakout groups came up with plans for using green infrastructure to improve resiliency and made recommendations for better institutionalizing green infrastructure in local planning processes which were presented to officials present from City, County and State agencies.

Los Angeles River Ecosystem Restoration - Army Corps of Engineers Feasibility Study

The City of Los Angeles first began a feasibility process with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers related to restoring a natural ecosystem within the Los Angeles River nearly 10 years ago, and in July 2015 both long time visionaries and recent advocates alike shared an emotional moment as the USACE Civil Works Review Board voted to move the Plan forward with the comprehensive restoration scope known as "Alternative-20." This scope was championed by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, officials from neighboring cities, and other local advocates as having the greatest ecosystem outcome for the price, and yet they judiciously worked at every level of approval to defend the anticipated $1.35 Billion total price and to explain how the cost will be more than shared by the City of Los Angeles. This advocacy even involved a $1 Million contribution by a private local source 2012 to help finish the Alternatives Study when the process seemed stalled for lack of funding. The 11-mile stretch of River in the Glendale Narrows area north of Downtown is called the ARBOR (Area with Restoration Benefits and Opportunities for Revitalization) and is central to the expanding momentum to revitalize the Los Angeles River in all reaches.

TreePeople's School Greening Initiative (CA)

TreePeople's School Greening Initiative is an award- winning educational program that engages and guides an entire school community to replace asphalt with shade and fruit trees on barren school campuses in Los Angeles. The results are improved air and water quality, energy savings, reduced health risks, and improved educational efficacy. The goals of the School Greening Initiative during the grant period are to: transform the landscape at 20 Title schools in Los Angeles by removing asphalt and planting trees; engage 1,800 volunteers in project implementation and maintaining the projects long-term; plant 500 shade and fruit trees on Los Angeles school campuses; and Increase water supply by diverting 141,000 gallons of stormwater by removing 15,000 square feet of asphalt.

Avalon Green Alley Demonstration Project

The Trust for Public Land’s Avalon Green Alley Demonstration Project represents the very first green alley network to be implemented in South Los Angeles, the first alley retrofit in Los Angeles to incorporate greening, and the first to demonstrate the potential of green alleys to transform residential areas of significant density and poverty. As such, this project has the potential to have regional, statewide, and national impact on innovative green infrastructure and urban greening measures. Project benefits include identifying innovative and cost- effective means to improve water quality, contributing to the restoration of local ecosystems through the improvement of water quality and conservation of water resources, facilitating investment in green infrastructure through the development, implementation, and testing of new methods for urban greening, and engaging local residents in the design and development of new green spaces within their community. The long-term outreach and conservation outcomes will be to complete Avalon Green Alley Demonstration Project by Spring, 2015.