La Gran Limpieza – 2015

If you’ve never had the chance to take part in the annual FoLAR La Gran Limpieza river clean up, you are going to have a chance over the next three weekends: April 11, 18 and 25th. You might say, “well gee Peter, make this sound good why dontcha!” OK, here goes. (A), it is actually fun. Tons of poeple show up for the chance to help out: young, old, families, couples and plenty of single folks all come out for a few hours and lend a hand cleaning up the river. Last Summer I watched as our Mayor traipsed around the thik underbrush, plucking plastic bags and other assorted trash out of the trees as he went along.

 FoLAR's annual "La Gran Limpieza" clean up of the Los Angeles River. Bette Davis Picnic Area. Glendale Narrows. Los Angeles.
Eric Garcetti cleans up LA River

I have met so many great people at these events; one of the most memorable was the old couple in the photo below. He told me they flew into town, cutting off a business trip to participate; they never like to miss the clean-up. He said he was in his nineties and still running a successful business. Now I’m not saying there is a correlation between regularly volunteering your time at river clean-ups and being a healthy, wealthy Nonagenarian, but hey…

 Cleaning up the Glendale narrows. FoLAR' (Friends of the LA River) annual river cleanup, La Gran Limpieza, was held  May 9, 2009. Thousands of volunteers at 14 sites pulled out accumlated trash, mostly plastic bags, from river runoff that might normally find it's way downstream into the Pacific Ocean.

(B)  It really is a great way to explore a part of your community, or if you are from a another part of the city like me, the opportunity to explore a part of out town you may not have known about before. The river is changing and becoming a vital part of this this city that is long past due. Kayaking and fishing in the Summer are now just two of the activities you can partake in. Biking along its ever expanding miles of bike trails is great fun or just walking along its banks to feel a cool breeze on a hot Summer day is a pleasure we can now all enjoy. Much of it made possible by other volunteers over the years, and now the opportunity to do your part is yours for the taking over the next three weekends. It feels good, trust me!

 Cleaning up the Glendale narrows. FoLAR' (Friends of the LA River) annual river cleanup, La Gran Limpieza, was held  May 9, 2009. Thousands of volunteers at 14 sites pulled out accumlated trash, mostly plastic bags, from river runoff that might normally find it's way downstream into the Pacific Ocean.

 And (C), when Monday morning around the water cooler comes around and you are asked what you did this weekend, you get to say: “Oh, I was at La Gran Limpieza” at which point you wink and smile knowingly as you walk off.

 

Hope to see you down there!

 Americorps volunteers sorting trash at FoLAR's River School Day of the LA River. This half-day event gives students an opportunity to participate in a River cleanup and educational activities that teach about the connection between storm drains, the River a the ocean and the importance of healthy watershed management. Los Angeles, California, USA.