On Saturday, September 18, our volunteers led an incredible effort to clean-up the Elysian Valley Gateway Park as a part of Heal the Bay’s Coastal Clean-Up Day. Local volunteers and stakeholders had the opportunity to weed, mulch, and tend to one of the three pocket parks adopted by the Audubon Center at Debs Park along the Los Angeles River. This effort is one of many volunteer events the Audubon Center at Debs Park is hosting along the LA River as a part of a Proposition 1 grant. As part of the event, Conservation Coordinator, Cindy Castaneda and local volunteers filled a dumpster with weeds and applied fresh mulch throughout the park.
The Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy Proposition 1 grant is for multi-benefit ecosystem restoration and protection projects that contribute to the enhancing the 3 objectives of the California Water Action Plan for more reliable water supply, restoration of important species and habitat, and a more resilient sustainably managed water resources system. In partnership with Southeast Asian Community Alliance (SEACA LA), Public Counsel, and Team Friday, the Audubon Center at Debs Park received funding to do work at three pocket parks along the LA River. We’ve begun our work through volunteer service days one Saturday a month on Elysian Valley Gateway Park, Rattlesnake Park, and Steelhead Park. All are welcome to participate on the 3rd Saturday of every month. Check out our Events page to see what park we’ll be enhancing this month!
One of our goals in this project is to build community engagement to care for these pocket parks. Through habitat enhancement service days, such as Coastal Clean Up Day, we hope to make local volunteers better stewards of the park, leading to a more connected neighborhood. We hope to address community concerns over the effects of green infrastructure and gentrification or displacement. Many local community members living near the pockets parks on the LA River expressed concern that creating lush, green parks drives up rental prices, forcing them to have to move or potentially become homeless. Our hope is to create opportunities for community members to become more engaged in caring for their parks, learn about the history and importance of river restoration, green infrastructure, and native habitats and create their own community of residents who support parks and open spaces.
In addition to this important conservation piece, SEACA LA and Public Counsel will also be working on an anti-displacement toolkit and a set of recommended policies and programs for implementation by Santa Monica Mountains Conservancies and other government agencies to reduce the impact of green infrastructure investments on nearby communities.
For our birders, we’ll be starting bird walks at our LA River Pocket Parks! Join us for our first bird walk at Lewis MacAdams Riverfront Park (formerly Marsh Park) on November 3rd at 8am! Binoculars and guides will be available. We welcome birders of all levels.
We look forward to our work on the Los Angeles River and our partnership with SEACA and Public Counsel. We hope to see you at the LA River pocket parks. Our next Habitat Enhancement Day will be at Rattlesnake Park on Saturday, October 20th from 9am – 12pm. To RSVP, click here.