This is not the river most of us see when we drive through LA County. The Los Angeles river most of us see is a large concrete drain with, at times like this, a small trickle running down the middle. The vegetation growing nearby tends to be rigidly controlled, mowed when it gets too large, and often dry.
Yet, the beautiful river in the Urban Wildlife Conservation video also exists in patches. There are restored wetlands with shady paths. There are herons and egrets fishing, and red-winged blackbirds staking out their territory, and turtles disappearing into the water.
Restoring the Los Angeles River to a more nature- and people- friendly state is “part of the [U.S. Fish and Wildlife] Service’s Urban Wildlife Conservation Program and unites critical partners – Los Angeles Conservation Corps and Friends of the Los Angeles River – in this endeavor.” Currently, there are the areas of wetland, and there are now bike lanes along several miles of the river, with some areas safer than others.
Both rivers exist in tension, and one hopes that, ultimately the second will triumph as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife and Friends of the Los Angeles River work to make it so. S