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 people 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 thick underbrush, plucking plastic bags and other assorted trash out of the trees as he went along.

FoLAR (Friends of th LA River) clean up of the Los Angeles River. La Gran Limpieza, May 17, 2008

LA Mayor Eric Garcetti and Anaheim Mayor settle hockey bet

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 he flew back into town, cutting off a business trip just to participate; he never likes 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…

FoLAR' (Friends of the LA River) annual river cleanup, La Grand Limpieza.

(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 learn about a part of town you may not have known much about before. The river is changing and becoming a vital part of this this city, something 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! Now the opportunity to do a little bit is yours for the taking over the next three weekends. It feels good, trust me!

FoLAR' (Friends of the LA River) annual river cleanup, La Grand Limpieza.

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! More info here

FoLAR's River School Day of the LA River. Los Angeles, California, USA.


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