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L.A. River Study: Should Glendale Narrows Lose the Concrete?

An update is expected Monday from a study of how to naturalize the 10-mile stretch of the L.A. River without creating flood danger.

The Glendale Narrows of the L.A. River run approximately from Griffith Park in Los Feliz through Atwater and Silver Lake's "Frogtown" to the intersection of the 110 and 5 freeways in the Elysian Valley.

The Narrows are among the river's most naturalized stretches. The natural bottom is fed by an aquifer, which has encouraged plant and wildlife to develop there organically.

When activists and others talk about possible stretches of the river that might open to group tours, the Narrows is frequently discussed.

The 10-mile-long Glendale Narrows has also been the subject of a now six-year-old study nicknamed the "ARBOR" study—an acronym for "Alternative with Restoration Benefits and Opportunities for Revitalization."

A partnership between U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Engineering for the City of Los Angeles, the $9 million study now focuses on the Narrows and ways to balance ecological improvements with adequate protections.

Some possible measures include partial removal of concrete along the stretch, as well as trails and natural filtration, according to a new blog posting by the Friends of the Los Angeles River on the KCET Departures website.

Three possible scenarios are still being developed. One will finally be presented to Congress for funding and implementation by the Army Corps of Engineers.

Click through to read the FoLAR blog in full.

The public is invited to an update on the ARBOR study on Monday, July 9 at 1 p.m. at Los Angeles City Hall, 200 Spring St., Room 1020.

See an agenda here.

Meantime, another summer of paddling programs at the Sepulveda Dam stretch of the L.A. River stil awaits permitting.

Julie Deamer July 07, 2012 at 03:11 PM
The birds down there make the case better than any study or report for the possibilities of a clean and beautiful river. Just imagine how incredible it would be to have this 10 mile stretch of river connect communities now divided by Freewaves and concrete!
Kim Axelrod Ohanneson July 08, 2012 at 04:35 PM
Last year, I paddled the two-mile stretch of the L.A. River (Balboa to Sepulveda) that has been left completely natural. It was an amazing experience and I really hope that the concrete is removed from the Glendale Narrows; it would so improve quality of life in NELA. A recent trip to Seattle made me realize that we're squandering an amazing natural resource. You can read about my river paddling trip at the link below: http://highlandpark-ca.patch.com/articles/travelogue-paddling-the-los-angeles-river#photo-7408103
John August 12, 2012 at 06:24 PM
European cities enjoy urban rivers that are integrated into the transportation system, parks, walkways, and natural areas. Paris is the most beautiful city in the world, with museums, parks, and bridges lining their river. Glendale narrows handles as much water as Niagara falls, and I have always thought a reservoir / water filtering area would be good there - removing some of the fertilizers, oil, fecal material, and garbage that is funnelled from the valley to Long Beach. The idea that runoff is too poluted to reclaim doesn't justify dumping it into the ocean. A clean nature reserve would attract wildlife, biologically improve the watershed, provide recreation, and allow for a cultural area of museums, art galleries, outdoor dining areas and bikeways. Make Glendale Narrows like Chicago, Paris or London for the common people and for the common creatures that habitate wetlands. It could be an economic boon and a cultural icon for Los Angeles.

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