Certain places around Southern California get more play during particular times of the year. Big Bear might be mentioned more in ski circles come January while Zuma Beach may get a pinch more attention in July.
With that in mind, can it be long before the Glendale Narrows or Rattlesnake Rapids become some of the go-to references of a warm-weather SoCal experience? We speak, of course, of Los Angeles River spots that are growing increasingly popular with kayakers, cyclists, and people out for an evening, water-close stroll.
But keeping the river looking tidy and kayak-ready is essential to the continual rise and rise of our river. FOLAR, the Friends of the Los Angeles River, host a springtime clean-up of our waterway each spring, and that clean-up has gone wider in 2014, perhaps, in part, reflecting the river's strong ascent.
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It's year 25 for La Gran Limpieza, which opened in the Valley on Saturday, April 26 with a visit from Mayor Garcetti and will continue on May 3 at the Glendale Narrows and Saturday, May 10 at the Lower River sites at Compton Creek and Long Beach.
Want to volunteer? You can. Simple as that.
What will volunteers suiting up find in the waves? Just about everything. Straight-up debris to clothes to toys. "A typical clean-up results in the removal of 25 tons of trash from the river, ranging from scraps of plastic to bulky items." The "River Treasures" portion of the clean-up, which attempts to find the most unusual or outlandish piece of trash gathered, is a longtime volunteer favorite.
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Will it be another quarter century before the Glendale Narrows is as commonly mentioned as a play place as Big Bear and Zuma? Or even less time than that? Tending to the river in a consistent and thorough manner practically assures that this will come to pass.