LA River: A New VR Experience

Don your headset and traverse our urban waterway.

There are nearly as many ways to experience the Los Angeles River as there are drops of water in the river.

Okay, perhaps that's a stretch, but our city's famous stretch of aquatic, bird-pretty, kayak-traversing nature regularly attracts a multitude of Southern Californians looking for an easy and breezy day out.

Those days out along the waterway are becoming more frequent, too, as the river is restored, in parts, to its natural state.

And while heading for Frog Spot or another wilder area can give the day-outer a sense of that natural state, river-inspired easy breeziness will also soon arrive via virtual reality, thanks to the new LA River VR Experience.

Produced by the Friends of the Los Angeles River, in partnership with Mayor Eric Garcetti, the LA River VR Experience is a jaunt around the river's banks and wetlands, but one that "combines renderings of restoration projects with the VR film so that the audience can have a first person experience of the river restoration," says FOLAR's Chris Fleming.

"We want to people to literally be able to see concrete transformed into living urban river habitat," a goal that's met through the "bird's view map."

The experience's October release date will coincide with the advocacy organization's 30th anniversary.

There's no need to wait for fall, though, to get a dose of the doc: A trailer for the LA River VR Experience is viewable now without a VR headset, though there are suggestions on the page about how to enjoy it in its full immersive glory (a Vrideo app is recommended, but read all).

Ready to be a bird above the river and ponder all of its future possibilities? Possibilities that put it back in touch with its past self, a leafier, tree-filled, fish- and bird-majestic time? Find that headset and watch.

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