LA River Clean-up: Sign Up Now

Join what's called "the largest urban river cleanup in America" over three springtime Saturdays.

March will soon trot into our lives like a lamb — or is it roar in like a lion? — which means many minds around Southern California will turn to the Giant Growing Pile of Random Things sitting in the garage (or the storage room or the spare bedroom or the corner of the den).

But it is not simply we buyers of items that have to face a roll-up-the-sleeves bout of old-school spring-cleaning: Our famous river also gets a thorough dig-out come springtime, one that surely has it sighing "ahhh" in gratitude. (Rivers do sigh, though the sighing does sound like water rippling).

Of course, the LA River can't clean out itself, and nor would we expect the waterway's minnows and carps to do the job, because they're busy with minnow- and carp-related activities.

That's where we people step in, the locals who love this iconic stretch of actual splash in our skyscraper'd, metal-and-asphalt city.

And step in you can, right now, for the annual sign-ups for "the largest urban river cleanup in America" are now open for 2017.

The dates? The Great Los Angeles River CleanUp will again spread out over multiple locations over a trio of April Saturdays. The 2017 dates are April 15, 22, and 29, and volunteers will meet at spots like Marsh Street Nature Park and Tujunga Wash at Haines Canyon Channel, depending upon the day they pick.

This isn't an effort that's all about the concrete sections of the river, do note; rather, you'll be pitching in at the "soft-bottomed" and greener parts of the waterway, where much of the wildlife congregates. 

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Some 70 tons were pulled out of the LA River in 2016, so, yeah, if a river could sigh, it probably did. As for the weird things found? There's typically a contest for that, so keep your peepers peeled for the odd knickknacks you come across.

Friends of the Los Angeles River, or FOLAR, oversees the huge event, which draws thousands of volunteers. Will you be one in 2017? Pick your date, or dates, and help out our rocking river.

(And, yes, March comes in like a lion, not a lamb, though the forecast predicts some fine days ahead. Fingers crossed for more fine days in April, during the gargantuan river clean-up.)

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