The Great LA River Cleanup Returns With a DIY Vibe

The annual event moved from its usual April spot to June and July in 2021, with volunteers going at their own pace at specific riverside locations.


What to Know

  • Saturdays in June and July; do register in advance
  • Specific river-close locations may be found on the Friends of the Los Angeles River site
  • Help de-litter our celebrated urban waterway, one piece of trash at a time; CleanUp Starter Kits are available

Picking up a floating bag, a random bit of debris, or some other variety of litter while out on a hike?

You may have done so over the last few months, as you headed outdoors to connect with some fresh air, some blue skies, and our region's nature-strong gifts.

But there is a notable nature-strong component within our colossal city, one that wends its wondrous way through several neighborhoods, a beloved waterway that needs our regular care and attention.

It's the LA River, that glistening, bird-beautiful, flowful reminder that the wilder world constant flaps its wings, and moves its fins, within our city limits.

To help make this iconic river nicer for our beaked friends, the bounty of fishes, and humankind, too, Friends of the LA River has long helped organize a multi-Saturday springtime clean-up of the waterway.

That didn't happen in 2020, nor in 2021, but the clean-up will return in June and July, over several Saturdays, with a go-on-your-own DIY angle.

There are a number of CleanUp locations on the list, including at Lewis MacAdams River Park around the Middle River, and a way to get a CleanUp Starter Kit in advance (either through the mail or at an REI store).

"With your help we can remove hundreds of tons of trash from the river, preventing it from washing out into the Pacific Ocean," is the encouraging word on the site.

There will be a number of safety protocols, meaning traditional group photos and such won't be happening in 2021.

But the knowledge that you're pitching in for a few hours, and helping our big river to "breathe" a bit, is as sweet as a sunbeam bouncing off the river's gentle waves.

You can register now, get information on various locations and procuring a CleanUp Starter Kit, and reconnect with the important mission behind FOLAR's annual tidy-up of our titan of a river.

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