Indexed News on:

--the California "Mega-Park" Project

Tracking measurable success on preserving and connecting California's Parks & Wildlife Corridors

1. long detailed stories on blogspot (here!)
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3. automated news feeds from CA enviro websites in the right-hand column which change frequently and are not archived by our website (that's why we now have a twitter account to permanently capture the memorable feeds)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

October 2 & 4--L.A. River Restoration Events:

Munich Shares Lessons of Successful River Restoration
at Public Forum & L.A. River RioFest

Los Angeles welcomes a delegation from Munich that successfully shepherded the restoration of its own industrialized river, the Isar, into a “re-naturized” resource that provides both flood control and recreation. Highlights of the visit will include a free public forum to study how the lessons of the Isar might be applied to the Los Angeles River, and FoLAR’s RioFiest, which will celebrate the Isar River and local heroes with live music, food and a Bavarian beer garden on the Sixth Street Bridge.

River advocates from Munich meet their L.A. counterparts: politicians, planners, designers, engineers, grass roots organizers, and enthusiasts; Goethe-Institut Los Angeles/German Cultural Center; Friends of the Los Angeles River.

Isar Meets the L.A. River: A Case Study on How to Renaturize a River
Thursday, October 2, 6 p.m.

FoLAR RioFest & Rivvie Awards
Saturday, October 4, 6:30 p.m.

Case Study: Dept. of Water & Power
111 North Hope Street, L.A. 90012

RioFest: Sixth Street Bridge
Sixth Street at the Los Angeles River

Case Study — Free to the public
RioFest — $50

For reservations for the Case Study, the public may call Goethe-Institut at (323) 525-3388 or Friends of the L.A. River at (323) 223-0585. For RioFest information, call (323) 223-0585.

Much like the Los Angeles River, the Isar has a history of heavy flooding; indeed, its name appears to be derived from the Celtic Isaria, meaning “torrential.” In the early 20th century, with the construction of several power plants, the river was engineered into a linear path, giving the city an economic boost but seriously harming the river’s alpine character, accessibility and vegetation. And in many parts of Munich, the rigid walling-in did not provide effective flood control.

In 1995, a working group, Isar-Plan, was founded with the goal of returning the river to a natural and usable state. Comprised of citizens, grass roots organizations, and local and state experts, Isar-Plan began its restoration of the river in 2000. Thus far, eight miles of the Isar have been “re-naturized.” As the river wends past flowered meadows, the citizenry of Munich sunbathes along sandy banks, picnics under shade trees, bicycles along gravel paths and cools off in the river’s waters. Surfers even make use of the rapids! A fishway has been built to promote the upstream migration of aqautic life, and fishermen enjoy their sport here. And the major storm “Norbert” in 2005 — the biggest rainfall in 50 years — had no flood impacts on the city.

Once the home to steelhead, grizzlies, willows and sycamores, the Los Angeles River was the city’s birthplace and our region’s original source of water. Six decades after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers started encasing the river in concrete to prevent flooding, the City of Los Angeles faces an unprecedented opportunity to reverse the past. Adopted by City Council in 2007, the Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan sets forth a bold vision to create a greenway with parks, walkways, bikepaths and restored wetlands along 32 miles of the river. Like the Isar River before it, the L.A. River still faces many challenges before it can be transformed into a source of civic pride and pleasure.

Press contact:
Katie Klapper
(323) 874-9667

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