Southern California environment news and trends

Want to dip a paddle in the Los Angeles River? Proposal could open river stretch at Glendale Narrows

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Molly Peterson/KPCC

Last summer, the city of LA's Carol Armstrong offered Los Angeles River history during kayak tours. If a new proposal is approved, by this summer people could paddle, bike, or fish a little farther south, in the Glendale Narrows stretch of the river.

If the goal is to turn the Los Angeles River into L.A.’s front yard, you have to figure out how to let people safely run around on the grass. The city and county of L.A., the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have been discussing how to promote public access while protecting the river environment.

Now federal and local authorities are considering opening up another stretch of the Los Angeles River to public recreation. The plan, to be presented at a public meeting this evening, would allow boating in the Glendale Narrows starting next summer.

What’s emerged from talks among federal and local agencies is a proposal that would open the river from sunrise to sunset for bird-watching, hiking, fishing and boating on a five-mile stretch where the river has a soft bottom. Parking is available at the top of this stretch, at the confluence of the I-5 and 134 freeways. Pocket parks along the way would provide access for the trail that runs along the river.

Officials want to know what the public thinks about this plan between now and the end of the month. Then the L.A. city council will take up the question. The Army Corps and other agencies would have to approve the plan, too.

LA City Councilman Ed Reyes hosts a meeting about the river access plan at the Los Angeles River Center & Gardens Thursday (January 24, 2013) at 5 p.m.

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