Peter Bennett / lariverpix.com
Kayakers stretched out along the LA River. On June 1, 2013, George Wolfe and LA River Expeditions leads a kayak tour down the Los Angeles River. On Memorial Day, the Los Angeles River Pilot Recreational Zone officially opened to the public for kayaking, walking, birdwatching, and fishing along a 2.5 mile stretch of the river in the Elysian Valley. Los Angeles, California
"I had been scouting for a upcoming shoot when I stumbled upon the 6th Street access channel. I was instantly intrigued, and even though I was alone, I decided to make the dark trek alone. That small journey into the River changed my relationship with the city forever. Here was a space unlike any other — a poignant statement of control over something so inherently wild. This stretch of land has been a focus of my photographic work for a very long time, and continues to shape the way that I look at the city on a macro level. However, the most poignant experiences I have had with the river have been with the people that live along its banks." —Matthew Gush
Anthea Raymond / facebook.com/LARiverExpeditions
This photo of the Cafecito Organico pop up at North Coolidge Street and the LA River bike path in Frogtown was submitted by Anthea Raymond, social media manager and river guide for LA River Expeditions. For more, visit facebook.com/LARiverExpeditions.
Anthea Raymond / facebook.com/LARiverExpeditions.
"Sure I spend a lot of time on the river as a guide and boater. But I also live in the neighborhood adjacent to the river. And we're still sorely lacking in basic services like a real grocery store or a restaurant. This pop up gives me hope that more permanent additions both next to the river and along Riverside Drive are possible without disrupting the unique flavor of the Elysian Valley neighborhood or the bike path and river park." —Anthea Raymond
"Love riding through the L.A. river. Being able to see a past still in tact. It's slowly losing its flavor through some decay. But that's the beauty of taking my bike through the river path and making my way into 6th street bridge. Everytime there is something new to capture. A new memory to fill your enjoyment of the la river." —Oscar Vazquez
"One extended memory: The entire 6 month process of working on the Piggyback Yard (PBy) with FoLAR and four fabulous architectural firms (Perkins+Will, Michael Maltzan, Mia Lehrer and Chee Salette). One little memory: Riding in a government car along the banks of the river splashing and dreaming of dechannelization." —Jackie Kain
"I live in Silver Lake near the River and visit weekly. The zone near me (Atwater) is thriving and brings me such happiness and peace. When I bring friends along, they just can't believe it. Open kayaking on the River this summer was so joyful! So much good work is being done by FoLAR and others. Just keep up the good work! I wish more Angelenos were aware of this unexpected natural space." —Kimberly King
Courtesy of LA River Kayak Safari
"When my boyfriend came to me and said 'I bought tickets to go Kayaking on the LA river' I thought he was joking. He was not. I was born and raised in L.A. and had no idea there was a river. I knew we had riverbeds, which served as bike lanes, but I never thought that we had an actual river."—LaTisha Conto
The Sepulveda Dam is a project of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, built in 1941 to withhold winter flood waters along the Los Angeles River. "I grew up in Encino and Hayvenhurst was my onramp getting on the 101 to go to school every morning. Because the Dam is right there, there is a clearing and it delivers the BEST views of the mountains." — Jamie Poster
Fishing, bird watching, biking and kayaking — those are among the many memories our listeners shared with us when asked to talk about their favorite stories surrounding the L.A. River.
"Imagine if we were able to create park space in the middle of our most populated areas where you can sit and watch birds, sunlight on water and a river," wrote Michelle Lesse, who recently took her 13-year-old daughter, Catalina, on a kayak trip there.
Lesse and Catalina's trip down the river resulted in a "simple and short afternoon adventure." But listener LaTaisha Conto told a different story. First, she admits, she had no idea that there even was a river in Los Angeles — despite being a born-and-bred Angeleno.
"When my boyfriend came to me and said 'I bought tickets to go kayaking on the LA river,' I thought he was joking. He was not," she wrote.
The duo ended up in the water five times between the two of them — discovering that it's actually possible "to turn completely upside down in a kayak after going over a tiny rapid." Nevertheless, this city dweller concludes "kayaking is an excellent way to take in the view of the plant life that grows on the banks. (And though in my imagination there were Tigers and snakes in those trees, I am assured there were not)."
On Twitter, we received this video created by a group of 6th grade students, who made it their mission to document the 2008 river clean-up for a school science project.
Local photographer Peter Bennett shared a series of great photos from his recently launched blog, L.A. River Pix. His favorite parts of the river to photograph? "The soft-bottomed section along the Glendale Narrows and the downtown bridges."
"The thing that keeps bringing me back it is a 51-mile-long ever-changing landscape that always seems to be offering up some new face of itself," he wrote.
As you can see, stories ranged from insightful to hilarious. View our slideshow above for a collection of photos, quotes and lovely memories.