Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Los Angeles River Revitalization Corporation Honors Reyes at Kick-Off Event

More than 200 guests gathered on the afternoon of September 11th to help 'kick-off' the newly launched Los Angeles River Revitalization Corporation on the patio of Atwater Crossing near the Los Angeles River.

An independent organization created by the City of Los Angeles two years ago, the LARRC is a non-profit corporation charged with promoting responsible development, redevelopment, and revitalization along the Los Angeles River corridor, in accordance with the Los Angeles River Revitalization Master Plan, according to their website, http://thelariver.com/.

Sunday's event drew quite the 'Who's Who' of Los Angeles 'riverly' people. While guests mingled and noshed, facilitator Ron Milam  got the 'riverly' energy going with his LA River wall mural where everyone was encouraged to draw their 'dream project' for the LA River.

Los Angeles City Council President Eric Garcetti opened the formal festivities by welcoming the enthusiastic crowd, and introduced LARRC's first Executive Director, Omar Brownson, seen here offering his vision for the River, while LARRC Vice-Chairman and first Corporation Chair Harry Chandler looks on.

Omar, who has extensive experience in start-up organizations, spoke of how he's 'come home' to LA to help move LA River revitalization forward.

In the short few months since Omar's hiring in January 2011, LARRC has launched their website, moved to offices at the LA River Center, and hired two additional staff members to work on fund-raising and office operations.

Among the political dignitaries in the crowd were Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina, Los Angeles City Council Member Tom LeBonge, Los Angeles Public Works Director Paula Daniels, Los Angeles City Planning Commission President Bill Roschen, and LA Planning Commissioner Barbara Romero.

The highlight of the day's event was the presentation by LARRC Board Chairman Daniel Tellalian of the first 'Changing the Course of LA' Award to Los Angeles City Council Member and River Champion Ed Reyes. The award, a beautiful bas relief of a blue heron rising from the River, was a commissioned work created by Los Angeles artist Steve Appleton.

During his remarks, award recipient Reyes spoke passionately about his vision for the LA River, forged by more than a decade of river revitalization advocacy within the City, and spoke how immediate attention on river corridor revitalization would bring much needed new jobs to the City of Los Angeles.

Other 'riverly' leaders spotted in the crowd included: LARRC Board Members Bruce Saito and Daphne Zuniga; LA Mayor's Office Liaison Romel Pascual; LA River Committee Liaison Lupe Vela; US Army Corps of Engineers Planning Chief Josephine Axt; LA Bureau of Engineering's Deborah Weintraub;  LA River Office Director Dr. Carol Armstrong with staffers Larry Hsu and Megan Whalen; CRA's Jason Neville; TreePeople's Andy Lipkis; Landscape Architect Mia Lehrer; Master Gardener Glen Dake; and the Trust for Public Land's Carolyn Ramsay.


  1. Great to see you there and super summary. Let's go LA River!

  2. What a great project! we will support Let's talk River! Go for the gold!


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