With a grant from the Wetlands Recovery Project, The River Project restored the functionality of the half-mile stretch of the Los Angeles River between Balboa Blvd and the Orange Line Busway Bridge.The bridge is the dividing line between the concrete-lined river to the west and the living river in the Sepulveda Basin.
The area was heavily infested with invasive exotic vegetation including Arundo, Castor Bean, Fountain Grass, Poison Hemlock, Mexican Fan Palm and many others, giving this reach one of the most diverse weed populations in the watershed. The new Orange Line busway exposes 10,000 commuters per day to the stark contrast of the transition between the living and concrete river.
Working with local high school students we mapped invasive vegetation, surveyed bird populations, and monitored water quality. We ultimately removed more than 3.5 acres of Arundo and other invasive shrubs, 180 invasive trees, 164 palms, and over 100 shopping carts. The project helped to restore native wildlife habitat, increase biodiversity, improve water quality and streamflows, and create major improvements to the ecosystem functionality and aesthetic values of the river.