The Los Angeles River Clean-Up is ‘Thirty and Thriving’ Thanks to FoLAR

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The largest organized river clean-up in the United States turned 30 this April, as Friends of the Los Angeles River (FoLAR) celebrated with clean-up events spanning the length of the 51-mile Los Angeles River.

FoLAR’s ‘La Gran Limpieza’ invited thousands of Angelenos to come together and remove tons of trash and debris from the river.  Organizers divided the river into three sections for three separate clean-up days during ‘Earth Month’. Team FilmLA directed its efforts to the upper-river areas as part of its Earth Day 2019 contribution.

2019 marked the eighth consecutive year of FoLAR participation for FilmLA employees. Over the years, Team FilmLA has found many odd objects in the river and along its banks. After this year’s heavy rains, FilmLA volunteers reported much more trash in the river — particularly lots of plastic debris.

Since its inception in 1989, FoLAR’s LA River Clean Up has grown from just 10 volunteers to over 70,000 volunteers who together have removed more than 700 tons of trash from the river.

“Our 30th Great LA River CleanUp was a major success, with over 6,000 participants coming out over three weekends in April,” said FoLAR’s Deputy Director, Marissa Bates.

Among the crowd of volunteers at the Sepulveda Basin was Los Angeles Councilmember Paul Krekorian (2nd District) and Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian (46th District). Both delivered words of reflection and stressed the importance of preserving one of the LA region’s largest natural resources. During his address, Councilmember Krekorian congratulated the FoLAR team on 30 years of excellence in preserving the river.

“Congratulations to FoLAR for 30 years of stewardship and support of the L.A. River,” said FilmLA President Paul Audley. “FilmLA is proud to have participated in the LA River Clean Up for eight years and we’re looking forward to continuing this tradition for many years to come,” Audley said.

“The historic LA River has been the backdrop for many film & TV projects,” said Danielle Matthews Walker, Communications Coordinator and organizer for Team FilmLA. “Annually, FilmLA issues hundreds of permits for filming along the river’s banks. It’s an honor to have the opportunity to give back to such an iconic location.”

FOLAR hosts many smaller clean ups and recreational events at various locations along the river. For a list of events or to learn more about FoLAR and its efforts, visit

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