Welcome to the City of Los Angeles and to the Los Angeles River.
The Los Angeles River has sustained human life for centuries and attracted the settlements that founded our city. What began as Tongva villages on the River’s banks was described by Father Juan Crespi during a Spanish expedition in 1769 as a place of beauty and bounty.
European settlers named it "Rio de Porciúncula" (the small portion river), and its water sustained the growing pueblo until the William Mulholland era.
The River also changed its course frequently and flooded the area several times. Its wild nature led to its concrete channelization, which began in 1938 and was completed in 1960. The act of channelization changed Angelenos’ relationship with the waterway, and lead to the River’s neglect.
Today, I am proud to say that our city has undergone an extraordinary transformation in how it understands and views the River. We now value it for its potential to reconnect neighborhoods, revitalize communities, and reemerge as a cherished natural and cultural resource. The L.A. River and its watershed are central to making Los Angeles a sustainable city, and thousands of Angelenos have rallied to support its restoration.
I have made the River’s revitalization a top priority for my administration, and thanks to the focused work of advocates like my former English teacher Lewis MacAdams, who founded Friends of the Los Angeles River, the River is on the verge of a new era that will one day restore its beauty and bounty.
I invite you to join me in revitalizing the L.A. River and transforming it into a functional, dynamic, and more natural destination for visitors and Angelenos alike.