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Posted 5/7/2014

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By Brooks O. Hubbard IV
Los Angeles District


LOS ANGELES—Volunteers from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District joined forces with hundreds of community volunteers along the Los Angeles River adjacent to Balboa Park in the Sepulveda Basin for the Friends of the Los Angeles River’s 25th La Gran Limpieza: The Great Los Angeles River Clean Up April 26.

The event was the kick-off of three Saturdays of planned volunteer clean ups, organized by FoLAR.

“It’s an excellent demonstration today of the partnership between non-governmental organizations, city government, and the federal government that are in place,” said Col. Kimberly Colloton, commander and district engineer of the Los Angeles District. “[This synergy is] what we can do together that far outnumbers what we each can do alone.”

“This river isn’t just about our future, it’s about where we came from,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who welcomed volunteers.  “As you return to it [Los Angeles River] and clean those roots today, we also write a new chapter for what Los Angeles can and will be.”

Garcetti and Colloton joined more than 400 hundred volunteers from various community organizations as they removed plastic bags and debris from trees and river banks.

In addition to removing more than five truckloads of trash and shopping carts from the river, volunteers sorted and weighed about 90 pounds of plastic, aluminum cans, glass bottles, card board boxes and cigarette butts.

“It’s so great to have everybody out here today,” said the District’s Chief of Planning Division Joesphine Axt. “We got people from construction, planning, kids, stakeholders, the mayor and even my daughter together to have the opportunity to share love and concern about the river and wanting to see its improvement and actually to get something tangibly done.”

FoLAR will host two additional Saturday river cleanups:  May 3 at Glendale Narrows sites and May 10 at lower river sites. Activities start at 9 am. See http://www.folar.org/cleanup for more information.