Friends of the Los Angeles River Friends of the Los Angeles River

Friends of the Los Angeles River

The Southern California-based organization seeks to ensure an equitable, publicly accessible, and sustainable Los Angeles River.

Reclaiming the River as L.A.'s Life Force

Friends of the Los Angeles River

Running for more than 50 miles, from L.A.'s Canoga Park neighborhood to Long Beach, California, the Los Angeles River was once the city's principal source of fresh water. Persistent flooding prompted officials to construct a concrete channel to control its flow and fence off the river in 1938. Nearly a half century later, frustrated by the narrative that the river is a concrete scar through the city, poet and environmental activist Lewis MacAdams cut a hole in the fence that had cordoned off the river and created an access point for the public. This became the symbolic declaration that the L.A. River should be returned to the people — and to its natural state. Committed to restoration and community engagement, MacAdams founded the Friends of the Los Angeles River (FoLAR) in 1986, and in  its more than three decades of history, FoLAR has educated, empowered, and mobilized more than 50,000 Angelenos.

FoLAR works to repair the river's habitat and support policies to make the river healthier, more ecologically sustainable, and accessible. The organization's Los Angeles River Rover is a mobile visitor and education center that teaches students about this precious resource. FoLAR offers the free Source to Sea curriculum to schools, Source to Sea scholarships for Title I schools that want to implement the curriculum, and an online education platform. In addition, FoLAR hosts community events, engages in advocacy, and publishes scholarship to educate, empower, and inspire Angelenos to rethink the future of the Los Angeles River.

GRoW Support


General Operating Support