Grab your paddle for a scenic ride down the LA River! Often known as an innocuous concrete basin that winds its way through the city, many locals can hardly fathom a leisurely and, oddly enough, scenic tour down the LA River via canoe or kayak. Earlier this month Councilman Ed Reyes (the councilman behind the LA River Redevelopment Scheme), along with his daughter and a number of other politicos did just that, making the inaugural trip that launched the “Paddle the Los Angeles River” program. The interest in the program has been tremendous with the 2011 Summer trip series selling out within a mere 10 minutes after sales opened. Each initial trip costs include $50 fee to cover expenses that include all the necessary safety equipment, boat rentals and transportation costs to the launch and pick-up sites.
Hosted over a series of six weekends spanning August and September, each of the two-and-a-half hour river tours will be spearheaded by the non-profit organization, Friends of the Los Angeles River. The program comes a little more than a year after U.S. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson declared the entire concrete-lined river “traditional navigable waters.” Although trips currently cover a mere 1.5 mile stretch of the Los Angeles River in the San Fernando Valley near the Sepulveda Basin, all the organizations involved are anticipating and mapping out possible expansions routes following a successful pilot program. To be notified when tickets become available again and support the redevelopment of the LA River generally visit www.paddlethelariver.org.