Lush stands of willows and Sycamores, flowing water, Great Blue Herons and Belted Kingfishers. These are not your typical visions of the Los Angeles River, but this month, member of the Audubon Center at Debs Park’s Arroyo Green Team have experienced this urban habitat by kayak. Led by LA River Expeditions, teen participants have gotten a glimpse of what the river used to be and a vision for the future, where wildlife habitat and experiences in nature can be had right in the middle of the city. They learned about the Yellow-billed Cuckoo, a bird that once nested in lush streamside habitat, but whose nests disappeared just a few years after the LA River was put in concrete. Here’s some of what the Green Team had to say about their experiences on the river:
My kayaking trip at the LA River was incredible. I had never done that before and to be able to enjoy that with my friends was amazing.
When you think of the LA River, what comes to mind? Thoughts that probably do not come to mind are a bank of trees and various species of bird life. This is a beautiful site that the Arroyo Green Team saw while kayaking down this beauty through Los Angeles.
When I went to the LA River, I experienced a lot of things like the river was clean and there was actually a river there. This was one of my best days because I was kayaking for the first time. It was fun and exciting.
The LA River trip was very relaxing. I had no idea there was a portion of the river that wasn’t covered in concrete.
I really liked this kayaking trip a lot. I’ve never been kayaking before but this experience was really fun and a great opportunity to try out. I would go kayaking on the LA River again because its really peaceful and amazing.
As you can tell, the Green Team members had a great time on the river. We were honored to be part of this unique LA nature experience. Special thanks to LA River Expeditions, San Joaquin River Stewardship Program, Audubon Center staff and volunteers, and a generous supporter who made this all possible.