Public Engagement

River LA’s public engagement work co-creates a healthy, vibrant, and resilient region by inviting communities to re-imagine their neighborhoods as part of a broader regional network connected by the Los Angeles River. By investing in an integrated public engagement program that utilizes both grassroots and digital strategies, River LA will build people power, amplify the community’s voice and motivate them to represent their communities and a revitalized Los Angeles River. River LA will accomplish its objectives through grassroots, peer-to-peer organizing that is inclusive and respectful of the diverse communities along the river.

Through a data-driven, people-focused public engagement campaign, River LA is committed to:

  • Build a strong organization of supportive residents in the neighborhoods surrounding the LA River by hosting events, meetings and facilitating relationships with community-based organizations;
  • Empower members of the public to advocate for policies that highlight the communities’ perspective and support the Los Angeles River; and
  • Educate by holding discussion and focus groups to broaden the community’s knowledge on the technical team’s analysis of the 51-mile Integrated Design Study and hold space for communities to learn, think and solve problems collaboratively on the future of the river.

The public engagement work during Phase One served as an opportunity to take a detailed inventory of the area resources along the Los Angeles River. An area’s resources extend beyond its physical assets; but extend to knowledge of an area’s culture, leadership and community life to develop tailored strategies to meet community need and not a one-size-fits-all approach. River-adjacent communities to be outreached include approximately 17 cities and countless neighborhoods within one mile of the Los Angeles River. These communities have been divided into three (3) target areas: Upper, Middle and Lower River Segments.

Upper River
San Fernando
Valley Communities

Middle River


Lower River
Gateway Cities/
710 Communities
Canoga Park
Lake Balboa
Sherman Oaks
Studio City
Toluca Lake
Universal City
Van Nuys
Woodland Hills
Arts District
Atwater Village
Boyle Heights
Cypress Park
East Los Angeles
Echo Park
Elysian Valley
Glassell Park
Lincoln Heights
Los Feliz
Bell Gardens
Huntington Park
Long Beach
South Gate


Public engagement activities include the following:

  • River LA Listens – a series of public listening sessions in the Lower, Middle and Upper River to share progress on the Integrated Design Study, listen to the public’s thoughts and get people to commit to participate in revitalizing the LA River.
  • Children’s Listening Sessions – During the River LA Listens Sessions, children will be encouraged to share their vision for the River. Through interactive play, they will participate in exercises that create awareness for the importance of children in creating just, equitable and sustainable neighborhoods where families can live, play and grow.
  • Neighborhood Coffees or Charlas Comunitarias – Provide an opportunity to gather as neighbors, build relationship and hold space for collective problem-solving.
  • Walking and Cycling Tours along the River – In an effort to promote active transportation, River LA is organizing walking tours with community groups to encourage residents to play an active role in rediscovering the open space along the River and creating a healthy, resilient region.
  • Public Speaking – River LA staff will present at conferences, meetings and other community meetings related to the Integrated Design Study Criteria.
  • Resilience Bike Rides – a series of family-friendly bike rides from Vernon to Long Beach that expand knowledge of river issues through guided tours that promote environmentally responsible behavior and encourage residents to become advocates for environmental issues impacting water quality in the river.
  • River Advocates Program – Organize volunteer groups of River Advocates representing the voices of the neighborhoods they come from. River Advocates Teams are organized groups of volunteers representing the voices of the neighborhoods they come from. Each neighborhood team will have a clear structure, a group of trained and tested leaders, neighborhood-specific goals, and a regular schedule of activities and actions that members of the community can participate in.


Public Engagement Evaluation

To best meet the public where they are, River LA is employing a series of online and offline techniques to reach our diverse audiences. To track the efficiency of our efforts, all campaign goals are tracked in our customer relationship management (CRM) system, NationBuilder. This provides River LA with the opportunity to learn more about our supporters’ interests and provide them with targeted communications on upcoming events, news and action items related to the Integrated Design Study Criteria.

Supporters’ interest in captured both online through our website and social media platforms when individuals opt-in to receive notification. Additionally, individuals can choose to receive information from River LA by completing a bilingual “I’m In” Card, expressing their support for a Los Angeles River that is at the heart of a vibrant and resilient region we all deserve.

River LA Bilingual Factsheet (English and Spanish)
“I’m In” Public Google Doc