GOOD L.A.: Connecting with Nature and People
In the 4,000-square-mile metropolis that is Los Angeles, the often-mythologized freeway system may seem like the city's only connecting fabric. It...
In the 4,000-square-mile metropolis that is Los Angeles, the often-mythologized freeway system may seem like the city's only connecting fabric. It isn't, though. There's a functioning and widely utilized public bus system, young but improving light rail lines, and a burgeoning bicycling community. And, most neglected of all, despite its long history with the city: the Los Angeles river.These three connecting forces of the greater L.A. basin-the Metro system, the bike community, and the L.A. River-are encouraging Angelenos to step out of their cars and helping neighbors appreciate the nature that thrives in our collective back yard.Next weekend marks the 20th year of the La Gran Limpieza, the Great L.A. River Clean-Up Day. From Griffith Park to Lower Compton Creek, anyone can come to help protect and connect with the urban/natural habitat that is the Los Angeles River.The following week, bike and bus commuters can both rejoice, as Metro and local grassroots bike advocacy groups will be reaching out to the community through Bike Week. On May 12th, Bike Week will officially commence with a Blessing of the Bicycles at the Good Samaritan Hospitals, followed by a downtown bike ride. There will also be free bus rides for bikers and more.For something even more instantly gratifying, this weekend is Unique L.A., an independent shopping exhibition. Connect with the local artists through the Watts House Project or the hundreds of artisans at Unique LA. There's even a Hollywood after party. It would be the perfect complement to a day of volunteering through Big Sunday.The classic southern California sunshine is coming out in the next few weeks. There's no better time to appreciate the climate-and the myriad ways we can all connect with the city, the people, and the nature that thrives here.Photo of the Los Angeles River from flickr user Atwater Village Newbie (cc).