altBeachPic“I’m really interested in public space. So the two main places I’ve worked on in L.A. are the L.A. River and the Malibu Beaches, which I really think are two of the great public spaces in Los Angeles that for decades haven’t functioned as great public spaces. . . even though you think that they have nothing in common, our concrete river and our most beautiful beaches.”

That’s Jenny Price, environmentalist, academic and artist who has made her “subject” the LA River and LA’s Beaches.

Jenny talks to DnA about how the river and beaches are connected, how to gain access for all through recreation, and why public space and the environment are a social justice issue.

 

Jenny Price (shown above right) is an environmentalist, academic and artist who has made her “subject” the LA River and LA’s Beaches. She founded the L.A. Urban Rangers, which toured people, thematically dressed as rangers, through the “ecology” of Los Angeles.

Now she is on the verge of launching Project 51, an initiative created with fellow academics, artists and activists that is aimed at getting Angelenos to “play” along all 51 miles of the L.A. River.

The concept is to entice people to play chess, dance, juggle or camp at the river’s edge, hoping that through such “play,” people will discover the river and become engaged with its future, particularly the “other 40 miles” that are not part of the Glendale Narrows project (an 11-mile stretch that has been slated for ecosystem restoration by the Federal Government to the tune of one billion dollars.)

And she just celebrated the launch of the Android and Spanish­ language versions of Our Malibu Beaches; that’s an App that informs people where they can find access points to LA’s many beautiful, but concealed beaches.

Malibu25120-sign

DnA met Jenny recently on Malibu’s Carbon Beach, where she and Ben Adair, designer of the updated app, were having a party, and she explained how the river and beaches are connected and why public space and the environment are a social justice issue.

Listen to the interview, above, to hear all about her efforts to open up the river and Malibu beaches, and how the river should go from being invisible to people to being a great marker defining the city.

NOTE: Starting July 1st, the California Coastal Commission can fine property owners for obstructing access to public beaches.

MORE on the river.

Learn more about the landscape design of the river in this interview with Mia Lehrer.

Hear about camping at the river, just one form of Project 51′s river play ideas.

Read an in-depth interview with Lewis Macadams, the poet who 27 years ago launched the effort to revive the L.A. River. He talks to the Planning Report.

Check out FOLAR’s new pop-up visitor’s center and gathering spot located near the bike path in Frogtown (below).

Marsh park, LA river

 

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