Following intrepid bands of drainers into the bowels of the concrete jungle, the films "Lost Rivers" and "Rock the Boat" remind us of the powerful role rivers play in urban life and culture.
While city leaders labor to rebuild riverside green space, Mama Nature is making inroads of her own. These scrappy wetlands offer a hint of what is to come in a city that’s going green.
City planners once imagined that Los Angeles residents would take pleasant walks along the freeways that line the L.A. River’s banks, but today, the waterway is largely invisible to the city that surrounds it.
It will take more than pretty streamside parks to heal the beaten-down L.A. River. A real revival will have to involve the entire watershed – a tall order in a valley dominated by blacktop and rooftops.
The Los Angeles River usually gets attention only when it cameos as an apocalyptic wasteland in movies. But a closer look reveals secret hideaways that could someday give the sprawling city a stronger sense of ecological identity.