Serving Larchmont Village, Hancock Park, and the Greater Wilshire neighborhoods of Los Angeles since 2011.

California Garden & Landscape History Society Conference on the LA River October 14-16

The Los Angeles River is the focus of the California Garden and Landscape History Society’s upcoming conference October 14-16, 2022. (Photo CGLHS)

The Los Angeles River is one of the great LA stories. For many years, residents didn’t even know there was a river even though it is widely regarded as the birthplace of the region. There is so much to learn about the history of the Los Angeles River and the exciting, and sometimes controversial plans, for the future of the river. This year, the California Garden & Landscape History Society has turned its focus to exploring the river.

“The Los Angeles River: Past, Present and Future,” will take place over the weekend of October 14-16, 2022.  CGLHS is an interdisciplinary group whose members include landscape architects, scholars, garden directors, designers, historians, preservationists, writers, librarians, educators, government professionals, and of course passionate gardeners and plant lovers.

“Our activities are focused on promoting wider knowledge, preservation, and restoration of California’s historic gardens and landscapes,” explained conference organizer Libby Simon, who is also a garden designer. Locally, Simon is assisting The Ebell of Los Angeles with the landscape portion of their historic campus master planing project building on the history of the garden she published in 2016.

“We’ll be focusing on what the Los Angeles River means to the neighborhoods, whether through growth and expansion of the river boundaries and therefore, the disappearance of neighborhoods, or with the blending of the river boundaries with the communities that once had their backs to the river,” Simon told the Buzz.

Speakers include Joe Edmiston, Executive Director of the Mountains Recreation & Conservancy Authority along with  experts from the Los Angeles Conservancy and FoLAR (Friends of the Los Angeles River) who will guide visitors on a tour of the river getting upclose to some of the iconic bridges, including two newly constructed ones, that span the river and link communities on both sides of the vast concrete channel. There will also be a private tour of the Taylor Yard G2 River Park Project by Michael Affeldt, Director of the LARiverWorks.

The second day of the conference will include an exploration of the Sepulveda Basinwith Tilly Hinton, founder and curator of LA River X, a digital humanities project that has been gathering and publishing people’s river stories since 2019. This area of the river is surprisingly natural and verdant, and tour goers will have an opportunity to truly experience the river up close. The Sepulveda Basin is one of three areas along the LA River with a soft bottom (vs. concrete).

The two-day conference is open to all those interested in learning about this amazing and unique feature of Los Angeles. Visit the CGLHS website for more information.


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Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard
Patricia Lombard is the publisher of the Larchmont Buzz. Patty lives with her family in Fremont Place. She has been active in neighborhood issues since moving here in 1989. Her pictorial history, "Larchmont" for Arcadia Press is available at Chevalier's Books.

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