Neighborhood Love joins FOLAR for LA River Clean Up

October 6, 2014 at 12:17 pm

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We at neighborhood love joined the Friends of the Los Angeles River, FOLAR, for the annual river clean up. FOLAR hosted three days of clean up in 2014. We attended the group in Lake Balboa in the Sepulveda Basin Park near the Wildlife Reserve.

The experience was an eye opener. It was remarkable what we ended up pulling out of the river, a large laundry basket, license plates, clothes and a shopping cart.

I was shocked at the number of plastic bottle caps and plastic bags that was seen in the river. I could see dozens of them floating on top of the water. Since attending the clean-up, I have started to pick up 5 bottle caps every time I go to the park.
The ground was littered with thousands of plastic bags that had become buried and compressed into a thick layer like sedimentary rock. Plastic bags covered tree branches. I tried pulling on one of the bags out of the ground and it just exposed three other layers of dirt and bags – depressing!

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No wonder we have banned plastic bags in Los Angeles County. The ban started for grocery stores and large retail stores and now applies with small businesses as well. According to an article in the Huff Post, “About $2 million a year is spent to clean up plastic bag litter in Los Angeles. Sanitation authorities estimate more than 228,000 bags are distributed in the city every hour.” After seeing the situation first hand, I have no issue with the ban. To date there are 75 cities that have passed similar bans.

It was enlightening to see the excitement people had for cleaning up our city and environment. I noticed people’s determination in getting a hold of the trash they spotted. It took some creative maneuvers to accomplish the task. People created tools and we even had one of our own members fall into the river while trying to fish out a floating bottle. The next time I go, I will come better prepared. I considered that a pool net may be the perfect to bring.

Another interesting aspect to the cleanup is that FOLAR collects all the trash at the end of the day. It is sorted, logged and weighed and recorded. They have even captured the most common brand names, when they were legible. The most common trash brand names were Cheetos®, Fritos®, and Doritos® chip bags, Target® shopping bags, Capri-Sun® juice containers, McDonald’s McCafe® cups, Coca-Cola® cans, Rust-Oleum® spray cans, Breakfast Breaks® and Blue Bunny® Ice Cream wrappers. Another interesting fact is that there are even significant differences noted in the trash that is collected between the sites, e.g. the trash composition in Lake Balboa is different than in Compton Creek.

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I have to say the only drawback was losing my iPhone to water damage when it ended up in the river with me waist deep in marshy river water. That’s life I guess, but still a good cause.

We will be joining them again in the future. We will send a shout out to all of you to come join us and show your Neighborhood Love with FOLAR. If you want to see what they are up to these days on your own, follow the link to see their website.

Friends of the LA River, FOLAR
570 W. Ave 26 #250
Los Angeles, CA 90065
 http://folar.org/

Do you ever wish there were more legal walls?

July 21, 2013 at 4:51 am

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“There are so many different languages, religions, and cultures in L.A. and they are all expressed in public art.”  Isabel Rojas-Williams, Exec Director, Mural Conservancy of Los Angeles, MCLA.

On Neighborhood Love Radio Episode 9 Isabel Rojas-Williams spoke about the ongoing issues, proposed ordinances and upcoming votes that would affect the laws around public art in Los Angeles.  The subject intrigued me. 

Element-Tree X Montana Cans X Mr Mustart

July 16, 2013 at 12:59 am

Neighborhood Beautification

While eating pizza one day in Jersey City I stumbled upon a wall that looked sad and abandoned. I met its owner and explained to him that I wanted to get it painted and that all I needed him to do is sit back and watch… He agreed and we were on our way. I then contacted The Mighty Mr. Mustart, a local mastermind in color and a subliminal street communicator… he too agreed that something had to be done. This then lead us to the good people over at Montana Cans… they decided to fuel our costs after hearing stories of the sad and abandoned wall. Eventually the day finally came and we couldn’t believe how many people in that neighborhood including a lady that had been living on the block for 25 years … couldn’t stand the site of the wall. One lady said it literally depressed her and she was excited to see the development of the new and soon to be colorful wall. Mr. Mustart even started to ask the kids in the neighborhood what they wanted to see… so Sponge Bob and his boys got on the wall along with a few other requests. In the end it was a good time and the community appreciated the good energy.

Much love to my brother Mr. Mustart and Montana Cans for there support!

~Serringe

www.montana-cans.com