Over six days in a heat wave of early August 2023, our diverse team, led by three landscape architecture students, each with their own area of inquiry— ecology and mapping, urbanism and access, and heritage conservation and narrative ethnography —  embarked on a transformative journey to walk the length of the entire Los Angeles River. Joined by a film photographer and a documentarian, we chronicled the complete trek from Canoga Park through Encino, Studio City, Glendale, Atwater, Frogtown, Downtown, Vernon, Maywood, South Gate, Compton, and Paramount, culminating at the estuary in Long Beach.  

Over the fifty-one mile trek, we documented the river’s current conditions with a particular focus on arts, culture, habitat, access, and human experience of an ecological-industrial landscape through mapping, photography, film, and narrative ethnography. Our goal is to  record snapshot in time on the river when great change is imminent.
We are working in partnership with Friends of the Los Angeles River (FoLAR) and Nova Community Arts. This project has been made possible by the generous support and mentorship of USC Arts-in-Action and the USC Arts and Climate Collective, and the advising of Alexander Robinson.

Interested in getting involved or learning more? To get in touch, email us at fiftyonemiles@gmail.com.

This project was made possible with a grant from USC Arts in Action.
Contact: fiftyonemiles@gmail.com  ︎