Councilmember Ed Reyes visits LA District
Councilman thanks District team for boating pilot program
By Dave Palmer
LOS ANGELES — Councilman Ed P. Reyes visited the District headquarters here on Nov. 3 to show his appreciation to the District team that was instrumental in making the summer’s “Paddle the LA River” possible.
The District granted a license in July for the non-motorized boating pilot program. The test period ran from Aug. 12 to Sept. 25. In addition to the 280 paying patrons, getting a guided tour of a portion of the river, the program offered an educational outreach component featuring guest speakers, including Corps personnel, discussing the history of the river and plans for its revitalization.
Reyes recounted a story of inviting a small group of students to explore the river with him.
“We got them to the river and they were very excited,” said Reyes. “They were on a kayak with their helmets on, they saw the gray heron and these amazing natural features that before they’d only seen in National Geographic, on cable (TV), and they saw them live. That connectivity to these kids, in terms of what they were observing, is having a ripple effect of seeing what can happen in the river, along the river, throughout the district, is going to occur because of the work you are doing.”
Reyes, as a member of the National League of Cities' Advisory Council, met with President Obama at the White House Oct. 27 to discuss economic development and job creation.
“We are at a place where we’re trying to get the President’s attention,” said Reyes. “We’re trying to create a sense of priority to create this domino effect of economic development that leads to jobs and you have been instrumental in getting us there.”
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Los Angeles District Commander Col. Mark Toy received a certificate of recognition at City Hall, on behalf of the District, in a ceremony recognizing the organizations involved in the "Paddle the LA River Program" Oct. 25.
“When you think about the Los Angeles River, it’s more than just the study we’re doing,” said Toy. “I think about Heal the Bay; we’re trying to work a partnership with them to install trash racks to clean up Compton Creek, which is a tributary of the LA River. In the long run, it’s more than just the ecosystem restoration study, that’s just part of getting to where we need to go, returning people to the river, re-vitalizing the economy and creating a better environment for everyone. It’s so important to Councilman Reyes that he wanted to come here to offer his personal thanks to all of you.”
Reyes presented individual certificates of recognition to eleven District employees; Lisa Sandoval, Kenneth Wong, Ned Araujo, Greg Peacock, Thomas Keeney, Bob Colangelo, Terri Kaplan, Kelly Howard, Dan Swenson, Jon Sweeten and TL Padilla.
(USACE photo by Richard Rivera)