About Us

Welcome to The Village Gardeners’ official website!

The Village Gardeners of The Los Angeles River is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization dedicated to the beautification of the Los Angeles River between Coldwater Canyon Avenue and Fulton Avenue, in Studio City & Sherman Oaks, CA.  The mission of The Village Gardeners is to lead our community in the environmental enhancement of Los Angeles River greenways with emphasis on conservation, ecology, and restoration of natural habitat, through partnerships with schools, community organizations,  and governmental agencies.

The Village Gardeners strives to set new standards in environmental stewardship with respect to LA River greenways.  We partner with other groups to promote environmental, art, and educational projects which foster a communal commitment to the rebirth of the river while respecting the river’s role as a vital element in regional flood control management. Be a part of the LA River Master Plan! Join us in our efforts to clean up and beautify our community. Let’s work together to bring about the revival of the Los Angeles River!

As part of our mission, we aim to raise public awareness to the negative impact that littering, dumping and graffiti have on our community by starting our efforts at the grade school level. The Village Gardeners seeks to provide educational and community service opportunities for students and community members to learn more about our environment and how we can work together to make our community better, step by step. The Village Gardeners has hosted a number of successful community events to restore slopes by the river.  Please see our news blog for details.

HISTORY

The Village Gardeners started as one person’s response to the devastation of the Northridge Earthquake of 1994. The neigh-borhoods of Studio City and Sherman Oaks were among the hardest hit areas. It was in this area along Valleyheart Drive South, near Longridge Avenue, that the first Village Gardener started sowing the seeds of new life.

After seeing results of the independent planting, others in the neighborhood started pitching in with donations of plants, time and money. The Village Gardeners soon qualified for 501 (c)(3) nonprofit status and in addition, is a participant in the Adopt-A-Riverbank Program of the Los Angeles County, Department of Public Works.

Despite the concrete channel, this was an enjoyable green and flowering stretch.

The Village Gardeners, an all-volunteer based group, led the grassroots efforts to reclaim this stretch of the river, picking up trash, nailing back fences, painting and planting “whatever would grow,” according to co-founders Annette Fuller & Clarann Goldring. The site had a great feel, it felt like someone cared about this area.

A combination of unfortunate factors led to the inactivity of the Village Gardeners for a period of time.   Deteriorating plant life, excessive erosion, and lack of maintenance caused a  renewed  community interest in restoring and enhancing the Los Angeles River banks in our community. In the summer of 2007, The Village Gardeners ramped up its efforts, taking a fresh new approach to improving our  L.A. River greenway.

COMMUNITY BENEFIT

The Village Gardeners efforts include the restoration, beautification and maintenance of our adopted Los Angeles River greenway, which we have come to know as the Valleyheart Riverwalk Greenway. The Village Gardeners is committed to maintaining the high standards that the community has long enjoyed, and we recognize that enhancing the Valleyheart Riverwalk Greenway will help achieve a higher level of standards for the benefit of the community.      

The Village Gardeners is dedicated to making our projects ones that bring the community together, while instilling pride in a beautiful, clean greenway where residents can enjoy walking, running, jogging or walking their dogs.

In partnering with Los Angeles County, the City of  Los Angeles, Mountains, Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA) and other governmental and non-governmental entities, The Village Gardeners is working to implement the following list of improvements to the Los Angeles River Greenways in our area:

· Increase the presence of trash receptacles and pick-up service.
· Drip Irrigation.
· Improved pedestrian access-ways.
· Erosion mitigation.
· Improved signage.
· Fully degradable dog waste bags in dispensers.
· Restoration of California native plant life.
· Fencing upgrades.
· Improve the “Riverwalk” surface for safe walking, jogging and biking.
North Valleyheart Riverwalk Greenway

rampAs a result of The Village Gardeners’ efforts, Los Angeles County has adopted our proposed greenway project, The North ValleyHeart Riverwalk Greenway. The project includes many enhancements in the half-mile stretch from Coldwater Canyon Ave to Fulton Ave.

These enhancements include: replanting the slopes along the river with California native plants to restore natural habitat, extending the drip irrigation system, improved public access, interpretive signage, mixed-media mural and more.

Oleander Leaf Scorch

rampOleander Leaf Scorch disease has been particularly devastating to the slopes along the river in our community. The Village Gardeners aims to restore these slopes with drought tolerant disease resistant California native plant varieties.

Learn About Oleander Leaf Scorch

Located at the river’s edge at the intersection of Valleyheart Drive and Longridge Avenue (south side of river) is the Richard Lillard Outdoor Classroom.

The Village Gardeners is currently replanting this area with a permit from Mountains, Recreation and Conservation Authority. This venue is ideal for community events and educational presentations.

Please contact us if you have an interest in utilizing this urban amphitheatre.
Learn more about the Richard Lillard Outdoor Classroom
We give community service hours.


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