Skip to main content

LA River Ranger Establishment Plan

PlaceWorks helped MRCA bring together various agencies and organizations to embrace the LA River as a valued and necessary asset, transforming the perception of the river and its tributaries as well as the physical character of its dynamic corridor.



Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority (MRCA)


Los Angeles County, California


  • Community Participation
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Open Space & Resource Planning
  • Stakeholder Engagement

The Los Angeles River runs 51 miles through some of the most historically and culturally diverse communities in Southern California. However, it gradually became separated—literally and figuratively—from these communities as development within floodplains necessitated a new flood control system, which facilitated more widespread urbanization and, most recently, increases in improper behavior. Nevertheless, the river is regaining public attention, not as a flood risk, but as a recreation resource and multiuse trail. The need for agencies to work together to address public safety, education, and resource improvements is becoming more urgent.

PlaceWorks assisted the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, along with the San Gabriel and Lower LA Rivers and Mountains Conservancy, to develop the River Ranger Establishment Plan and Implementation Program, as required under Assembly Bill 1558. Under a compressed schedule, PlaceWorks assisted with the development and implementation of a wide-cast community engagement effort, facilitation of a stakeholder committee representing cities, agencies, and organizations along the river, and the preparation of the program framework report that sets the stage for further development of the program.

The development of the River Ranger Plan and a pilot program will catalyze the long-term, multi-jurisdictional collaboration and coordination that is necessary for the success of this program and other river and watershed programs.