VAN NUYS ( — The Los Angeles Conservation Corps Monday kicked off this year’s Paddle the LA River program.

The program began at 9 a.m. with a kayak ride down a 1.5 mile natural-bottom stretch of the LA River. Two more launches took place at 10:45 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

The guided trips will be offered for 15 weeks Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays through Sept. 13. Wednesdays are reserved for youth trips.

Paddle the LA River represents the collective efforts of several environmental organizations — including Pacoima Beautiful, the River Project and Urban Semillas — uniting to enhance public perception about the LA River.  By paddling this scenic stretch, people experience first-hand that our urban River is part of an ecosystem that is both beautiful and significant to Los Angeles’ past and future.

The LA Conservation Corps’ primary mission is to provide at-risk young adults and school-aged youth with opportunities for success through job skills training, education and work experience with an emphasis on conservation and service projects that benefit the community.


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