We provide communities with the tools they need to reclaim their riverfront lands.

Fourth & Fifth Grade Finalists

The L.A. River

The river of words, the river of dreams.
It gets angry when it’s polluted; it’s satisfied when it’s cleaned.
It has a mind of its own, and it has its own feelings.
It speaks from its swift currents,
It thinks from its dark depths,
It slows its cascades for a nice, peaceful rest.

Men rip the river of its beauty when they came,
Though the spirit of the river they thought they could tame.
Bordered by concrete walls,
The river is in pain in its pitiful calls,
Yet in some parts it flows freely,
It will always be there for us to see.

Waters rushing, slithering snake-like,
Strong and bold, like an eagle’s flight.
It runs through the valley, like a mustang in the night.
The river is a depression potion,
You’d get drowsy from its flowing motion.

- Mack Bleach

 

Whoever

Whoever walks the golden earth and knows the beauty of water,
she cries all day sometimes for what she has seen
Whoever understands the arts and can see her reach out her arms to help those most in need
The river of the Angel is locked in a prison that opens only for those with the key
The key is old and rusty like the sunset on the sand
and if Whoever doesn’t help the river she will never see light again
Unless Whoever sets off on a journey to find the age-old key
because when Whoever opens the rusted lock
she can set the angel free!

- Emily Buck

 

What we did to the L.A. River

She was a beauty
Who showered us with life
She was the reason
That we built on this land
She was a racing cougar
Prancing over falls
And, like the wind
She rushed with raging speed
She hurried toward the ocean
As quickly as a jaguar
But then a long rain came
And as she thrashed about
Her range was washed away
But us humans quarreled back
We tried to tame the river
For we were bears
And she had reached out
And stole our honey
And we would stop at nothing
To get our honey back
We were as fierce as a hungry lion
In getting our honey back
We raged like a hurricane
We bears attacked the river
We called the Army Corps of Engineers
And they poured cement in her!
But we didn’t care
We just wanted our honey
We didn’t care that the river
Was getting Xd
We wanted to build
Everywhere
Now we have to care
And restore the river
Before mother nature
Strikes us down like a hungry wolf
But nobody’s cared
Until now
We have to care
For the L.A. River
And stop all this death
These trash trees
Must be cleaned
And we must stop this
Meaningless end of the river.

- Dani Bork

 

The LA river is cool it’s a green pool
But it’s dirty not purity
It’s rocky and mossy
It’s a dump and it has some bumps
It is as ugly as my sisters
But it’s a good friend you see
The river whistles to me and I whistle back
Whenever I stroll on its street it looks at me

- Justin Chang

 

It’s Lost

A lost world that used to be
A patch of grass even a tree
But a twisting trail of a small stream
We now work together as a good team
To bring back life
To bring back the river
The only thing to do is quiver
Like a prisoner in chains
Like a trashed tree
Bring back the LA river to what it used to be
The beauty it once had
That evaporated into bad
Let the prisoner come free
Let the trees be cleansed
Let everything come back
Let us bring back life
Let the lost world be unlocked

- Devon Harris

 

The River

River, slowly flowing
River, flying like a bird on a summer breeze
River, rolling, rushing, rapid
River, swimming, slowly, swiftly, softly, silently
River, life bubbling from it’s depths
River, wild
River, long ago

River, still peaceful, but polluted
River, a murdered man
River, carelessly cracked, crowded
River, laced with trash, strangled
River, imaculate of life
River, trashed and trapped
River, destroyed and dead
River, today

River, twisting, turning
River, like a snake
River, burbling and beautiful
River, surprising and secretive
River, strong and smooth
River, wild and alive
River, in the future

 -Carly Jackson

 

The L. A. River
It’s disappointed heart, the beating of a drum.
The garbage and shopping carts, thrust upon the body like a blanket.
It becomes more and more anxious and dreams of beauty.
How it longs to become lovely again, how it longs!
It cries to the people and begs them for fair treatment.
Answer to it, for it is the river!

- Anabel Pasarow

 


Trashed trees everywhere,
The smooth hands of mother earth
reaching down from her cloud to help us,
and she cries “ you’ve ruined it !”
Our river that once was a beacon of life,
has now turned into a huge trashcan of hope.
Mother earth, she has fainted
and she can’t wake up until our
beloved river is beautiful again.

- Sharlene Volman

 

no more

no more polluted love
polluted love, River
no more deaf persons who choose to kill
no more hatred and pain
anger coming from Nature
killed, murdered
no more unheard speech
of love for our love
River
they killed her
we want her back
no more
no more shall she go unnoticed
no more shall she slowly fade away
no more shall we wait
we want her back
no more shall we hear the sound of rushing,
we shall hear the sound of trickling waters
no more shall she scream with pain
no more shall we not hear her
the silent sound of death
no more shall we be blind
we want her back
no more shall our Mother die
no more shall our Mother weep
no more shall River cry
no more into darkness River shall seep
no more shall we slaughter her, her blood sewage
no more shall we see her pollution, her outside, we will see her inside
no more
no more
we want her back

- zoe tambling

 

Spirit of the River

There is a dragon-serpent
Who glides across the land
In a river of pure joy, songs of life
Flow from the dragon’s soul
Many other serpents join her while
She flows across L.A.
Her green scales glisten
In the sun that gleams
But one day joy rained from the sky
And her glee flooded town
So they put the dragon in a box
A box of cement to contain her joy
She could swim freely no more
Her friends died or swam away
She could no longer sing her hearts song
Her river of joy and love and life
Was dying with the day
On her tail, one spot was alive
She hoped one day
She would be free
Oh yes She would be free

- Darby Vranek