On March 13, Friends of the LA River announced it is postponing the 31st annual Great LA River CleanUp to October due to concerns around COVID-19, which is caused by the coronavirus. The CleanUp has been postponed to Oct. 3, 10 and 17 from its original dates of April 11, 18 and 25.
“It is FoLAR’s duty and commitment to protect the interest of the environment and also the community,” FoLAR President and CEO Marissa Christiansen said. “To that point, with the rapidly developing coronavirus situation, we at FoLAR have decided it is best to postpone our annual CleanUp to the fall of this year. We were already taking precautions to maintain public health at the event, but we realize the threat to public health is growing and want to do our part to ensure the safety and comfort of the community, our volunteers and our partners.
“We recognize and are grateful for everyone’s commitment and support through this decision-making process – from volunteers to sponsors to our staff – and we want to guarantee a successful event,” Christiansen added.
FoLAR’s CleanUp attracts thousands of volunteers (families, students, community members and elected officials) across multiple sites along the 51 miles of river. It is the largest urban river cleanup in America four years running. Last year’s CleanUp attracted over 6,000 volunteers, who removed over 100 tons of trash from the L.A. River at 11 sites.
Postmates, which returned to be the lead corporate sponsor of the 2020 CleanUp, supports FoLAR’s decision to postpone.
“Community safety and public health is our paramount priority, that’s why we appreciate the steps FoLAR has taken in response to public health events, and it’s why Postmates has taken actions to support our customers, merchants and a fleet of flexible workers in this time. We look forward to being on the river for the 31st Great LA River CleanUp in October,” said Vikrum Aiyer, vice president for public policy and strategic communications at Postmates.
On April 22, Earth Day celebrates its 50th anniversary, which typically falls around the second or third weekend of the annual CleanUp.
“We are especially sad to miss celebrating the 50th anniversary of Earth Day with our month of cleanups, but we encourage everyone to do something on their own to celebrate our planet,” Christiansen said. “So many care deeply about the river, and we encourage everyone to keep in touch with us as we gear up for cleanups later this year.”
For information, visit folar.org.
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