Harvard-Westlake School and Friends of the L.A. River have announced a partnership that will be based at the upcoming River Park in Studio City, creating more equitable access to environmental education in the area.
Friends of the LA River is a nonprofit whose mission is to support nature, climate and equity on the Los Angeles River. The organization joins River Park partners including Fernandeño Tataviam Band of Mission Indians, Special Olympics and Angel City Sports.
In October 2017, Harvard-Westlake purchased Weddington Golf & Tennis, a 16-acre property in Studio City bounded by Whitsett Avenue and the Los Angeles River, less than a mile from Harvard-Westlake’s upper school campus. The school is transforming the site into River Park, which will offer open space and athletic and recreational opportunities to students and the community. River Park will preserve urban open space and reduce water usage by capturing, cleaning and reusing stormwater runoff. It will also reintroduce native plants, trees and animal life to a stretch of the Los Angeles River, and create recreational and athletic facilities for Harvard-Westlake and the public.
The partnership includes public community programs and educational experiences for students from local K-12 public schools, as well as learning opportunities in River Park. Friends of the L.A. River will offer access to river education and meaningful connections for students. The nonprofit primarily serves students attending schools of high need.
“Our mission is centered on building capacity for communities to advocate for the L.A. River, and connecting students to the river that runs through their city is one of the most important building blocks of that mission. Particularly students who have not historically had access to the river or its resources,” said Candice Dickens-Russell, president and CEO of Friends of the L.A. River.
“Like Harvard-Westlake, [Friends of the L.A. River] is committed to providing exceptional educational opportunities to benefit our community, and we are truly excited to collaborate with them to deliver programming at the River Park,” said Rick Commons, Harvard-Westlake School president and head of school. “[Friends of the L.A. River] has been one of L.A.’s greatest champions for climate resilience, park equity and environmental justice, and we’re proud to host them at the River Park and support their invaluable work to restore and reclaim the Los Angeles River.”
For information, visit hwriverpark.com.
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