The Zev Yaroslavsky L.A. River Greenway Trail

Creating Public Access and Restoring Native Habitat

This half-mile, unpaved walking trail along the L.A. River in Studio City connects segments of river trail, restores native habitat with over 3,000 native trees, shrubs and flowers planted in an ecosystem design, improves water quality in the L.A. River by naturally capturing and cleaning urban runoff.


Connectivity: Creates three miles of continuous river walking trail – the longest in the San Fernando Valley

Nature: Native habitat restores soil health and supports a rich diversity of birds, butterflies and other species

River Art: Handcrafted, metal art entry gate and River Story Fence Panels tell the river’s human and natural history

People: Shaded seating area and Native Habitat Walk let you slow down and enjoy this piece of nature in the city

This trail is setting a new precedent for bringing nature back to our urban rivers 


Where To Go

Enter at Whitsett Avenue, Studio City or
Park on Whitsett Avenue
Next to Firestation #78 at 4041 Whitsett Avenue, Studio City, CA 91604


The L.A. River Greenway Trail is next to the proposed L.A. River Natural Park site, which would preserve the last unprotected open space along the L.A. River for 22 miles in the Valley. See Technical Feasibility Studies here.

The Problem

Many miles of the L.A. River are still unconnected and closed to public access, with urban development along both sides of the concrete-lined river channel. Green open space is badly needed in the San Fernando Valley, which has less than one acre of accessible parkland per 1,000 people. This section of the was barren and dominated by old, non-native trees.

Our Solution: Nature in the City 

Restoring native habitat in an ecosystem design sets a new precedent for the revitalizing the L.A. River. We planted over 40 species of native trees, shrubs, grasses and flowering plants, which are adapted to the Valley’s climate and provide the rich diversity of micro-habitats for native birds, invertebrates and other wildlife.


“There was a time when there was a perfect balance of the ecosystem where fish and game were plentiful and the river ran free with fresh water from the mountains.”

                – Gabrielino Tongva Tribe


We connected this part of the L.A. River to other trail segments – and to a public parking garage just downstream – creating a natural and healthy place to walk, jog, slow down and escape from the pressures of urban living. In nature, tall and short shrubs, grasses and plants occur together – so you get to experience a natural environment right in the heart of the city.

See list of native trees and plants

Telling the L.A. River's Story with Handcrafted Metal Art

The signature River and Mountains Entry Gate and River Story Fence Panels highlight the river’s rich human and natural history through interpretive and skillfully hand-crafted metal art work. These interpretive elements were designed and fabricated by Owen Gabbert, who uses both modern and traditional techniques to create art that combine organic and geometric elements and kinetic art.


Funders and Donors


Special thanks to
the David and Lucile Packard Foundation
Anita Hirsh
and Jacqueline Cohn

Project Team and Partners