Thursday, April 28, 2016


         Hi. I'm Ahmed Basfar a Cal State L.A. student. I'm taking English 101 to develop my reading and writing skills. We are focusing on the city of Los Angeles and environmental issues. However, as a part of class activities, and since April is the month of earth, students were asked to sing up for the 27th annual great Los Angeles river clean up. The clean up was going on for the last 3 Saturdays of April and on 3 different parts of the river.
         I attended the event on the second Saturday April 23rd with a group of my classmates. The process goes like this, We reach the destination, signed in by filling a waver form, picked up bags and snacks. Then, the staff also provided us with gloves and trash bags to help cleaning the trash. The main material we were asked to look for and pick up was plastic because it is harmful to the species living on the river and easy to recycle. Over all, the clean up was a new experience to me since I have never attended such event. I felt like I gave something back to the city of L.A. and to our environment.
Here are a couple of pictures of the location:

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

LA River Cleanup

Hello,  my name is Oscar Coyote and I am in Ximena Hernandez English 101 class. On saturday April 23, 2016 I went to the LA River Clean Up with one of my friends. I have never been to anything like this before and wasn't really that excited to go because it was sort of early in the morning , but once we got there we saw how many people attended it to help out for awhile. We signed in, got a t shirt, trash bags, gloves and snacks. Once we walked down to the LA river you can see how much trash there really is and it's not only bad for the environment, but also for the animals. The LA river should be something that people talk about more and try to do something about it. We picked up a lot of trash and it was great seeing families come and volunteer. I didn't expect that many families to come and I recommend everyone to help out nature because we are surrounded by it everywhere. It was nice seeing what nature is like in LA because I am originally from NorCal.

LA River Clean Up

Hello, my name is Ceejay Garcia and I am in Professor Hernandez' English 101 class. On Saturday, April 23rd, we participated in FOLAR's Los Angeles River Clean Up. In all honesty, I was not excited for this trip at all. I am not a morning person and it was taking up my Saturday morning. But once my friend and I got there, I was surprised to see many volunteers for this event. At first we were confused on where to go and what to do but once we got the hang of what's going on, it was not as bad as I expected. Most of the trash that we picked up were plastic bags and junk food wrappers which was no shock to me. Some of the plastic was hard to pick up due to it getting stuck in between the rocks and in the plants, but we got as much trash as we could. Seeing many volunteers, kids and adults, made me have hope that we can better our environment. Overall, it was a good experience to see what nature is like in LA and to participate in a great program to better our environment. 

Google Image

Hello my name is Manuel Reyes and I am in professor Ximena Hernandez English 101 class, This quarter has been fascinating because we have started to learn about the Los Angeles River. The Los Angeles River was something I was not really familiar with until I actually got to read and hear about it. The only thing I have known Los Angeles for is its graffiti art, dodger stadium, and tall skyscrapers. I did not know that Los Angeles had some nature. This class has gave me and my classmates the opportunity to experience nature In Los Angeles by attending a clean up project by FOLAR. As headed to the event I noticed that I passed some bridges that were empty and dry like it was mentioned in the readings it seem like a "cemented slope". As we got to the event I noticed that it looked different because their seem to be some nature. As they handed us bags to start the task of picking up trash I noticed families with kids working together to make a difference. As we started I felt that there was not much trash to pick up because all the trash that has been littered was not seen but as me and my friends started looking more deep we found more and more trash in branches and above the rocks. After filling up our bags with trash we decided to go get a drink and take our trash to the trucks.  On our way their we noticed that a shopping cart was pulled out of the river which made me think how it got there? Next, my friends and I decided to explore the Los Angeles River a little more, our exploration got us curious of what the other sides of the Los Angeles Rivers would look like. As we walked we started seeing a change from the place we started which was dry and to the destination we were in , their started to be more water, we seen ducks and  more green nature. Surely we knew that we ended up in East Los Angeles. On our way back we bumped into some art done by a famous artist named Brett Goldstone. He does art for the La River his art consist of welded fences in the form of an image of nature. It was really cool to bump into his art, Overall volunteering and cleaning up the Los Angeles river was a great experience because my contribution and the contribution of others made me feel like we made an impact in the community and to the environment. 

Hello, my name is Sarahi Herrera, student at Cal State LA. I am currently taking English 101 with professor Ximena Hernandez and this past Saturday, on April 23, 2016, I participated in the Folar clean up at the L.A. River with my class. I wasn't so excited at first about waking up early on a Saturday to go clean up. I didn't know what to expect when getting there. But as soon as I arrived with my classmate, we had no idea where to go, there was a few people that seemed like they were ready to do some work but I wasn't so sure. As more people started to arrive, I felt more comfortable. To see so many people show up to this Folar event made me happy that so many people actually care about the environment. From adults, kids, teenager and even elders. I found it amusing how from the way it looked when we started the cleanup to towards the end of it how much a difference we could make if more people get together like that often. 

It reminded me of one of the readings we did for the class, The Lorax by Dr. Suess. The fact that so many plants and animals are being endangered and not so many people make a difference. The fact that I picked up all kinds of trash such as bottles, chip bags, plastic bags, even clothing is insane. "UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, its not." a quote from Dr. Suess that I could completely relate to, because if it wasn't for those people who participated in this Folar clean up, how will it ever become a difference. 

                                                    LA River Clean Up

Hi everyone, my name is Asef Ali. I am a freshman at Cal State Los Angeles. Currently, this quarter I am taking English-101 with Professor Hernandez. Recently, I have volunteered at an activity on cleaning the Los Angeles River. Honestly, I love to participate in such kind of activities where I have the chance to participate and help the community by making a difference. So, from the beginning when Ms. Hernandez mentioned about the LA River Clean Up; I was excited about the event. As we all know that LA River is one of the Historic- Cultural Monuments in the city of Los Angeles but going there on my first visit disappointed me and it was rather quite unpredictable. By exploring the river closely, I have noticed that the River was filled with a lot of trash or garbage.

While cleaning up the river, I found many disposable plastics, soda cans, cigarettes and so on. I understand the fact that these things are not thrown directly into the river but instead the water from the rain drags the waste product into the river. So, we have to be careful where we throw the trash. This activity is quite relatable with the Lorax, where Dr.Suess talked about the environmental themes. After the activity, I started to agree with Dr.Suess up to some extend that we people are not understanding our roles and duties when it comes to protecting our environment. But on the other hand, I was pleased to see that there are people who do care about the environment. As people of different age came together to clean the LA River on a Saturday morning. So, basically it all depends on us. If we all start to think the same way and care about our environment we can really make a beneficial change on behave of the environment. In the end, overall it was a great experience for me and I have learned a lot from it. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Los Angeles River Cleanup

Los Angeles River Cleanup

Hi, my name is David and I am currently taking ENGL101 with Professor Hernandez. I participated in the Los Angeles River Cleanup organized by FOLAR on April 23, 2016. Before arriving to the event, I thought I was going to the wrong direction because at one point, my GPS gave me an odd direction. When I arrived at the event, there were many cars behind me entering the parking lot. I had a few friends who were participating in this event as well, however, we didn't plan a meet up nor did we contacted each other. I followed few of the volunteers to the bridge area where all the other volunteers were at. 

There were so many people there and I didn't see any familiar faces.   I was standing there alone waiting for the event to start, however, a couple of my classmates showed up then we all got together as a group and worked together. As we headed down to the where the trees were, we started to find pieces of trash everywhere. There were also a lot of papers stuck onto the trees and it was difficult to get out. At first, I thought they were being tied around to hold on to the trees but then they were actually trash. As we were picking up trash along the way, I found a lot of odd items; like CD's, sweaters, glass, etc. 

I normally would just sleep in on a Saturday morning, however after I participated in the L.A. River Cleanup, I felt like I had done something good to my community. It was nice seeing many other people helping out as well like there were families who also brought their younger children with them. There were also a lot of elderly people helping out as well. A lot of people do not know that the L.A. River existed nor did they even know where it was located. After volunteering, not only was I only help cleaning up the river, but also enjoying the time at the river. Although we are in a drought, I am glad to see that is an active river still flowing. I would like to attend one of these river cleanups again in the future. 

L.A River Cleanup

L.A River cleanup

Hello, my name is nelson Hernandez, attending the L.A. River cleanup I learned that people's trash or anything they throw away from a trashcan affects others, like animals. This is because while manny, me, angel, and aseph were walking along the river picking up trash, we found two places where there were dead crabs. I was walking along the river hoping to find fishes but on that long walk, I did not saw any of them. Also, a river without animals is like is not a river, the only animals that I saw on the river were some ducks and birds.

I had a good experience because I got to see the river and seeing how families and other schools volunteered to clean up the river. It is really important to teach the little kids that throwing away trash is not good and after going to the L.A. River I saw a lot of kids excited picking up trash.

Hey there I am Angel Maldonado from CSULA and in my English 101 class with professor Hernandez we attend the LA river. When I got there I thought I was in the wrong places since it was a trail of dirty and I was expecting the river to look clean, but once I got closer I saw that it was dirty and filled with trash. Our objective for our class was to clean up the LA river and we got together with FoLAR and help out with the cleaning. I was impress on how many people went to the LA river to clean and help out. The thing that caught my eye more was how parents were taking their kids to the LA river to be a part of the FoLAR move. The parents were teaching their kids in cleaning up the LA river can be beneficial for them because later in the future they will have a cleaner river and will teaches them to not trash the river. My experience was great because i got the chance to meet new people that are also willing to make a change in the community by cleaning up the river. ii got the chance to talk to the people that there being a part of the cleanup and they will tell me that they want to better LA by stop trashing it. In my experience wasn't really expecting to see a lot of trash in the LA river but in the end many people put in the work and clean up that there were so many bags of trash at the top of the river so people can collect them and take them to the trucks. I got to see people struggling to take out two shopping carts that were in the river. I found a steal metal sheet that was all rusted in the river and I took it to where all the trash bags were. I saw was surprise that I saw ducks in the river since its cover in trash and me and my friends found a dead crab in the water as well. All in all, my experience was great I had a good time cleaning up the LA river.

L.A. River Clean Up

Hello my name is Paloma Tirado, a first year student at Cal state LA; currently I am taking Englis 101 with professor Hernandez. On Saturday 23, 2016, I attended an activity that consited on cleaning the LA River. At first I was not too excited to attend this activity because it was Saturday morning, but I wanted to see what this activity that professor Hernandez talked about in class. When I aarived at the place of the clean up I was impressed to see how many people were willing to participate in the cleaning of the LA River. Seeing all tose people therehappy to clen the river actually helped me to be more motivated to be there and to help clean the river. This clean up was a great way to relate, and have a better understanding of the readings we were doing in class.


Attending the LA River clean upwas a good experience for me because it helped me see that many people do not care, or care so littleabout the environment. While cleaning up the river me and my pertners found so many different stuff like car parts, shopping carts, clothes, etc. This clean up relates to the book we were reading in class called The Lorax by Dr. Seuss, because it shows that people do not care about the environment and only about money. The clean up helped me see that the planet offers us a lot of beautiful things but we do not take the chance to take care of them; people only care of having more and more power. Helping to clean the LA River was a good way to reflect on what we are doing to the world and to see that it is not too late to change the way we are living.


Hello my name is William De La Rosa, I am currently taking Ms. Hernandez for English 101. I have  to be honest I wasn't too excited about waking up on a Saturday to clean up the river, but let me tell you it was a really great experience being there with hundreds of people who wanted to make a difference in the community. I for one am glad I got to clean up the river. I didn't know many people but I got to meet many new and cool people there. Knowing that I made a difference in the community makes me feel great. This beautiful world offers me so many resources and what does it ask for in return. Nothing really except to help keep clean. Seeing all the trash that was thrown in the floor, trees, and river wasn't so cool but picking it up and making it clean was very cool. Participating in the FOLAR was a great first time experience, next year will also be a great year because you will definitely see me there again making a difference in the world little by little.

L.A. River Clean Up

Hi my name is Elizabeth Cisneros and I am a freshmen at Csula. My major is currently Psychology and I am planning on becoming a Clinical Psychologist in the future. The reason I am so interested in Psychology is because I have always been intrigued by the human mind. Over the years though I have come to know many people with issues of the mind, like depression, bipolar disorder, and other common mental health problems. I've seen first-hand the severity of these illnesses and it has given me this urge to help these people get through their problems, in some cases through medication and in others just therapy.

Recently I participated in a cleanup of the LA River. This is the largest body of water inside the LA coutny lines, and has been greatly contaminated with pollution and trash. We proceeded to clean up this river as a class. This activity was directly related to the classic Dr. Suess book we read in class, called, The Lorax. In this book the cutting down of trees harmed the wildlife around them, and the pollution from a massive factory contaminated the water of nearby streams and lakes, wiping out the fish population. The same thing has been happening to the LA River but only on a smaller,  less iminent way.

Monday, April 25, 2016

LA River Clean Up !!!!

Hello, I am Heran Zhan and have take English 101 class in this Spring Quarter with professor Hernandez. On the last Saturday 4/23, I attended this activity " A TOLERABLE PLANET "with my English 101 classmates. When I arrive at the destination , we found that there are a lot of volunteers to participate in this event. After entering the active area , the volunteers lined up in formation , we took the staff gave us ready gloves , garbage bags and T-shirts, we follow the direction of flow of people, we started to clean up the river.

In the process of cleaning up the river , we saw all kinds of waste, such as food packages transfer bags , discarded mobile phones, clothes , plastic boxes , trolleys , wood , etc., most of which is plastic garbage bag .Some garbage bags wrapped around the bush , it is difficult to directly get out . We have to walk in the dry river , at the foot of massive stones , but walking is not very convenient to be careful every step to go . When I was picking up trash in the dry river, I thinking why there has lots of trash and why there has no water in the L.A. River.Should we have a deep reflection about the environment? I think that we should take the initiative to protect the environment in which we live . If we do not litter items, do not pollute the environment, I believe that Los Angeles will look both better and cleaner than now,even the river will also have clean water.

When we returned , I saw on the ground there are a lot of other people picking up garbage containers in the garbage bag , I put my pick up garbage containers in garbage bag in there, we see them clean up garbage and I felt very satisfied and happy because we paid labor in exchange for a clean river. Although the weather is very hot, we sweat a lot when I clean up the river. But I think it is worth it, we do meaningful things for this city, for this river.

Actually,it is possible to participate in this event i feel very honored and very excited because this is the first I came to Los Angeles to participate in a volunteer activity. And the atmosphere of this event reminds me of the activities to participate in similar public activities in high school in China, and I feel so good that I can have a chance to be a volunteer in this activity.

If I can, I would like to call for more people to participate in environmental protection activities like this event that can let more people know the importance of environmental protection , protection of the environment allows us to live in a clean and no pollution place to grow , for our health , for our city, for our world.

L.A. River Clean Up

 Hello, my name is Teodora Gomez a student at Cal State LA. This past Saturday, on April 23, 2016, I participated in the Folar clean up at the L.A. River with my English 101 class with professor Ximena Hernandez. This was a great way to get hands on experience with what we were currently learning in class. We read the article "thirteen ways of seeing nature in L.A." by Jenny Price, which discussed the damage that was done to the L.A. River in the 1930's after being filled with 3.5 million barrels of concrete. In the process of trying to control the river it was destroyed. I saw for myself all the waste that covers the nature. I feel that in the two hours I helped clean up, I made a difference and I would definitely like to volunteer again.

As we discussed environmental destruction in class, we compared the damage we do to our environment to the book The Lorax. A lot of damaged was done to the river and now to fix it will take a lot more time and money. It was very easy to fill up bags of trash. There was a lot things from bicycle tires, to shopping carts, clothing, and plastic bags everywhere. That shows how some people do not care to take care of our environment. I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of people who showed up to the event. Although it will still take years to get the river as clean as we all want it. We should all pitch in to make a difference. We need to learn from our past mistakes and keep a sustainable environment.

Juan Argueta
English 101-23
L.A River Clean Up

My name is Juan Argueta, I am a CSULA undergrad student taking English 101 with Professor Hernandez and participated in the L.A River clean up on Saturday April 23, 2016. This event was created to better and beautify our environment. Our environment is very important to us and we should all do everything we can to clean it. The LA River clean-up was a great way to clean our environment.  Most of the readings we did inn class were about the environment. I learned so much about the LA River readings the readings. I had no idea that there was nature in the river into I read Lewis MacAdams article, “A river-again-in Los Angeles”. I learned that there was still a piece of river left that had nature and wasn’t filled with concrete as much as the other parts of the LA River. It was very exciting to attend the LA River clean up because we were going near the place I read in the MacAdams reading. When I attended I was not disappointed, I love nature and seeing the river with living animals was really cool. I feel that my participation in the LA River clean-up had a big impact on the city. One person can make a difference in the environment and by participating in this event I know I made a difference. Anything is possible when everyone acts together and that day we all worked really hard to beautify our LA River.  While attending this event I experience many waste on the river. Some of the waste that I witness made me questioned myself how did something so big get even in the river? There were mattresses, a refrigerator, and a market shopping cart. This are all huge waste going into the river making our environment polluted. My experience connects to Prices article “Nature in Los Angeles” when she states that the LA river became a wasteland that people don’t consider a river no more. The group organization FoLAR, which means “Friends of the Los Angeles River” fought for the river to stay alive and to be consider as nature.

The FoLAR organization is similar to the reading The Lorax by Dr. Seuss because they are trying their best to keep the river alive, just how in the Lorax the Lorax was the one trying to protect their environment from the Once-ler.  All the Once-ler wanted was to grow his business and didn’t notice how much damage he was doing to the environment by cutting all the Truffula trees. This goes similar to the LA River situation, residents of Los Angeles don’t realize how much damage they are causing the LA River by making it a wasteland. Polluting affects the animals that live in the river and people need to realize that they are causing destruction towards the animal’s lives by not keeping the river clean. Cleaning the LA River was such an amazing experience and feels good to help clean the environment, I would definitely do this again. I always drive by the LA River but never realize how beautiful it really is until I attended the clean-up. Some people may not consider the Los Angeles River as nature or a river but if they took their time to beautify it just like I did, they will see how much nature and life there is in the river and how important it is to our environment. It is nice to know that there are organizations just like FoLAR to help beautify our environment. The L.A River clean-up was a two hour event and even though it was a really hot sunny day it was still fun and a great experience because as an event open and free for everyone I got to enjoy it with my family and friends.

               L.A. RIVER CLEANUP
             Arriving to the L.A. River was very confusing due to all the cross streets and the abandoned road leading to the parking lot. Along the roads was trash and graffiti along the cement and road way. Seeing this I thought I was in the wrong location. As soon as I was able to find the parking lot, I saw the majority of the younger generation ready to help our L.A. River. I met up with a friend of mine and we both walked into the river, I couldn't believe how great the turn out was for the clean up. Seeing whats become of the L.A. River shocked me due to how much litter was around. After noticing the condition of the river I soon signed the waiver and picked up my FOLAR t-shirt, gloves, and trash bag. Luckily my friend and I ran into a couple of classmates which made the experience better. We first started off right below the bridge and picked up what we could see and we moved further down the river to continue our clean up. A lot of the waste was stuck in between branches and little areas into the bushes that made it more difficult to pick up. However, seeing the river was a relaxing view.As we moved our clean up further along, we were able to clean up until 11 am. With all the help from everyone on Saturday the river was one step closer to being a clean river for families to enjoy. 
            Experiencing the L.A. River was something out of my comfort zone. Cleaning in an outdoor environment is not my typical idea of a Saturday however, being a part of it made me feel good about helping the environment. Knowing that our waste go to such a beautiful location really hit me  since our waste is affecting a beautiful part of where we live. Most people have never heard of the L.A. river and its so sad to think they will never be able to enjoy the beauty of it because waste continues to go in that part. Being a part of this experience has truly sown me that we should all take into consideration the environment after all, it is  where we live.

LA River Clean up

Hello, my name is Wenjun Luo, I am a sophomore student now and I am taking English 101 with professor Hernandez. Last Saturday we got the opportunity to participate the annual FOLAR clean up with my English 101 classmates. At first, When I know this activity, I was really excited, because this is my first time to join the volunteer activity when I am become an undergraduate. This is an good and useful experience in what we were learning in current English class.I was so surprised that there were so many people to clean the LA river, even I saw many young children and old people. It makes me feel that this environmental protection is for everyone, all age, all gender and all status, since so long as you having loving heart, you are expected into the education volunteers activity. 

In the LA River, there are many bags, gloves, snacks, water, and fruits provided, even we can get the T-shirt. When I get my gloves and bog, I started picking up trash, I picked up a lot of trash like beverage can, plastic, chips, even some materials. The plants are full of plastic bag and broken material. After I fill-up my trash bag, I cannot believe that there are many trash here. I realized that a good environment is important to our lives, and trash will harm our nature and living environment, even our health. During this experience, I have a better understanding of environmental protection. I hope I can do more and more volunteer activity in the future. 

The L.A. River Clean Up

Hello, my name is Taylor Galindo and I am currently taking English 101 with Ms. Hernandez. On April 23rd, I volunteered to help clean up the L.A. River in the FoLAR clean up. As a child growing up, my dad always bring my siblings and I to the L.A River to play and "admire nature". At the time, I didn't believe that it was a river. Rivers usually have blue or light green water, with fish living and swimming in the water. But when you look at the L.A.River, it's a total opposite. The water is a murky dark green with brown algae, like this one. Until now, a freshman in college, I now understand and appreciate the river although it may not be like rivers in Arizona or Canada. So in appreciation to the river, our community and class came to lend a hand to this beautiful historic river and revive it to its natural state. While picking up trash, I noticed that the majority of the trash was plastic bags. They were EVERYWHERE! Dried out, old, under rocks. After seeing this, it hit me that we use way too many plastic bags and that our society liters a lot. Thank God for the plastic bag discontinuation. After taking a break to look up from picking up trash, all I saw was a community together as one, here for one purpose. To help clean the river and help out the environment.

After helping out for over an hour or so, I started to realize the urbanization and expansion of Los Angeles. In the picture above, you will notice on one side, it is the streets and houses and on the other, it is electricity panels? And right in the middle, is the poor L.A. River waiting for society to take it over and to turn it into buildings or houses. This picture reminds me of the Lorax when the Once-ler started to overtake the forest and turn it into factories. Society expands without looking at the consequences. My experiences with the clean up was all positive, and I'm glad I volunteered. Los Angeles should try and do this every Saturday and I'm sure that the Earth will recover from all the pollution and begin to thrive again.

LA river clean up

Hello, my name is Paige Montoya and I am a first year undeclared student at CSULA. I am taking English 101 with Ms. Hernandez. On Saturday April 23, 2016 I attended the FOLAR clean up at the LA river. I didn't really know what to expect when I arrived, I just figured that I would pick up trash. The staff and organizers were so organized and knew exactly what to do to keep the program going. I was shocked that so many people attended. Different schools, young children, and people who care about the LA river were there to help. Gloves, bags, healthy snacks, sunscreen, and other useful information about the river was provided which I thought was very helpful and thoughtful. After I  received my items and a cool T-Shirt I was off to clean the LA river. I started picking up trash like it was Easter Sunday and I was looking for eggs but instead it was trash. I picked up many different things like a credit card, metal, but mostly plastic items. As I was picking up trash I was in total awe, looking and actually being in the LA river. I live so close to the LA river but I never really acknowledged it. I always passed by it and recognized it as a sewer. This relates to our class reading Thirteen Ways of Seeing Nature in L.A. by Jenny Price because she argued that people don't realize that LA actually has nature. She definitely proved me wrong because the LA river was a beautiful scenery to me and I would have discovered it if I never participated in the clean up. It also connects to The Lorax because after all the damage and corruption people have done the LA river shows the result of what happened. Luckily there are many people who want to help what others have done by cleaning up after them. At the end of the clean up I learned that we actually have a river and we should treat it like a river. The clean up to me was very a productive experience and would definitely do it again. I also learned that if cities in LA had stainless steal metal gates or bars on the sewer entrances that would make a big difference with all the trash in the river.