Huffpost Los Angeles

The LA River Is Ready For Visitors (VIDEO)

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Did you know the LA river features bike paths, kayaking, equestrian communities and varied bird life? Even though it's concrete, the river is a natural part of Los Angeles's ecosystem. In fact, in 1895, the river was where and how the city's first suburb formed, explained this recently published video by student Dana Ferandelli.

Ferandelli portrays a coalition of nonprofits and city officials working together to revitalize the river with the hopes that it will become a place where people want to congregate regularly. The effort has received state financial support and has also been chosen as a focus area of President Obama's America's Great Outdoors campaign.

Carol Armstrong of the Los Angeles River Project Office explained to the Huffington Post that Ferandelli's video is one of at least 15 videos about the LA river made by students of Video Symphony, a videography school in Burbank. Armstrong explained that friend and former Video Symphony instructor Alan Natale contacted her in September of last year suggesting that his students make promotional videos about the LA river as their final exam project.

"These students have been instantly getting the word out in a way that we didn’t have the capacity to do," Armstrong said. "The video medium helps people understand it really quickly. We are really thrilled."

Natale told HuffPost that the final exam, now administered by instructor Michael Bradshaw, is meant to be a creative way to help make the city a better place. "There is a need for people to understand that the river has potential to make great parks and community centers for people all around the city," he said.

Armstrong added that she hopes these student videos help people "who think it will take years to be revitalized realize that it's actually already happening." She continued, "If more people get out there and appreciate what's there now, they'll be helping us advocate for the bigger changes and they'll come faster."