The Rio Hondo and San Gabriel River Watersheds, in Los Angeles County, have been severally impacting by development which has caused disconnect from greenways and the community. The Emerald Necklace is a vision that is bringing communities and agencies together through a green infrastructure vision of interconnected loops of parks and greenways. Since 2005, the Amigos de los Rios has worked as the liaison bringing public agencies and communities together to support the efforts and visions of the Emerald Necklace Green Infrastructure project. To help support the vision of the Emerald Necklace, the Emerald Necklace Coalition was formed.
The Emerald Necklace Coalition is comprised of 37 members from both government agencies and organizations located in and around Los Angles. The 37 members are comprised of: cities, community based organizations, state and county agencies, and school districts. All these members have pledged to collaboratively preserve the Emerald Necklace Watersheds and its tributaries for recreational, open space, environmental education, job training, native habitat restoration and conservation, and non-vehicular transportation purposes. The pledge is called the Emerald Necklace Accord which establishes “a network of support, cooperation and collaboration among agencies of the San Gabriel Valley and Gateway Cities region to preserve the rivers and tributaries in this Region”. The Accord was created in 2012 to legally obligate the signatories to collaboratively support and abide by the seven sections listed in the Accord.
Though the Accord legally requires the signatories to collaboratively support the vision of the Emerald Necklace, there is no obligation to financially support the project. This lack of finical support from the Emerald Necklace Coalition has lead to a funding issue for the Emerald Necklace Green infrastructure project. The Amigos de los Rios have numerous projects that are “shovel ready” but lack the financial support to commence the project.
The members of the Emerald Necklace Coalition bring together the support of local agencies and organization in the Los Angeles County community. The members of the Coalition have pledged to work together to support the efforts of Amigos de los Rios but, lack the financial backing to ensure the construction of the Emerald Necklace Green Infrastructure project. Amigos de los Rios is working to bring the supporters together in order to fulfill the vision of the Emerald Necklace, the hope is the Coalition support will inspire others to support the Amigos de los Rios greening efforts in Los Angeles County.