Fifty-One Miles

Fifty-One Miles

Current Project


In partnership with the Friends of the Los Angeles River (FoLAR) and Nova Community Arts, Fifty-One Miles is a six-day hike by USC students and community members that will span the entire 51-mile length of the Los Angeles River. Through mapping, photography, film, and narrative ethnography, the excursion will document the river’s current conditions, focusing on arts, culture, habitat, access, and human experience of an ecological-industrial landscape. Beginning at the headwaters in Canoga Park and ending at the Port of Long Beach, the hike will create a snapshot of the Los Angeles River at a time when great change is imminent, noting the impacts of climate change while honoring climate and social justice advocates. For more information, visit


  • A narrative ethnography will capture the stories recorded along the way. The ethnography will focus on unique and dueling dichotomies that make up today’s Los Angeles River.
  • Comparative zoning analyses will examine the zoning designations and land use codes for parcels adjacent to the river across each municipality, and compare them to on-the-ground, built realities.
  • Ecological mapping and analysis will investigate vegetation, wildlife, water, soil, and inorganic elements (trash/debris). The data will provide insight into the ecological systems and their components that currently exist within the L.A. River in comparison to the historic ecology prior to channelization, and provide a greater understanding of the types of ecologies that emerge from highly industrialized urban forms.




  • Leslie Dinkin
  • Hannah Flynn
  • Camille Shooshani
  • Nina Weithorn