PLUNGE into the waters of the LA River

submission by LA Riverside Country Club

Organization Name


LA Riverside Country Club




Please select the one indicator that is most relevant to your project or organization: Environmental Quality

What is your idea and how will it impact your indicator?


LA Riverside Country Club and the PLUNGE promotes the pleasures and benefits of recreation and privilege for everyone; It is an "inclusive" club. The club and its swimming pool/industrial cistern will be a located next to the LA River sited between industrial uses on vacant land. Instead of a country club with bermuda grass and membership dues, the club promotes the idea that environmental well-being, physical and social, is a right.

The center piece of the Club is the PLUNGE that is both cistern, swimming pool and art work. The name PLUNGE harkens back to the great democratic municipal pools. It is a highly engineered ISO shipping container pool with surrounding sit-able decks and a built-in digital projection system that will put participants into an image scene with the LA River. Not incidentally, the pool is also a massive cistern for industrial building roof waters. Already, arrangements have been made for procuring up to 50,000 sq. foot of roof waters. During the first summer of operation, the waters for swimming will most likely be gathered from municipal water supply, though the slight possibility exists that a filtration system may be used to prepare pumped LA River water.

The subsequent year or years, all waters will come from industrial building roof nearby. The cistern/pool is completely self-contained system within the container, including pumps, valves, filtration and heating with solar supplement. During winter months waters will be released to landscape as necessary with an automated system. The technologies of the system will be developed experimentally during the term of the project. The project is for a two year term with the possibility of a third year. When the project is finished the PLUNGE is being designed in such a way as to be transportable to another site or situation and set up with 2 days.

The LA Riverside Country Club is not a club with dues. Instead, it is a situation where a series of popup events will be held. There is already an extensive list of ideas that have been generated by the core team members. Some of the ideas include: Urban camping for local youth to be held on the site, old time games like horseshoes, badminton, and bocci ball, educational seminars and design exercises onsite brought by team members or academics with interest in the LA River, events or meetings of LA River entities who lack a direct meeting place at the river, such as the Friends of the Los Angeles River and the LA Revitalization Corporation. Music is planned as well as outdoor project. A series of planned community swim events will be held.

Ultimately, this project is to demonstrate and test a large scale cistern as an excuse to cool off on the Eastside in summer.

What are some of your organization’s most important achievements to date?


The individuals associated with the project have two avenues of connection and work together:

1. Community activism in Elysian Valley. In this respect the core resident participants have worked together on several environmental issues. These include organize a large public response to environmental justice issues with air quality, doing work to identify and cause watershed violators to be permitted and improve their practices in the local area.

2. Professional work on design concepts for appropriate landscape and built environments in the LA River region. The architects and artists on various conceptual plans for LA River centric projects.

This project would synthesize relationships developed over several years between the members of the team by giving focus to an on-the ground experimental project.

Please identify any partners or collaborators who will work with you on this project.



Core Group-

Steven Appleton(resident and artist)

Cecilia Dominguez (life long resident, community activist)

Jesus Garcia (life long resident, youth, community activist)

Grove Pashley (resident, professional photographer, environmental activist)

Astrid Diehl (resident and landscape architect)

Alexander Robinson (landscape architect and educator)

Linda Taalman (architect and educator)

Michael Wacht (architect)

Elysian Valley Neighborhood Watch (expect support)
Elysian Valley Neighborhood Council (expect support)
Los Angeles River Revitalization Corporation

Please explain how you will evaluate your project. How will you measure success?


1. Does PLUNGE function (does it work for swimming, as a cistern and how much water is segregated by this process?)

2. Is PLUNGE and evocative object that encourages dialog and thought?

3. Are we able to attract, create, manage a diversity of events?

4. Does the Country Club/PLUNGE draw an audience to the river and do the events/objects influence them to consider the environment of the river.

5. Does the overall environment in balance with its outreach also directly serve and benefit the diverse local community?

6. Was it fun?

How will your project benefit Los Angeles? Please be specific.

Our project will :
1. Provide a space for informal gathering and recreation in Elysian Valley community.
2. Opportunity for the local community to host and directly involve in the numerous planning initiatives around LA River development.
3. Signature art with environmental benefits that will draw the general public to the river and encourage dialog.
4. Direct improvement to watershed by segregation and release of up to 30,000 gallons of storm water v. release over dirty streets and work areas.
5. Incubate ideas of community members, design professionals and artists.
6. Allow experimentation with novel ways to handle waters in terms of landscape design.
7. Allow experimentation /investigation of control technologies for large urban cisterns.
8. Be FUN.

What would success look like in the year 2050 regarding your indicator?


It would be a success if community design processes were in place so that the benefits of development (such as the LA River zone) are broadly spread.

It would be a success if there where a great expansion in park land and exercise opportunities.

It would be a success if waters such as from large roofs are captured and used instead of sent down the channel.

It would be a success if harmful and abusive watershed practices are eliminated.

It would be a great big success if I can dive into the LA River without having to take antibiotics afterwards.

6 Pink talk bubble tail c96b4a07ef1417e25d0bcf5c4cba4766b8bbf0382f07677990a9d5577885d4d7

What's great about this project is how it will bring people, ideas and activities to the LA River. So many ideas for the River require lots of approvals, permits, money and organization. With this project being right next to the River but on a private space made public, it seems like it can be done fast and give a place for people to plan, discuss, and participate in what's next. Plus, I can't wait to divert from my bike ride at the river, dive into the plunge and look out from its port hole!

by gazelle
about 3 years ago

Grove, your comments warm my heart. Thanks so much for getting the idea. After Elysian Valley

by LARiverside_CC
about 3 years ago

I love this project! What's really great about this proposal is that it would connect various segments of Angelenos to a beautiful part of the LA River (soft bottom) in a fun social manner. Currently there are NO such places to be found along the rivers 52 mile path. To many Angelenos the LA River is still considered a dangerous flood control channel. That is simply not the case but quite the opposite, especially in this particular area of the river. The new LA River Bike Path (and the newly designated National Recreational Trail) runs just feet away from this property which will guarantee that it will get its much deserved attention. If this was to be implemented as described, it will go a long way in pushing forward other creative land use ideas around the LA River. At the same time the PLUNGE could be used as an environmental educational tool in teaching Angelenos about the need to clean the LA River water. The collection of rainwater from the nearby industrial building roofs is a great idea because otherwise this same water would run off into the streets and get contaminated on its route to the river. The Plunge is an interesting art piece in itself and to me it seems like it will gain LA River interest and news in and around Los Angeles and possibly internationally because of it uniqueness.

by Grove
about 3 years ago

This is an awesome project which can contribute so much to the environmental and social life of Elysian Valley. There will be nothing better than to plunge to the cool water of swimming container in a hot summer time!!!

by agnieszka.pietruszkiewicz
about 3 years ago


by agnieszka.pietruszkiewicz
about 3 years ago

I can't wait to vote for this project. We who love the river and bike path will be very lucky if this project wins!

by Jed Schipper
about 3 years ago

Pink ribbon award box icon 45b87e779c93f5099a48378c2aadc0fcd51184974daecf76e3f5c50034ea21fb
Award topvotedidea 5a5ae14e3d56a10363ea2a398cece46cf4df891213cbe68677c19d8903a1932a
$1,000,000 in total grants
Circle 1 inactive e7784182a1bd5eace578987db27fc19ec6337f418c48c6c8732605b9043d50d0 Step1 title submission inactive cde083e53089b973e7c9dc80a44a038c1ce4cf3b2650aeb5549157d1ed58a2d9

Submission Began
Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Submission Ended
Thursday, March 28, 2013
at 07:00 PM UTC

Circle 2 inactive 74a43088831beb43fdbd7591ef5d50a5a7a26ff92c9e8ed489782459fa31a8d9 Step2 title voting inactive 96be722f53c417edddb5742ba9a6dc2fd403f7e4f6c19dbe883d50d20d93689d

Voting Began
Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Voting Ended
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
at 07:00 PM UTC

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Homeboy Industries: Hope Has An Address
Homeboy Industries: Hope Has An Address

Winner Announced
Wednesday, May 08, 2013