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2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit

The Village Gardeners of the Los Angeles River

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Environment

Mission: The Village Gardeners of The Los Angeles River is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization dedicated to the beautification of the Los Angeles River between Coldwater Canyon Avenue and Fulton Avenue, in Studio City & Sherman Oaks, California. The mission of The Village Gardeners is to lead the community in the environmental enhancement of Los Angeles River Greenways with emphasis on conservation, ecology, and restoration of natural habitat, through partnerships with schools, community organizations, and governmental agencies. The Village Gardeners strives to set new standards in environmental stewardship with respect to LA River greenways.

Results: Check out our interactive map to see our progress: http://www.thevillagegardeners.org/interactivemap.html

Donor & Volunteer Advisory

This organization's nonprofit status may have been revoked or it may have merged with another organization or ceased operations.

Community Stories

39 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Came with UCLA for Day of Service and had a great time volunteering! Everyone was so passionate and dedicated to the cause.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered here through CSC at UCLA. It was a very fun experience, and the volunteers there were very friendly and nice. Rick, the president, shared with us the history of the area and vegetation, which was very interesting. Overall, a great experience!

Kalin P.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Very helpful and passionate people, you can tell that they really want to make a difference in the community! Thoroughly enjoyed my time with them, and I even learned a bit about the history too.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Came here through UCLA CSC Day of Service. Very fun work and also well organized and prepared with materials. Learned some things about the local history and nature too.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Such a worthwhile cause! I volunteered here today through UCLA's Day of Service, and this organization is doing amazing work.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I came as a volunteer for day of service at UCLA. It was an awesome day and the people were great!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Working with the Village Gardeners was a great experience and I would do it again. They make the area beautiful and they are greatly appreciated by the community.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Very helpful, passionate and I had a great time helping and learning about the history of the area

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Does great work in making the community an amazing place to live! Beautiful scenery. Volunteering is very organized.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great organization run by such kind people! I loved my time here.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My name is Ashley and I work with Village Gardens. I enjoy working outdoors especially when it involves beautifying local neighborhoods.
I love working together and the spirit of mutual respect Village Gardens provides. This nonprofit Organization helps clean up the trash around the neighborhood, we keep the catch drains clean, trim dead weeds or trees and replant with new vibrant plants. I'm really happy this organization is doing good in the community where I reside. It is truly an amazing organization that has helped me find a new respect for my community and the environment.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Working with the Village Gardeners is a fulfilling and rewarding experience. I highly recommend having a class ( if you're a teacher) sign up or just coming by to walk the green way between Dixie Canyon and Coldwater Canyon along the North and South sides of Valleyheart to see firsthand what a dedicated group of individuals can make happen. It truly does feel like the heart of the Valley!!! There is a sense of pride and community when you walk the greenway. There is wonderfully informative signage to help educate you on the California native plants you will experience on the trail. It's clear that Rick Rabins and his team contribute everyday to maintaining that greatness. See for yourselves. L.A. needs more of this!!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Being part of the volunteering program is amazing I really enjoyed it something different from the usall it's a great getaway place to be and you feel great about helping the community and to find out there's people making the effort to come and help it's great !

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have to say - I don't usually write reviews or pipe in much, but I recently moved here from Oregon and when I first got to LA, I was disappointed in the lack of great walks and hikes - always very dirty - But I recently visited a friend in the valley and walked the river walk I think it's called - and it was BEAUTIFUL! I noticed a few people in orange vests picking up trash and clipping branches that were over in the trail - it was truly a great walk. I saw the sign and The Village Gardeners should be EVERYWHERE in LA.. They do an amazing job!! Props!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Village Gardeners are doing an amazing job keeping the LA River greenway clean and beautiful. It's a great place to volunteer and I've learned a lot from Rick about the native plants, the fish and the birds in the area. Not only do the Village Gardeners clean up and do gardening, but they also clean up litter in the surrounding neighborhood streets. As a Studio City resident and volunteer, I'm proud to have a beautiful place to take walks or go jogging. Thanks Rick and all the Village Gardeners' volunteers and donors.

Delia

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've lived in studio city for many years and have walked the river bank every day. I've seen the area from cold water to Fulton change before my eyes. It's now one of my favorite places to go in the valley. Recently I've become familiar with The Village Gardeners, who are responsible for all of it. I see members and volunteers of their team on the trail daily, cleaning, pruning and picking up the trash left by people and the homeless. Not one day has gone by where I don't see someone out there maintaining it. I've even jumped in to volunteer on days when they have events. Rick, who is in charge is a kind man who truly takes care and pride In the river walk and IT is the community that benefits! Thank you Village Gardeners!!!!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

They are doing quite a swell job on cleaning up the LA river. P

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I love this organization! They did a great job cleaning up the LA river. Taught me a lot about different types of weeds?

Nick54

Volunteer

Rating: 4

It was hardwork but it was fun work. It wasn't as hot as I expected it to be and there were shady areas. Overall enjoyable.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This was a great experience and a lot of fun. I really get like this organization is helping our city.

Joe_66

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What a fantastic time! It was very beautiful by the river, and great fun to converse with the other volunteers while helping out by weeding the gardens, etc.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Thanks to The Village Gardeners!! I encourage everyone to come help Rick and his organization. Taking a walk on the LA River, seeing the fish and the ducks while working to make Los Angeles a more beautiful city is an experience not to be missed!

Claudia Hoover

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Village Gadeners was and still is one of the best experiences I've hade. Rick does an excellent job in maintaining and caring for the Los Angeles River. Working with Rick I have learned about the steal head trout that used to be in the River and now captured in a mosaic on the side of the River. The Village Gardeners not just keeps clean Studio City, Sherman Oaks part of the River also travels to help other part of the river. We need more people like Rick,The Village Gardeners.
Thanks, Ed Dunn

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It was my pleasure to meet Rick Rabin with the Village Gardeners this spring. Rick does a noble and professional job of maintaining the beautification of The LA River Valleyheart Greenway. I had the pleasure of attending the ribbon cutting of the North Valleyheart Greenway this summer, and watching Rick receive the awards he deserves. I will continue to volunteer for upcoming events and would like to thank the Villager Gardeners for being an amazing all volunteer non-profit organization.

Evegail A.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Village Gardeners has taught me not only to better the environment, but to appreciate the world around us much more than I already do. Aside from the beauty that surrounds the area, the team and staff are outstanding individuals. I do hope that the community and city does see what I saw within the past year.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Village Gardeners is one of the most amazing influences in the Greater Los Angeles Area that are striving to bring people to appreciate the revival we are experiencing in the concrete metropolis we call home, that being the restoration and conservation of our precious Watersheds and wildlife. Over the summer, working with Rick and his team I have learned more about the importance of preserving native plants, removing invasive species, keeping the channel and storm drains clean and also in cultivating an atmosphere where the community can share in this experience with us. I would say this nonprofit is a forerunner in the community, and with adequate funding could accomplish great things beyond the amazing work they are doing now. These people are hardworking, humble and selfless, I admire their work and for the invitation to work alongside them. I look forward to continue to serve alongside them in their efforts to encourage others to experience nature literally right here in their backyards.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Village Gardeners of the Los Angeles River is an amazing neighborhood grass root non-profit organization. I had the privilege and honor to be part of the Board of Directors and work with some truly fantastic and dedicated people for a few years. Being part of this group with Rick Rabins as the helm gave us the ability to take one projects that no one in the neighborhood thought possible. Rick's leadership and vision brought together leaders from LA County, LA City, Studio City Homeowners Association, to name a few, along with many citizens who volunteered to help plant, improve and maintain the banks of the Los Angeles River in the Studio City area. The outcome is there for everyone to enjoy by providing access to a parklike setting where people enjoy walking, jogging, biking and many other outdoor activities in a safe and friendly atmosphere. I urge anyone who can, to help donate money or time in order to have organization maintain the same level of service that could be enjoyed by future generations.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It was an amazing experience being a part of the Village Gardeners. Brought light to how essential it is to maintaining things that are a vital source to our community. I was oblivious to it in my daily routine. We forgot the little things that make up the bigger picture. Being a part of it made me aware of conservation, and the limited resources the city has for projects like this. So it's great to have nonprofit that can take the initiative of change. Learned a lot about irrigation and locale plants. Rick was awesome. Definitely recommend. PEACE AND LOVE!

Volunteer

Rating: 4

The short period I spent at the village gardener's provided me a more insightful view of the importance of the environment. The work done there it's a true desire to improve and revitalize the river and it's surroundings. I have learned various landscaping skills that will give me the opportunity to utilize in other settings. The village gardener's has been amazingly maintained and cared; this is reflected in every aspect of it. I am glad I was part of this inspiring organization where Rick's efforts and dedication prevail.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

The Village Gardeners helps bring the river to life. They allow the community to have a clean place to escape the busy streets of Studio City, I certainly feel walking through the path allows me to enjoy nataue in the middle of a busy city. Great job Village Gardeners! Hope to see the path in full bloom.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

When I started helping here I was glad to be doing helpful and productive things. Rick gives so much knowledge about how to do things and how things should be. Rick really works hard to accomplish everything that has been going on at the village gardeners. For all I know he is making a difference and if more people were to help out the bigger the impact would be. I am glad to be helping out here to see the progress we are makeing. It is just great being there and knowing slowly we are making it a better place .

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I volunteered with Rick and my experience at the Village Gardeners was great. I got to learn about our communities river as well as how it is important to take care of it as well as our plants. working with Rick was very pleasant because he was generous and showed that he cared a lot about his work as well as the environment, which made me as the volunteer want to be my best in my work when volunteer to keep it clean for the community. Overall, my experience volunteering with Rick was great.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered with Rick in cleaning and maintaining parks. My experience with Rick has been very inspirational and motivational. Rick is a very kind and positive individual filled with love and respect for all beings. He is also very caring towards our environment and humanity. I enjoyed my time working with Rick. I wish everyone would be as kind and giving as Rick. He loves nature and works very hard to keep the beautiful nature alive.

Svetlana Palyan

ShantAdamian

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered with Rick Rabins over the course of two years and was really able to see the large impact that individuals can have on their local community. The Village Gardeners have provided us with access to a brilliant new greenway/riverwalk, where community members and their pets are able to relish in a natural setting that we aren't normally exposed to in our urban city. As a volunteer, I assisted in replanting and maintaining the foliage around the river, but my favorite aspect was enjoying the sense of tranquility engendered by the water in the river and the the birds flying overhead. I am excited to see what great new projects Rick Rabins and The Village Gardeners have in store for the future!

Brigitta S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We helped a few times with planting and pruning along the ''river" when we lived in studio city back in 2009-10. it is beautiful now, so worth the effort, everybody did a great job. If only somebody can get rid of the ugly fence around the river... it would make such a huge difference and the riverwalk could reach its full potential.

Comments ( 1 )

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Rick Rabins 07/05/2012

Brigitta, thank you for your comments and for committing your time to help us improve the greenway. Please come by and enjoy the greenway when you are in the neighborhood. It just gets better!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Village Gardeners is wonderful a group of neighbors devoted to improving their neighborhood. Working in concert with the City and County of Los Angeles, the Village Gardeners have persevered to replant the riverfront in Studio City and Sherman Oaks with plants native to California. I know more plans are in the works and I look forward to the future improvements this group will no doubt deliver to the Los Angeles riverfront.

Ana D.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Village Gardeners has done an amazing job on the riverwalk! The sections of native plants are growing in beautifully. It is truly a delight to walk along the rive,r and I look forward to seeing it flourish as more sections of the project are accomplished.

Comments ( 1 )

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Rick Rabins 07/05/2012

Ana, thank you so much for the compliment. So glad you enjoy the Valleyheart Riverwalk.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Thank goodness for this organization! Their efforts to replant the lengthy stretches that were destroyed by the Oleander disease with California native plants has been remarkable. The area was so depressing with all those dead plants and now it has been renewed! It's helped everyone's property values in the area, and makes it such a joy to stroll around the river wash. I see birds and ducks daily and think how lucky we are to have this remarkable area right in our own neighborhood. Plus the trash recepticles, and doggy waste bags...so pristine...a great example of locals getting involved for the betterment of everyone! Bravo!!! J. Covner

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

We walked the river walk this morning, and have done so for many years. It is always so peaceful and beautiful. The California poppies are now in bloom and we count the ducks and see many spirited birds. Every morning we greet others who are running or walking... some with their children others with their dogs....the Village Gardeners of the Los Angeles River have made this walk an important part of our community. Because of their efforts we have a safe and wonderful place to walk. Each project that they implement makes this area more interesting. I can not thank them enough for providing us with such a special safe haven. And who knows maybe someday the entire length of the Los Angeles River will become a beautiful walk in a river park.