DOWNTOWN LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles River Revitalization Corporation today announced the appointment of the organization’s first executive director to helm its restoration plan for the Los Angeles River.

Omar Brownson, who currently serves as chairman of the Liberty Hill Foundation advisory board, a Santa Monica based charitable organization that gives grants to groups in support of social action and change, started his new job on Jan. 17.

“The L.A. River represents one of the city's greatest opportunities for connecting recreation, urban revitalization, and economic development,” Brownson said in a statement. “I am tremendously excited about building the River Corporation platform and bringing to fruition the vision of the L.A. River Revitalization Master Plan along with our numerous River supporters and friends.”

The RRC began in 2009 as a nonprofit corporation to redevelop the area along the banks of and around the river.

Brownson’s immediate plans for the RRC are to explore fundraising opportunities for the land surrounding the river and manage projects for ongoing real estate developments.

The revitalization plan was approved in 2007 by the Los Angeles City Council to open up the 32 miles of waterfront space by the river for parks, businesses, housing, bike paths and more. The space was previously unavailable to the public due to rail yards and other industrial uses.

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