The Verdugo Wash is a 9.4-mile long tributary of the LA River that originates in the Crescenta Valley. It takes a southeasterly course skirting the base of the Verdugo Mountains before turning in a southwesterly direction through the city towards its confluence with the LA River and Griffith Park beyond. In the 1930s the County of Los Angeles transformed the tributary from its natural form into its present man-made utilitarian form as a flood control channel encased in concrete and typically open to the sky.
The wash was constructed in the 1930s to mitigate extreme flooding in the Crescenta Valley. An unintentional consequence was fragmentation of the urban fabric and loss of habitat and biodiversity. Though the community is accustomed to its presence, the wash often presents itself as a structural and visual disconnect between differing parts of the city, the downtown, and even between neighborhoods and neighbors along its 9.4-mile length.