The LA River has been undergoing some small transformations under the watchful eyes of the Santa Monica Mountains conservancy, which instituted a nature restoration/art walk/community space project along the river. This has involved many organizations and art projects, including one carried out by North East Trees which uses bioswales to return rainwater to the aquifer instead of running it into the storm channel. This is the Oros Green Street project, also known in this chain of projects as Steelhead Park.
Folks have been blogging about these projects for awhile, including Eric Garcetti and the LA MetBlog. The arts are integrated into the fabric of the river restoration in order to encourage increased social use of the river walk. As the river is revitalized and becomes more "green", it will become a natural playground and open green space for families in the city. These projects are significant, because as Eric states on his blog, "Oros marks the first complete Prop O project, and also marks the success of the city in meeting its federal water quality standards. We are the only city in the nation in compliance with our Total Maximum Daily Load compliance timeline, thanks to the installation of hundreds of catch basins throughout the city and projects like Oros."
Things inspired by the river's presence are a book, pictures up on a photostream, an onsite theater production, and what most people do, a bike ride.
Cudahy River Park, also by North East Trees, opened in April of this year at the intersection of Clara Street and River Road next to the Los Angeles River in the City of Cudahy. These linkages are small and disparate right now, but will ultimately link people and places all throughout the stretches of the LA River.