Welcome to Friends of the Ventura River

“There is something special about a river.  It has been someplace and has somewhere to go.”

The Friends of the Ventura River is a coalition of community groups and individuals who are working to protect and enhance the Ventura River watershed to ensure sustainability and enrich our quality of life.

The coalition was formed in 2010 to build community support for the Ventura River Parkway as a long-term solution to ongoing problems with trash, human waster and other issues affecting our water quality and habitat within the Ventura River Watershed. For the past 10 years we have focused on the advancement of the Ventura River Parkway as a means to reconnect with the river and transform it into a community asset for all to enjoy.

Surfrider is the fiscal sponsor for the Friends coalition which has worked to build community support for a Ventura River Parkway as a long-term solution to ongoing problems with trash, human waste and other issues affecting water quality and habitat within the Ventura River Watershed.

This website is a place for friends to post their ideas, concerns, and activities and provide for a community forum about the river in our backyard.  It also serves to provide transparency and to preserve the history of many of the recurring problems in the Ventura River Watershed, hopefully to guide us in making better decisions today & in the future.

The Ventura River Parkway Trail was dedicated on June 7, 2014 as a National Recreation Trail.   Friends’ work to enhance the parkway continues.



During 2016 thTrail marker 4031 croppede City of Ventura and County of Ventura Parks Departments worked together to install mile markers every 1/10th of a mile along the entire length of the parkway trail.

These markers as shown below feature an image of the Ventura River Parkway logo, the National Recreation Trail logo and provide your location on the trail  for emergency responders find your location quickly in case of emergency.  Unfortunately these markers did not last as long as hoped.

In 2017 the county installed new metal markers on posts along the upper portion of the trail.  We are working  on getting these same markers installed on the lower portion of the trail to ensure consistent signage along the entire length of the trail.  These posted markers are installed every half mile.

On March 1, 2022 the City of Ventura won a $5 million Clean California grant to improve the segment of the trail From Rex/Dubbers to city limits near OST.  This work is in progress with a completion date planned for summer 2024.  It will include new paving, fencing, trees, new signage, lighting and other amenities.  As of June 2024 paving  between Rex/Dubbers & Stanley is complete!  The contractor is now beginning work on the trail between Stanley & Shell Roads.  Other amenities are in progress.


VRPT Kiosk at WilloughbyThe Ventura Land Trust installed an attractive interpretive sign kiosk at the intersection of the parkway trail, Main Street Bridge and its Willoughby Preserve.   Friends sponsored the design using money raised through Patagonia’s Salmon Run and other support.




In 2016 we reprinted the Ventura River Parkway Map (Second edition) through generous sponsorships from Patagonia, the Ventura Visitors and Convention Bureau and BioResource Consultants in Ojai.

The map is available at Patagonia, Real Cheap Sports, Ventura Bike Depot, Ventura Parks & Recreation Department, Ventura Vistor’s Bureau, REI in Oxnard, The Mob Shop in Ojai & other select locations.   Get your hands on one & start exploring!  http://friendsofventurariver.org/the-map/

NEXT FRIENDS MEETING is yet to be scheduled.  The meeting date will be posted when available.  Meeting agenda will be posted to Facebook and our blog when available.

Ventura River Watershed:  existing conditions, data, habitat and continuing planning efforts.

Birdwatching along the Ventura River:  Some birds you can see


  • in the Ventura River Parkway by volunteering to help our local conservancies with river restoration projects:   Ojai Valley Land Conservancy and Ventura Land Trust have ongoing projects on their properties in the river where volunteers can make a tremendous difference!
  • in Ventura River Water Quality testing by volunteering for Stream Team, which meets monthly for volunteer water quality monitoring on the Ventura River.  Contact Santa Barbara Channelkeeper, (805) 563-3377 or e-mail: info@sbck.org

SUPPORT our Friends Coalition members‘ work on the Ventura River Parkway and other projects to benefit our community.