Gullywalkers and Gully Fixing

In 2012 Friends launched a gully identification project to locate and classify gullies along the Chicago River. This produced the Gullywalking Report. Since then, we've been working closely with our partners to prioritize and repair these gullies. In 2014, work began on five gullies at Kickapoo Woods. We also developed a Gully Guidance Manual and started looking at smaller volunteer projects in the spring and summer of 2015. Friends is excited to partner with REI on this project.  REI shares our commitment to care for our natural areas and get people outside to experience its wonders.  

In 2013-14, our volunteers walked over 45 miles along the river banks to help us find and assess gullies along the Chicago River and the Calumet River in order to fix them. We have successfully achieved our goals. The data collected by our Gullywalkers will help determine future restoration projects, addressing the destructive properties of gullies that will help our efforts of preserving and improving the Chicago River.

Here’s the scoop on gullies: Poorly managed rainwater causes a huge problem for the Chicago River. Among other issues, when rain falls on impervious surfaces like streets and parking lots, it is directed to pipes that empty directly into the Cook County Forest Preserves. The rain washes away the soil and creates gullies. This unmanaged dumping destroys our natural landscape and damages the river.

Volunteer Workdays and Training

Join us in the field for general restoration projects--go to our events page for more information! RSVP to (312) 939-0490, ext. 18.

Upcoming gully workdays:

Clayton Smith Woods- March 12, 2017

Blue Star Memorial Woods- March 26, 2017

LaBagh Woods- April 2 & April 22, 2017