Chicago River Day

Chicago River Day 2016.  Over 60 sites and 2,500 volunteers!

Chicago River Day 2017

Saturday, May 13, 2017, is a huge day for Friends--the 25th anniversary of Chicago River Day!  Through over 7,500 hours of volunteer action, this groundbreaking annual experience leads to immediate and long-term improvements in the health of the Chicago River.  Spanning the river’s 156-mile system with over 60 locations to choose from, this metro-wide encounter offers many ways for people of all ages to get involved.

It's remarkable to think about how far we've come since the first "Chicago River Rescue Day" in 1992.  That day, Friends hosted a small, feisty group of 25 dedicated volunteers who rescued the river by pulling shopping carts, mattresses, and plastic bags from its banks. Twenty-five years and more than 60,000 volunteers later, the Chicago River system is no longer a forgotten wildlife corridor filled with sewage and trash. Today the river system is vibrant, accessible, and alive with people, 70 species of fish, countless species of birds, and many native animals including beavers, mink, and turtles. 

Chicago River Day volunteers include company teams, community organizations, school groups, families, and individuals of various skill and ability levels throughout the Chicago metropolitan area. 

Over the last two and a half decades, we have witnessed an incredible shift in the health of the river and how people care for it; our volunteers and sponsors help make this happen. You can get involved too, and join us to remove tons of debris, restore miles of river-side trails, plant beautiful native plugs, and much more. Choose a site and register here.

Thanks to our 2017 Sponsors

Thanks to all the amazing sponsors supporting Chicago River Day 2017. We could not do it without their financial support and belief in the river.

Presented by

Lead Sponsor


Stream Sponsors


Marsh Sponsors


Tributary Sponsors



Royal Bank of Canada and their families at LaBagh Woods (2016)