Think! Beyond the Banks
We are all connected to the Chicago River one way or another and the choices we make at home and work can have a great impact on the water and the wildlife that lives in it.
Help Friends of the Chicago River protect the river by taking everyday actions that improve water quality and make the river a better home for the bass, bluegills, beavers, muskrats, snapping turtles and the other wildlife that call the river home. Find out more about it on our Think! Beyond the Banks page.
Investing in the Chicago River Pays Us Back
On May 9, Friends, together with partner organization Openlands, released a report that proves what we knew all along, investing in the Chicago River is good for the river and good for the region. Our Liquid Asset: The Economic Benefits of a Clean Chicago River underscores that improvements that address water quality, flooding, and public access to the river support the local economy by creating jobs, generating income and revenue, and improving our quality of life.
Read on to find out how…
Be a Big Fish at the Big Fish Ball
Please join Friends for the 8th annual Big Fish Ball, the first celebration of summer where concerned, involved, and generous river enthusiasts celebrate the Chicago River!
The Ball is Wednesday, June 5 along the Chicago River on The Merchandise Mart Riverside Drive starting with cocktails and wild animals at 5:30 p.m.
Honorary Co-Chairs are Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the Honorable Richard M. Daley and Chicago Symphony Orchestra Maestro Riccardo Muti. Our gala chair is Barbara Morse-Quinn.
Please click here to buy main event and after-party BOOM fireworks river cruise tickets.
And Come for a Boat Cruise to Help Our Museum
On June 20, join Friends of the Chicago River and the Bridgehouse Museum Committee for the first-ever Eve of the Solstice Cruise, benefiting Friends’ McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum. Click HERE to learn more.
Chicago Symphony Joins Friends in Bringing People to the River
This spring and early summer Friends teams up with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for a series of river centric events that celebrate the Chicago River and bring it to life through music and action. With something for everybody who loves the Chicago River, RIVERS Festival activities range from performances at Symphony Center to Chicago Public School student fieldtrips to our Chicago River Day clean up to a free concert at Ping Tom Memorial Park.
Check out the highlights, and gather with us.
Chicago River Project Takes the Prize
Waterline, a multimedia effort by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), will receive a 2013 Merit Award from the Illinois Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects. The award recognizes the work of SOM’s City Design Practice and its partners - Friends of the Chicago River and Spirit of Space, a creative agency - in producing Waterline.
Waterline communicated the immense potential for a rebirth of the Chicago River through a two-month public exhibition at Friends’ McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum that featured the work of 12 students from the Harvard Graduate School of Design. A series of three documentary videos by Spirit of Space further communicated the transformative thinking of the student designers, garnering over 30,000 views online in addition to the 5,000 museum visitors. Friends’ executive director, Margaret Frisbie, was directly involved in the project and spent hours with the students sharing the history, ecology and cultural relevance of the Chicago River with the students at Harvard and providing on-the-ground experiences in Chicago including canoeing on the South Branch.
Become a Volunteer Gullywalker
Join Friends of the Chicago River as we embark on a new project to identify gullies along the Chicago River in the Cook County Forest Preserves. The gullies are caused by rainwater that falls on impervious surfaces like streets or parking lots and then is channeled to pipes which empty into the preserves. There it washes away the soil causing gullies. This poorly managed system destroys our natural landscape and damages the river.
The good news is you can play a big part in the solution by joining the Gully Walker Program. With your help we can find and assess gullies along the Chicago River so that we can fix them. The data you collect as a Gully Walker will determine future gully restoration projects and help in our efforts to improve and protect the Chicago River.
To find out how to help, contact Meshawn at (312) 939-0490, ext. 18 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
And the Walls Come Tumbling Down
Illinois Governor Pat Quinn recently announced the Illinois Dam Removal Initiative which includes plans to remove four dams on the North Branch of the Chicago River. Friends has been a partner in the process since the beginning and has worked with the state, Forest Preserve District of Cook County, Metropolitan Water Reclamation District and Niles Park District on the project. As described in the fall River Reporter , dams can be dangerous for paddlers and stop fish and other aquatic life from passing through.
See the state’s website for the full list of dams to be removed.
And What About the Birds?
Spring is here and we want to know what birds you see along the Chicago River. Tell us the location, season, and send a photo if you have one to email@example.com
You can use this handy Chicago River Check List for BIRDS. At home you can help birds by providing them food, water, and shelter.
Action Plan for the Chicago River
Getting Specific: Strategies for a cleaner, more vibrant Chicago River
The report outlines the future needs of the Chicago River and offers recommendations for river improvement. It is the culmination of over 50 subject-area experts who participated in one of six charrettes and is now available here. (3MB PDF)
In addition, Friends’ Chicago River Matrix (88K PDF), which outlines public access, water quality, aquatic habitat, riverbank habitat, riverbank naturalization and land protection for each stretch of the river, is also available.
Discover the Chicago River from Your Window
Learn about boats, barges, bridges and wildlife through Friends’ illustrated river guide: The Chicago River from Your Window. A complete river enthusiast’s source, the river guide has detailed illustrations of local wildlife and fish, photos of boats and details of bridges.
Buy a copy now to learn more about the Chicago River.
Friends’ address is:
411 S. Wells St., Suite 800
Chicago, IL 60607