Celebrating 40

Friends is delighted to be celebrating 40 years of bringing the river to life.

In 1979, Friends of the Chicago River was launched by a small group of concerned folks, inspired by journalist Robert Cassidy's Chicago magazine cover story "Our Friendless River." In 2019, four decades later, we have thousands of Friends like you who support this tireless effort to improve and protect the Chicago River system for people, plants and animals.

To represent us this year, we chose the dragonfly: agile and efficient with amazing vision and focus. Dragonflies are key indicators of ecological quality as they need clean water to survive. And, in some cultures, they represent change.

Friends had a productive 2018. Our legal action against the Trump International Hotel and Tower Chicago gained worldwide attention, we worked diligently with private and public officials to ensure environmentally sensitive development and public access along the river, our Chicago River Day attracted some 2,000 volunteers at 70 cleanup sites across the region, and our museum welcomed its 200,000th guest.

Our anniversary year of 2019 promises even more. We hope you'll join us.

Friends of the Chicago River: Bringing the River to Life for 40 Years.

Friends of the Chicago River: 40 Years, 40 Key Moments

Friends of the Chicago River History: An Amazing Journey

A Q and A With Robert Cassidy, Author of "Our Friendless River"

Friends at 40: 40 People Who Made a Difference

Chicago magazine August, 1979: "Our Friendless River"

40 Fantastic Fauna

40 Top Places on the Chicago River