Friends' ED Named 2017 River Hero
Friends' executive director, Margaret Frisbie was recently named a 2017 River Hero by the national advocacy group, River Network, which recognized five leaders from the river and water conservation community for their exceptional personal and professional achievements in support of river and water protection and restoration.
“For nearly two decades, Margaret Frisbie has championed efforts to transform the Chicago River from a forgotten back alleyway into a thriving and respected national resource,” says Openlands' staff attorney, Stacy Meyers. Since being appointed to her position as executive director of Friends of the Chicago River in 2005, Frisbie has been working to improve water quality for the Chicago River system. “Margaret Frisbie truly embodies a river hero,” says Meyers.
“As a voice for the river, she has made a difference in its health and vitality and laid a strong foundation for restoring its former natural glory. Her knowledge, innovation, and commitment to making the Chicago River one of the world’s greatest rivers have undoubtedly contributed to its renaissance and recovery.” Passionate about protecting and restoring the health and vitality of urban communities both for people and wildlife, at present Frisbie serves as secretary for the board of Friends of the Forest Preserves and on the Great Rivers Chicago Leadership and Implementation Committee. In 2010, the Harvard Business School Club of Chicago named Frisbie as a Roman Nomitch Fellow."
River Network has recognized 78 individuals from the U.S. and beyond with the prestigious River Hero award since 2002. This annual award is unique within the conservation community given its focus on water, local champions, and peer recognition. Each candidate must be nominated by those they work with who attest to their transformative work on a particular river or geography. Letters of support from community members, local elected representatives, governors, members of congress, and national conservation leaders make final decisions very difficult.
All too frequently, individuals and groups involved with natural resource conservation fail to celebrate their hard-won successes. Too often, important victories are allowed to be overshadowed by the next issue or threat. Challenges always lie ahead, but we need to take time each year to celebrate our achievements and the people who make them possible. River Network created the River Heroes Award in 2001 to recognize and celebrate people whose efforts to protect and restore their local waters have been extraordinary in scope, scale, impact and heart.
The other award winners are Angie Rosser of Charleston, West Virginia, David Sligh of Charlottesville, Virginia, David Deen of Westminster, Vermont, and Denny Caneff of Madison, Wisconsin.
We are so very proud of Margaret's tireless work and passion for the Chicago River, and boundless spirit.