2016 River Commitment Awards

Each year, Friends' River Commitment Awards recognize partners, stakeholders, and volunteers that help us achieve our vision of making the Chicago River one of the world’s greatest metropolitan rivers. 

On October 19, 2016, we held our annual meeting and honored this year's most inspiring pioneers with the following awards:  the River Champion—awarded for going above and beyond the call of duty on behalf of their organization; Spirit of the River—for extraordinary efforts that embody the spirit of the river, and Volunteer of the Year—awarded to an exemplary volunteer who exceeds all expectations helping the river.

2016 River Commitment Award Honorees:

River Champion Award
Dave McGowan (video producer)
for his compelling video about Friends’ groundbreaking channel catfish habitat project

Spirit of the River 
June Webb (centennial volunteer, Whistler Woods)
for her devotion to collecting bat and osprey data for Friends’ Wildlife Monitoring program

Spirit of the River
Mary DeBacker and Ron Rodriguez (co-apprentice site stewards of Whistler Woods in the Calumet)
for their tremendous efforts to restore their beloved site back to its historic roots   

Volunteer of the Year 
Marjorie Brownstein 
(original member of the McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum Committee)
for devoting her time, resources, and creative energy to establishing the museum as one of Friends’ broadest reaching programs

Congratulations to this year's honorees!  We're grateful for all that you do to keep the river system and local wildlife thriving and healthy, and we’re excited to see what you accomplish next.