And They All Jumped In

On August 27, 2016 David St. Pierre, the executive director of the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD), the agency in charge of our sewers and stormwater, and the biggest discharger to our waterways, jumped into the Cal-Sag Channel downstream of the Calumet sewage treatment plant to prove that he believes the water is clean enough for swimming.

St. Pierre’s jump, inspired by Steve Buchtel, executive director, Trails for Illinois, who jumped in with him (to benefit the Cal-Sag Trail), marks a moment in history that should be celebrated with brass bands and confetti.

Continue Reading »

Bridgehouse Museum Teaches River History

Friends' McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum sits on one of the most historic sites in Chicago where soldiers built Fort Dearborn in 1803--and started digging a channel through a sandbar that is the footprint for the Main Stem eastward today. Visitors to the museum can discover this and other interesting facts about Chicago's growth to become one of the nation's largest cities over the course of barely 50 years--all because of the river.

Continue Reading »

We Will Be Swimming

And we know that people already are.

Our Great Rivers, released this week by Friends, Metropolitan Planning Council, and the City of Chicago with enthusiastic support by and leadership from Mayor  Rahm Emanuel, has continued to attract attention. The Chicago Tribune ran the story on the front page, the Chicago Sun-Times picked it up,  and a host of TV and radio stations including NBC News Chicago and the online journal Next City quoted Friends' vision for swimming which is now protected by law.

In fact, next week...

Continue Reading »

Among Great Rivers

Friends of the Chicago River was pleased to share in the announcement of Our Great Rivers, a vision and acition agenda that highlights ideas and strategies that will contribute to the continued improvement of the Chicago, Calumet, and Des Plaines rivers where they flow through the City of Chicago. A segment on Chicago Tonight with Friends' executive director, Margaret Frisbie, hightlighted how Our Great Rivers will be a useful tool for Friends and other organizations that have been working to improve and protect these rivers.

Continue Reading »