Chicago River Day 2018 Photos: Spring Cleaning Attracts Thousands

Some 2,000 volunteers turned out on Saturday, May 12, 2018 at 70 sites across the Chicago area for Friends of the Chicago River’s annual cleanup day, removing plastic, cans, tires and other trash.

Volunteers for Chicago River Day, first held in 1992, have over the years carted off tons of garbage from the Chicago River system and restored banks throughout its 156 miles of shoreline.

“The Chicago River system has improved dramatically thanks, in part, to volunteers such as those who turned out today,” said Margaret Frisbie, Executive Director of Friends of the Chicago River. “As water quality improves and work is done on land restoration, more and more people are coming to appreciate this natural treasure.”

Thanks to all who participated. Thanks, too, to Exelon, our presenting sponsor; PepsiCo, Chicago River Day's lead sponsor; and all the generous supporters of this year's event.

Take a look at some pictures from the 2018 Chicago River Day below and in the photo gallery on top. There's some video, too, on our YouTube channel.

Sisely and Rachel manning the water.

Chicago Water Taxi folks have the scoop Downtown.

The kids come out at Ping Tom Park.

Calumet Connect teamwork.

A monarch flies in at Lathrop.

17th District Chicago Police put the cuffs on trash at Gompers Park.

All together now at Lathrop.

Purple hat? Evanston, naturally!

Clark Park garbage haul: Is that a shopping cart?

Invasive plants at Clark Park? Get out!

Say cheese: the Tributary Committee at Clark Park

Cloudy, yes. Rain, no, at Ping Tom Park. Amazing place either way.

Best shirts ever.


Who knew Mars Wrigley Confectionery had a navy? We salute you!

Join the Tributary Committee! 

South Branch PAC reporting for duty.

Victory! from Metropolitan Brewing.

Tires, not tired, says Loyola Academy.

"This Sony speaker deserved a better fate," tweeted Carter O'Brien.

Tom Honn and friends cleared 2,500 square feet of invasives at Canal Shores.

William Howard Taft High School to the rescue...

Meeting Tomorrow gets busy today in Albany Park.


Grossed out in Lincoln Village.

Shovel looking pretty serious in Evanston.

Getting it done in Dunning-Read.

Calumet? Check!

Hmmm. Wonder where Weaver Consultants hung out?

What will next year's "Featured Creature" be?