Canoe and Cleans and Centennial Volunteer Workdays Upcoming

Friends of the Chicago River invites you to join us for our popular Litter Free Canoe and Cleans this summer. Our Litter Free Chicago River program works to create a Litter Free Chicago/Calumet River system by providing opportunities for everyone to take action either on the ground at Chicago River Day, in a canoe through our Canoe and Cleans, or through speaking up about policy changes.

The canoe and cleans began four years ago with a focus on the North Shore Channel, and then extended through the South Branch in 2019 and into the Calumet region last year. 

Five canoe and cleans are currently scheduled at locations along the river system – north and south – and more are being scheduled through the fall. Stay tuned for details. 

Registration is $40 per boat for two to three people. No experience is necessary, ages 10 and up can paddle and younger river friends can go along for the ride. All equipment is provided. Space is limited and reservations are required. To register for a canoe and clean visit

Thank you to the Mars Wrigley Foundation for their generous support of our efforts to create a Litter Free Chicago River system. 

Centennial Volunteers workdays are in action again at five river-edge forest preserves in Chicago and the suburbs along the North Branch and Little Calumet River. Founded in 2014, the Centennial Volunteers program is dedicated to restoring the ecological health of the river and adjacent forest preserves by empowering volunteers who remove invasive vegetation, collect native seeds, conduct brush pile burns, and more. Volunteers with or without experience are welcome to join us:

The Centennial Volunteers program is a partnership between Friends of the Chicago River, the Forest Preserves of Cook County (FPCC), and Friends of the Forest Preserves which encourages people to adopt a site by consistently volunteering there, and perhaps taking Forest Preserve training to act as a workday leader. See a complete list of more volunteer stewardship days here and sign up now.