Another Record Breaking Chicago River Day

Volunteers at Chicago's Big Marsh Park.

Our 31st annual Chicago River Day on May 13 was a huge success with a record-breaking number of volunteers and site locations. The massive litter cleanup and restoration event surpassed last year’s highest-ever volunteer engagement by galvanizing more than 2,300 individuals, families, community groups, and corporate teams who worked in and along the river system at 78 locations in the city, suburbs, and forest preserves this past Saturday.

Hard-working volunteers fanned out along the river system throughout Chicago, and north into Lincolnshire, Lake Forest and North Chicago in Lake County as well as south and southwest including Dolton, Riverdale, Palos, and Summit.

Chicago River Day also kicked off our summer-long litter removal effort under Friends’ Litter Free Chicago-Calumet River program, which includes more litter cleanup events on land and from the water as well as the rollout of our network of Litter Free Supply Stations containing the information and tools needed to run safe and successful independent litter cleanups.

Watch a special wrap-up video of Chicago River Day on our YouTube channel and see a WGN News story here. You can also listen to Friends’ Executive Director Margaret Frisbie discuss the importance of Chicago River Day with radio personality Chris Petlak of The Morning Mix 101.9 FM – our Chicago River Day media partner. 

Thank you to our 30 generous corporate sponsors for making the 156-miles of Chicago-Calumet River system healthier and more accessible for people, plants, and animals of all kinds, including our Headwaters sponsor Exelon, and our Creek sponsors: Oris, Mars Wrigley Foundation, The Cynthia Weglarz Roundtree Fund (CWR), Resource Innovations, SC Johnson, WM, William Blair, and Wunderman Thompson.