Protecting the River Makes Headlines

The undeveloped land parcel called The 78 stretches a half-mile along the South Branch of the Chicago River.

Our phones were ringing off the hook this week from news outlets seeking comment about the proposed new White Sox stadium along the South Branch of the Chicago River. Friends’ Executive Director Margaret Frisbie emphasized to reporters that any development must treat the river as a living natural resource and not a water feature.

Commenting to WTTW News Frisbie said, “I think that we need to keep a careful and cautious eye on everything proposed along the river. If we’re advocates for nature, we’re advocates for people.” 

In January, Related Midwest, which owns the proposed White Sox site called The 78, told Friends of the Chicago River that its plan to incorporate commitments to the riverfront and open space on the 78 remain an important part of the masterplan. 

WTTW’s story also highlighted the important role of the River Ecology and Governance Task in regard to any proposal along the river. The task force is a coalition of community partners, nonprofits, and government agencies that work together with the city of Chicago on river-edge issues. Friends and the Metropolitan Planning Council provide leadership and administrative support for the task force.