Chicago River Day Registration Opens March 15

Get ready to sign up! Volunteer registration for the 32nd Annual Chicago River Day opens on Friday, March 15. Our annual spring litter cleanup and restoration event held this year on Saturday, May 11 draws thousands of individuals, families, community groups, and corporate teams to work at more than 75 locations throughout the watershed – from Lake County to the Calumet region and southwest to Summit, Palos and beyond. The three-hour watershed-wide cleanup event kicks off at 9 a.m., and runs to 12 p.m. Afterwards, volunteers are invited to come together from 12 – 3 p.m. at Burning Bush Brewery in Chicago or Blue Island Beer Company in Blue Island to connect and swap stories from the day. Visit our YouTube channel to watch a video of last year’s record-breaking Chicago River Day of over 2,300 volunteers.

While the overall health of the Chicago-Calumet River system is greatly improved, litter is a persistent problem that harms people and wildlife and causes negative community, economic, and public health impacts. Friends began this volunteer-driven free, family-friendly tradition in 1992, and it has steadily grown into Friends’ largest and most popular volunteer event of the year that moves us toward a Litter Free Chicago-Calumet River system. This year’s cleanup activities also mark World Migratory Bird Day; perfect timing for this year’s featured species – the Black-crowned Night-Heron (Nycticorax nycticorax). Register before May 3 to receive a Chicago River Day T-shirt featuring the beautiful, but state-endangered, bird.

We could not hold this event without the financial contributions and support of our corporate sponsors. Thank you to our growing list of Chicago River Day sponsors. Learn more about sponsorship opportunities by contacting Becky Lyons at