Record Breaking Chicago River Day

Volunteers at the Eleanor Street Boathouse on the South Branch of the Chicago River.

Our 32nd annual Chicago River Day 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 nearly 2,500 individuals, families, community groups, and corporate teams who worked in and along the river system at 87 locations in the city, suburbs, and forest preserves this past Saturday.


Hard-working volunteers fanned out along the 156-mile river system throughout Chicago, and north into Lake County including Highland Park and Deerfield as well as south and southwest including Dolton, Riverdale, Palos, Summit, and Oak Lawn. Twenty-one state, county and city elected officials including three Members of Congress – Representatives Sean Casten (6th), Mike Quigley (5th), and Brad Schneider (10th) – joined our volunteers.

Chicago River Day also raised awareness to our year-round volunteer engagement to protect and restore the river system through our Litter Free Chicago-Calumet River initiative, which is dedicated to reducing and eliminating litter in and along the river system through public policy and on the ground action.

Thank you to our 36 generous corporate sponsors and organizational partners for making the Chicago-Calumet River system healthier and more accessible for all people, plants, and animals of all kinds, including our Headwaters sponsor Exelon, and our Creek sponsors: Arco Murray, LRS, Mars Wrigley Foundation, The Cynthia Weglarz Roundtree Fund (CWR), SC Johnson, and WM.