Chicago River Day

Volunteer for Chicago River Day
9 a.m. - 12 noon
May 13, 2023

Amazing volunteers come together every year since 1992 to give the Chicago and Calumet Rivers a good spring cleaning on Chicago River Day, part of our effort to create a Litter Free Chicago-Calumet river system.  The river system provides critical habitat for all sorts of animals from migratory birds to beavers, mink, turtles and over 75 species of fish. It's health is rebounding but litter remains a stubborn problem. Have fun, get inspired by fellow volunteers, and make a positive impact on the health of the river cleaning the watershed from Lake County to the Calumet.

Corporate teams can join in the fun and support their employees and communities through a rewarding Chicago River Day sponsorship package. Find more information here.

Register before May 5 to receive a Chicago River Day T-shirt with this years featured creature, the blue spotted salamander. Advance registration is requested so we can provide the right amount of supplies for each site.

Here's how to register!

  1. Look at the map below to see the more than 70 different sites where you can volunteer. A guide to the left lists them alphabetically. Pick a site close to home or take an adventure to a new part of the watershed!
    ~ Green pins = on land 
    ~ B
    lue pins = on the water 
    ~ Yellow pins = adopted by a group, not open to public registration at this time 
    ~ Orange pins = spots full 
    ~ Purple pins = afterparties locations and the Bridgehouse Museum open house.

  2. Click on the pin to find that locations registration link.

  3. Click on the registration link and fill in the necessary information.

  4. Everyone needs to register individually as you are agreeing to waivers as part of registration. (Some sites have additional online waivers or in person waivers to sign.) 

Hear the WBEZ story on last years event here: WBEZ Features Chicago River Day.

Chicago River Day is made free and accessible because of the support of our sponsors. Learn about Becoming a Sponsor HERE and See Our Growing List of Sponsors for 2023.

Interested in helping clean up throughout the year? Check out opportunties on the Litter Free Life page here.

Litter is one of the most stubborn environmental problems we face. Working together with amazing friends, members, volunteers, partners like REI, Shedd Aquarium, Waste Management, and Loyola University's Dr. Tim Hoellein, and the visionary steadfast support of the Mars Wrigley Foundation, we can create a Litter Free Chicago-Calumet river system.