Friends of the Chicago River is the only organization solely dedicated to the Chicago River. Since 1979, Friends has been working to improve the health of the Chicago River for the benefit of people and wildlife and by doing so, has laid the foundation for the river to be a beautiful, continuous, easily accessible corridor of open space in the Chicago region. Friends’ work spans the entire 156-mile Chicago River system and its surrounding watershed. We focus on a greener river with healthy habitat, an accessible river that people can use and enjoy, and a river cared for by a broad group of supporters. Friends works in partnership with municipalities, businesses, community groups, schools, peer organizations, government agencies and individuals on projects that benefit the river.
Since early 2011, Friends has enjoyed a great partnership with CSI. As our organization has been striving to do more outreach and education, and policy work in the Calumet region to include the Calumet and Little Calumet rivers - which are a part of our watershed - CSI has been instrumental in helping Friends become an established entintity in the region. In the past two years, Friends has established a new restoration site on the bank of the Little Calumet River at Kickapoo Woods, and we recently (2012) launched the Calumet Eco-Warriors. The Calumet Eco-Warriors will engage Calumet region communities in stewardship work that improves water quality, habitat and access; educate watershed residents on best management practices (BMPs) along and beyond the river’s edge; and increase community support and action with regard to water quality and other river-related policy issues.
As part of CSI, Friends works to raise awareness to issues that affect the Chicago River watershed by bringing our programs to the community. Friends staff, interns, and volunteers are thrilled to be a part of this growing community of like-minded organizations and people and we look forward to continuing to shape and strengthen CSI’s mission in the Calumet region.
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