Friends of the Chicago River

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This page is a work in progress and not the final ILMIP product. The content on this page does not necessarily represent the views of IDNR and the project partners.


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. We achieve this through three program areas: education and outreach, public policy and planning, and on-the-ground projects. Friends works in partnership with municipalities, businesses, community groups, schools, peer organizations, government agencies and individuals on projects that benefit the river.

We believe the river can be both ecologically healthy and a catalyst for community revitalization.




Relationship to Illinois Lake Michigan Implementation Plan

Friends of the Chicago River is working as an Advisory Working Group Chair in developing theIllinois Lake Michigan Implementation Plan with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources, the Alliance for the Great Lakes, Chicago Wilderness and the Biodiversity Project.