Friends of the Chicago River

The mission of Friends of the Chicago River is to preserve, protect, and foster the vitality of the Chicago River for the plant, animal and human communities within its watershed.


Friends of the Chicago River was founded in 1979 after an article penned by Robert Cassidy called “Our Friendsless River” appeared in Chicago Magazine. Inspired to take action on behalf of one of the city’s greatest natural resources, concerned citizens came together forming Friends of the Chicago River later that year.

Since our founding Friends has carried out a myriad of planning initiatives and played a key role in changing how the City of Chicago and other municipalities treat the river in development ordinances and plans. This had led to a number of river-edge improvements including riverwalks and waterside parks that feature the Chicago River.

Today our work also includes policy initiatives geared towards improving the water quality of the river so that it can support native plants, fish and other wildlife and a variety of recreational uses; on-the-ground projects that result in physical improvments and the preservation of quality habitat; and education and outreach programs that inform and inspire people to help revitalize the Chicago River. As a result, the Chicago River is becoming a haven for wildlife and a treasured community resource.





407 S. Dearborn, Suite 1580
Chicago, IL 60605-1119
Phone: 312-939-0490 Fax: 312-939-0931


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