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 system for the benefit of people, plants and animals; and by doing so, has laid the foundation for the river to be a beautiful, continuous, and 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.
Watch this video to learn more about Friends' history and accomplishments.
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.
In 2006, Friends opened the seasonal McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum in a landmarked bridgehouse on the Chicago Riverwalk to provide new access and understanding of the dynamic relationship between Chicago and its river. Click here for opening hours and information.
Download all the latest news from the Chicago River watershed. Friends’ newsletter, The River Reporter, has it all. Save on paper and read the electronic version or print it out to read later.