Skip to main content

Natural Awakenings Chicago

Rollin’ on the Chicago River

Apr 25, 2012 03:00PM

When Friends of the Chicago River founded Chicago River Day in 1992, only 25 people signed up to drag old shopping carts, mattresses and plastic bags from its banks. Twenty years and 43,375 Chicago River Day volunteers later, the Chicago River is no longer a forgotten alleyway, filled with sewage and junk.

To celebrate this success, Friends will bring the river into city and suburban communities through Chicago River Day 20/20, a 20-day series of fun and informative events. The 8th annual Chicago River Summit: A New Narrative, will be held May 4, at Hotel 71, 71 East Wacker Drive, in Chicago. Hear what the future holds for the Chicago River in an in-depth conversation that will examine the urban, political and ecological influences that impact it. Lunch is included. Tickets are $25-100. Visit River Summit

Chicago River Day 20/20: See What You Can Do river clean-up, is scheduled from 9 a.m. to noon, May 12, at 60 sites from Blue Island to Lake County. More than 4,000 volunteers will clean up garbage, remove non-native plants, restore trails and more. Visit to volunteer at a location near you and to see a full schedule of events.

Founded in 1979, Friends of the Chicago River is an award-winning nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve and protect the Chicago River.