Friends is the only organization solely dedicated to the Chicago River system.
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.
Find out more about Friends' programs, advocacy efforts, and our recognition for it not to mention our McCormick Bridgehouse & Chicago River Museum which we opened in 2006 in a landmarked bridgehouse on the Chicago Riverwalk. The exhibits provide new access and understanding of the dynamic relationship between the region and its river. Plan your visit today.