Friends Recieves Award from The Waterfront Center

Volunteers in Chicago's Hegwisch neighborhood at Chicago River Day 2019.

Friends of the Chicago River is proud to be the recipient of a 2020 Clearwater Award from The Waterfront Center, in recognition of the annual Chicago River Day event. The Waterfront Center is a non-profit educational organization that assists communities in making the best long-term use of waterfront resources for maximum public benefit. The Clearwater Award recognizes the efforts of individuals or non-profit organizations that work at the grassroots level for the betterment of their community and its waterfront. Friends is especially appreciative to the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago for nominating us for this distinguished award.

Since its inception in 1992, Chicago River Day has empowered more than 67,000 volunteers from across the Chicago area to remove approximately 554 tons of garbage from the river and adjacent lands. The popular event has evolved over the years to incorporate activities such as seed collecting and native species planting. In a typical year, Chicago River Day draws over 2,000 volunteers to work in and along the river system at 70 locations in the city and suburbs. In this unprecedented year, Friends reinvented Chicago River Day into the My Chicago River Day Summer Challenge, combining small group and individual litter cleanups with online educational programming.

 "We are grateful to The Waterfront Center for this esteemed recognition and to our partners at the MWRD for nominating Friends for the 2020 Clearwater Award," said Margaret Frisbie, executive director of Friends. "Chicago River Day is a special event that raises awareness about the stubborn problem of litter and its terrible consequences for the river system, and, equally important, the hard work of our volunteers, partners, and sponsors who literally make the difference in cleaning up tons of trash."