Happy Friendsgiving!

We have plenty to be thankful for this year. We debuted the Natural Solutions Tool and have trained hundreds of people on how to use it to help identify the areas of greatest need for nature-based solutions to the climate crisis. Chicago River Day broke another record for participation with over 2,100 people taking part at 78 sites, and the Chicago River Schools Network impacted the most students since 2019, and much more.

But what we’re most thankful for this year – and every year – is our friends. Without friends of the Chicago-Calumet River system, there would be no Friends of the Chicago River.

If you put off doing laundry or dishes during an Overflow Action Day in order to help prevent a combined sewer overflow, you’re a friend of the river.

If you picked up trash in your neighborhood to prevent it from ending up in the water to pollute the river or be consumed by a bird or animal, you’re a friend of the river.

If you attended a community meeting, visited the Bridgehouse Museum, contacted an elected official, or made a donation to us, you are a friend of the river.

Improving and protecting the river system is a team effort, and no one person can resolve the climate crisis or stop invasive species from proliferating. Each year thousands of friends – volunteers, corporate groups, elected officials, teachers – come together to create a healthier watershed. Sometimes this outpouring of support brings us to a loss for words, but this time of year, we know exactly what to say: thank you.

Whether you are having a holiday dinner with friends or with family this year, we hope your celebration is full of good feelings and good food. From all of us at Friends of the Chicago River, have a Happy Thanksgiving.