Litter Free Canoe and Clean - River Park Boathouse

Friends of the Chicago River is committed to eliminating litter from our beloved waterways. Litter is not just an eye-sore, it endangers the health of people and wildlife. One way we are tackling the problem is through Canoe and Clean paddles. We’ll provide boats, bags, gloves, and grabbers; you provide the can-do spirit! 

We recommend paddlers are at least ten years old, younger river lovers are welcome to sit in the center of the canoes and enjoy the experience with their families. Friends’ trusty canoe guides will be there to help everyone safely load in and out of the canoes, offer paddling instruction and answer questions about the river along the way. No paddling experience necessary, all equipment is provided. Trips are two hours long, rain or shine! These trips are offered at the discounted price made possible by the generous support from the Mars Wrigley Foundation. 


This year we are offering a free one-year membership to Friends to every paddle participant!
Friends’ membership includes: 

  • Discounts on Friends paddles and other events
  • Free subscription to our River Reporter Newsletter
  • Monthly Volunteer E-Newsletter 
  • Weekly Friends E-Newsletters 
  • Invitations to special events 
  • Free entry to the Bridgehouse Museum.

 You can unsubscribe from any communications easily, just hit the unsubscribe button at the bottom of the email! 

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Due to COVID-19, there are additional safety precautions in place. Boating is a great activity that allows for social distancing, but we want to take every precaution possible. Therefore:

  • We will be offering this opportunity by boat instead of by seat, to ensure participants already know the person they are boating with. You have the option for a third non-paddling passenger to join you in the middle of the canoe. 
  • We are staggering start times to create smaller groups. Please show up for your assigned start time. 
  • You MUST register, no walk ups are allowed. 
  • Masks are required while on the dock. 
  • Social distancing is required while on the dock.
  • Bathrooms are not available. Please plan and time your visit accordingly.

As with all activities during the time of COVID, we ask that you NOT attend this event if any of these situations applies to you.

• You have been in contact with anyone diagnosed with the pandemic virus or disease in the past 14 days.

• You have been in contact with anyone in the last 14 days who demonstrated flu like symptoms but were never checked at a medical facility.

• You attended any events or gone to a place in the past 14 days where anyone was diagnosed with the pandemic virus or disease.

• You are experiencing now or have experienced flu-like symptoms in the past 14 days.

• You have been in contact with anyone who has visited a COVID-19 hotspot as defined by the CDC as having a 7 day rolling average infection rate of 10% or more. The national location infection numbers are listed online at: