One of Friends’ fundamental goals is to help restore wildlife habitat in and along the Chicago River. Friends mission is to improve and protect the Chicago River system for people, plants, and animals. Our wildlife habitat projects strive to help all animals, but also target certain species that are at risk due to habitat degradation and lack of available habitat.
Working with scientists from the Forest Preserves of Cook County, Friends identified bats, osprey, and turtles as river-dependent species present in the river system whose reproductive success could benefit from our help. As of 2020, Friends has installed six maternity colony structures for bats, five osprey nesting platforms, and cleared 130+ acres of nesting habitat for turtles. We welcome you to learn more about Friends' wildlife habitat initiatives and to volunteer to help.
To learn more about bats, turtles, and osprey (and many others) in the Chicago River watershed, visit our pages on ecology and wildlife.
To support our wildlife projects and evaluate their success, Friends established a volunteer monitoring program for our habitat initiatives. If you would like to become a wildlife monitor, sign up today to become a Chicago River Eco-Warrior and stay tuned for updates.
Training sessions will take place every March.
Wildlife Monitor Data Sheets
If you are a current Wildlife Monitor, please use the following data sheets to submit your observations:
(These are fillable forms - download them to your device, complete them, save them and email them to Friends at email@example.com)