Chicago River Schools Network
Welcome to River Education
The Chicago River Schools Network (CRSN), provides K-12 teachers the training and personalized assistance they need to immerse their students in the turbulent history, evolving ecology, and improving health of the Chicago River. The story we tell will engage, provoke, and inspire all those we teach to increase their awareness of, empathy toward, and actions benefiting the Chicago River ecosystem, including the plant, animal and human communities which are of a part of it. The river is a dynamic source of real-world information to teach about water, science, history and culture in the classroom. It is also an excellent tool for hands-on scientific experimentation, water quality monitoring, art/writing projects, and ecological restoration for students of all ages.
View a short presentation (just 12 slides) about the Chicago River Schools Network.
With some exceptions, all services and materials are FREE to K-12 schools within the Chicago River watershed who are members of the CRSN. Member schools have been to a Friends' workshop or have had a consultation with our education staff.
Here is a current list of CRSN Member Schools. Community groups, schools located outside the watershed, universities, for-profit organizations, and some non-profits may have associated fees for programming. Please contact us for details and/or clarification.
We are willing to provide ongoing and individualized assistance for educators. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, please contact our education staff.
Fees for non-CRSN schools/groups:
- Field Trips: $200 for one hour (+ an additional $50 for every additional hour).
- Guest speaking and classroom presentations: $100 per hour
- I’m looking for a good river lesson for my students.
- I’d like to have a river expert speak to my students.
- I’d like to plan a river field trip for my students.
* We encourage teachers to include more than one lesson or trip into a river unit. Be as creative as you want, e.g. pre & post trip lessons or trips to compare two or more sites...
I'd like my students to...
- attend and/or present at the Chicago River Student Congress.
- share our school's river data (and look at other schools’ data).
- borrow river monitoring equipment.
- visit Friends’ Bridgehouse Museum.
- take a Canoe Adventure.
- get river Action-Adventure Guides.
- volunteer to help the river on Chicago River Day.
- take action: Litter Free Initiative or Overflow Action Days.
- monitor Wildlife: bats, osprey, turtles, or crayfish.
- volunteer to restore essential Wildlife Habitat.
We are willing to provide ongoing and individualized assistance for educators. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, always feel free to contact our education staff.
“The value of this program is immeasurable. My students learn an appreciation for nature, plus they gain confidence in how they can make a positive difference. I have never had a student regret going on the trip - in fact they talk about it for days afterwards and want to go again the next year.”