Join Friends of the Fox River for It's Our Fox River Day Sept. 21

  • Girls Scouts help clean up litter along the Fox River in Yorkville. Sign up to volunteer for It's Our Fox River Day on Saturday, Sept. 21.

    Girls Scouts help clean up litter along the Fox River in Yorkville. Sign up to volunteer for It's Our Fox River Day on Saturday, Sept. 21. Courtesy of Lara Gawrych

Submitted by Gary Mechanic
Updated 9/18/2019 10:09 AM

Friends of the Fox River announce their first It's Our Fox River Day on Saturday, Sept. 21.

The 30-year-old river advocacy organization is supporting local organizers to conduct river cleanups and celebrations, and coordinating the event along the entire Fox River from its headwaters near Waukesha, Wisconsin, to its confluence with the Illinois River in Ottawa.


Local organizers will conduct riverside cleanups in seven Kane County communities from Algonquin to St. Charles. The city and village boards of North Aurora, Aurora, Elgin and West Dundee have adopted, or are about to adopt, a resolution proclaiming the third Saturday in September It's Our Fox River Day.

Other It's Our Fox River Day events include nature hikes and environmental education demonstrations at the Jelkes Creek Bird Sanctuary in Sleepy Hollow, a cleanup and yoga by the river in Elgin, and cleanup and "glam-up" in West Dundee.

"We are all friends of the Fox River. Friends help each other in hard times, and celebrate with them in good times," said Friends President Gary Swick. "Helping to heal our river by removing trash is important. This year, we are inviting elected officials, towns, counties, local community organizations and residents to join us in a historic celebration of our community's most important resource."

"For many years, Friends of the Fox River has coordinated river cleanups with towns, fire and police departments and other community groups from Algonquin to Yorkville," said Executive Director Gary Mechanic. "But founder of the Friends of the Fox River, Pat Reece proclaimed in his 1988 vision for the recovery of the Fox River: a few groups and agencies could not protect the Fox River. It would take a watershed scale effort involving each state, county, and community working together in harmony. Creating 'It's Our Fox River Day' is just one step Friends of the Fox River is taking toward our goal of creating a unified community of caretakers along the entire Fox River."

by signing up you agree to our terms of service

The event is free and open to the public. To sign up as a volunteer or get more information, visit

• St. Charles from 9 a.m. to noon for cleanup organized by The Conservation Foundation and the River Corridor Foundation of St. Charles.

• South Elgin from 9 a.m. to noon for cleanup at SEBA Park organized by Kristin Delaney, a South Elgin High School student.

• Carpentersville from 9 a.m. to noon for cleanup from Fox River Shores Forest Preserve to Otto Engineering, organized by the Rotary Club of Carpentersville Morning.

• Dundee Township from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Jelke Creek Nature Preserve for water quality monitoring and enviroscape demonstrations. There also will be nature preserve hikes, organized by Dundee Township Open Space.


• Algonquin from 1 to 4 p.m. for cleanup in Towne Park organized by the Environmental Defenders of McHenry County;

• West Dundee from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. for cleanup along Lincoln Avenue on the west side of the river, organized by Jenni Shiavone, Friends of the Fox River Educator and West Dundee resident.

Did you have such a satisfying experience at It's Our Fox River Day that you can't wait to volunteer at a cleanup again? Help the Natural Resources Committee of Geneva cleanup on Island Park in Geneva from 9 a.m. to noon Sunday, Sept. 29. The committee will furnish bags, snacks, water, and a few canoes. For information, contact Jay Womack at

Friends of the Fox River preserves, restores and protects the Fox River Watershed's resources by connecting people with nature through education, research, restoration and advocacy.


Get articles sent to your inbox.

Article Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.