June is a Time to Fine-tune

It has been said that folks in Illinois don’t complain about the weather for only two of the twelve months, those being June and September. Now behind us is the excitement of the ephemeral blooms on woodland forest floors, the brief visits of migrating bird travelers, and the challenges of big swings in unpredictable weather. We seem to enjoy the stability after such exhilarating surprises from the natural world. A sense of calm comes from settling into a period of consistency. For Friends of the Fox River (FOTFR), June is a time to attend to the eggs in our nest that will be opportunities for building a watershed of caretakers.

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Busy Days

Watershed education is the primary path for FOTFR to enact a tenet of our mission of “connecting people with nature.” Some days, that means addressing 200 4th grade students in Yorkville, 100 7th grade students in Johnsburg, and Boys and Girls Club members in Carpentersville. To accomplish such a feat in a single day, these endeavors take volunteers and partnerships. In addition, FOTFR is participating in community events to involve the public in discovering the joy of finding insects in aquatic ecosystems (when folks young and old see how alive water is) or the gratification from shoreline trash cleanups. We Keep on Fixin’ the Fox with the help of our many friends. 

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Meeting Friends Where They Are

The portion of the FOTFR mission, “protecting, maintaining, and restoring the natural resources of the Fox River Watershed” takes many forms. Advocacy, education, research, and restoration are our tools. The successes of FOTFR come from getting these tools into the hands of our Friends. FOTFR welcomes all watershed residents to join us from wherever you are.

If you are a hiker, cycler, paddler who uses the river resource recreationally you realize and enjoy its value. If you incorporate native plants into your private plots and on public lands, you are rebuilding essential biodiversity to stabilize our ecosystem. If you are in a place where you can offer financial support for our work, you can enable FOTFR to be sustainable and help us realize our growth aspirations for watershed-wide coverage with our education initiatives. Currently, we can direct all Friend donations to education. Visit our Be a Friend page to learn more.

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With a Little Help from Our Friends

Our work with students centers around the boots in the stream approach. Our extensive work relies upon the hands and minds of volunteers and partner organizations. FOTFR is a co-sponsor of the Elgin Fox Trot and our participation helps this unique race along the river and yields important fundraising for FOTFR operations. Can you join us to help at events? FOTFR advertises our efforts with yard signs. Would you plant one in your yard or at your place of work, worship or other affiliation? FOTFR‘s daily Facebook posts offer both entertainment and information; this is our strongest public connection. If you are a Facebook or Instagram user, will you share our posts? FOTFR is very proud of our online publication, Watershed Weekly. The articles we feature become blogs on our website that are used by a wider public sector. Will you share this information with your friends and families to help us spread our messages?

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Host an It’s Our Fox River Day Celebration

In our continued quest to actively serve the 1.3 million residents of our watershed that stretches over 200 miles, FOTFR is hosting It’s Our Fox River Day (IOFRD). This is an event intended to demonstrate that we are a unified group of individuals, organizations, and communities that are recognizing our connection to our fabulous Fox River. Leading up to the September 17th, 2022 event and continuing beyond, is a celebration of a diversity of creative, fun, and impactful acts of recognition. The FOTFR 2022 goal of 100 events, over 200 miles, involving 1000 residents will be a wonderful opportunity to utilize the media to help spread our message and work. Please share our excitement and visit the It’s Our Fox River Day page for information; you and your affiliates can register an event. There will be many cleanups, both large (St Charles had over 100 participants last year) and small (one person has pledged to pick up 2022 pieces of trash). Many municipalities have already or will sign proclamations in recognition of the event. Special enthusiast groups like paddlers, runners, bikers, and anglers will gather, as will service organizations and businesses. What a great way to energize and promote your group. FOTFR will post the various events to demonstrate the geographic spread and creative approaches used as forms of celebration. Please join us for the largest watershed-wide event. You can do it!

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We Need YOU

FOTFR was founded to convene and empower the public to care for their Fox River and surrounding watershed. June is our time to take a relaxing breath after a very busy spring education season and recharge for the never-ending work to Keep on Fixin’ the Fox. There are many ways to assist FOTFR, so please consider your potential role. Contact us at: info@friendsofthefoxriver.org or (815) 356-6605 to discuss opportunities for you. Visit our website to read the blogs and consult the calendar. We are building a watershed of caretakers by meeting our Friends where they are. The Fox River needs Friends like you.