Welcome to 2023!
What’s the plan for you and me?

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Activities in 2022

If you are already a Friend, you received your (new this year) Friends of the Fox River (FOTFR) eCalendar. If you haven’t received yours and would like one, please email us at info@friendsofthefoxriver.org  In addition, many of you have ordered your FOTFR wall calendar; if you haven’t, it’s still available, but the supply is limited. Click here to order. 

Well, it’s time to start filling in the squares. 

Please review FOTFR’s monthly events and consider how you might get involved. Not just as a participant, but as a volunteer assisting in the planning and implementation. The success of any event involves committee work months in advance. Identify what resonates with your interests, skills, and experience and contact us at info@friendsofthefoxriver.org to discuss your involvement. We are a very active organization and our capacity is only limited by our human resources. FOTFR is successful because of our volunteer work force. Make 2023 a year to step up and have more fun with FOTFR.


Second Sundays at Schweitzer Environmental Center (SEC) are back. Programs are scheduled for EVERY month at 12:30 p.m., starting with our important State of the Fox River on January 8. Also at the SEC are the Saturday Outdoor Adventures for Families. If you have a young family, this is for you.


Something new is a River Jeopardy series. This will be a progressive event traveling to different communities and the intent is to grow our list of Friends, share interesting Fox River information, generate conversations, and have fun. The first one of the series will be on a Monday at Whiskey & Wine in Algonquin. Watch for the announcement; registration will be on our website FOTFR.org


FOTFR will again bring a float to the Thom McNamee Memorial St. Patrick’s Day Parade. We are looking for float builders and parade walkers. Proceeds from the Kilted 5K and parade registrations benefit the FISH Food Pantry and FOTFR. Consider getting involved in both the 5K and the parade.

This is also the beginning of the clean-up season. Join us or create your own which FOTFR will support. A March highlight, is the Fox River Summit in Burlington, Wisconsin on Thursday the 16th. This is an information-packed day recognizing our efforts as a bi-state watershed.


Historically, our largest need for volunteer assistance is in April. FOTFR is often double booked at community Earth Day celebrations. April is also the beginning of our field season with schools and youth groups, which for many of us, is our favorite activity because getting youth into boots and into their streams is exciting. Magical moments happen on these trips and for many children, this is their first experience collecting data and connecting with creek life. 

FOTFR has an active after-school program with the Dundee Township Boys and Girl’s Club and we could use some help. They are great kids and we always have fun.


Last year at KidFest in Barrington, we had over 1000 visitors at our pond-side critter pool. Join us there to see real excitement among tomorrow’s river caretakers. Major clean-ups in Elgin and Batavia are already scheduled. These are great events to begin your volunteer career with FOTFR. 


Monday the 26th is National Canoe Day and the drawing for this year’s canoe raffle at Rosie O’Hare’s Public House in East Dundee.  FOTFR will be celebrating National Canoe Day, the raffle drawing and (hopefully) the removal of the Carpentersville Dam with a paddling event culminating at Rosie’s. Watch for the announcement (coming soon) and join us by purchasing tickets at FOTFR.org or volunteer to assist with the event. There will only be one canoe winner, but FOTFR will be a winner from the fundraiser and the Fox River’s wildlife will be winners from the restored habitat.


FOTFR is planning to offer more paddling opportunities for the public and some special events for our Friends. “Connecting people to nature” is part of our mission statement and many of us enjoy the intimacy of a paddle trip. These guided trips will blend education and recreation. Watch for announcements in our Watershed Weekly newsletter.


August is a busy month with our largest fundraiser of the year, No Clean Water No Good Beer at Bandito Barney’s. Consider assisting with procurement of raffle and auction items, enjoy an unique experience with friends on Monday August 7, and support our efforts in Watershed Education. August also marks the start of our fall field season, so if you have time we need help with our education initiatives. Also, in partnership with the St. Charles Park District, join families and staff for the roundup of the invasive Rusty Crawfish at a Rusty Rodeo location.


September 17 is It’s Our Fox River Day in 2023. Join us for the largest Fox River watershed-wide event. Create your own celebration or join one of many others. Click here for last year’s results for inspiration and get motivated for something in ’23.


Oaktober, Rocktober, and paddling for the fall color show is in store. 


Probable close to the 2023 Photo Contest.


Get into the holiday spirit at our annual Nature Arts & Crafts Sale showcasing wonderful hand-made centerpieces and a variety of vendors who offer unique gifts for yourself or others.

The FOTFR Annual Membership meeting will feature a program reviewing 2023 accomplishments and provides an opportunity for you to take the next step in FOTFR involvement, possibly as a board member.