You Could Own a Piece of Fox River History

The Fox, Local Legend

Friends of the Fox River (FOTFR) is proud of our history of working to protect, maintain, and restore the Fox River Watershed. Our predecessor was the local (and internationally known), The FOX. The teacher-by-day, punisher-of-polluters-by-night character. He is often credited with educating the public through the media coverage of his capers and influencing political action to protect the Fox, possibly having a national influence, as well. FOTFR was founded and continues to operate with The FOX’s strategy of empowering the public to be better Friends of the Fox River.

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Mr Canoe, Illinois Legend

Very well-known in the paddling communities but not among the general public is another legend, Ralph Frese/Mr. Canoe. It is fair to say that  likely no other individual has done more to protect rivers and streams in Illinois, than Ralph Frese. Please take ten minutes to watch this video to learn and be amazed at the impact of one human upon what many of us in the paddling community now take for granted.

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Ralph Frese, Mr. Canoe

Truly the Champion

Ralph founded, developed, created, and physically constructed the organizations, experiences and resources that have connected thousands of people to the rivers of northeastern Illinois. Watch the video to gain an appreciation for his work and impacts, especially in one of his favorite places, the lower Fox River (The Dells ). Ralph Frese is truly a legend matched by no other in contemporary history.

You can continue the Legend

You can physically own a piece from this legend.  One of Ralph’s later creations was the design of the Canadienne model of Old Town canoe. A beautiful watercraft that can haul a family and their gear, it’s suitable for an expedition or short paddle. Listen to some of Ralph’s words in the final moments of the video as he paddles under a full moon. “Where the moon is shining it is liquid silver and in the shadows it is jet black.” You could own a Ralph Frese canoe, and you too could experience the magic of a full moon paddle.

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Canadienne Old Town canoe

Win it, Paddle it, Support it

Through a generous donation, FOTFR is able to offer you a Canadienne Old Town canoe through a fundraising raffle. Details and tickets are available here.