The State of the Fox River Address

The purpose of any State of the (Union, State, City, Business, Organization) Address is to: “celebrate the community, recognize
areas for improvement, and set the policy agenda for the year ahead.”
Patricia Carey shot this at Picnic Grove Park in Fox River Grove.

On Sunday January 14th at 12:30, Fox River Watershed’s residents will (hopefully) gather at the Schweitzer Environmental Center at 12:30pm, to do just that. Register here. Sometimes very little changes from year to year. And sometimes, that is something to celebrate, which is often the case in the natural resource-protection community. Meaning things didn’t get worse. This year, things did happen – so we have many things to celebrate, and there was one very big one. Join us for a celebration.

We will recognize some of the many ways that the watershed is being restored from individual efforts: by groups, agencies, and municipalities. Collectively and collaboratively, these initiatives are producing significant results. We hope that by becoming aware of these activities will foster hope and faith in our relationship with ALL residents of the watershed, whether they wear scales, shells, feathers, fur or leaves. We are becoming much more mindful of how our past practices and current activities negatively impact water quality and habitat.

Last year for the Carpentersville Dam.

Many people have heard of the local legend who called himself The FOX.  The FOX’s strategy was to educate and empower the public. We do the same but with different tactics.  Friends of the Fox River aims to empower residents to care for their river. With the inspiration, knowledge and understanding of the opportunities, we will set our own individual and collective courses of action. A focus this year will be on understanding river restoration through dam removal. We have 20 years of research specific to the Fox River to guide us.

In addition to the standard approach to such an address, we will also recognize examples of caretakers of our watershed. Historically, the hundreds of generations of people that resided here prior to European settlement had a relationship with the land that is a worthy model for us to aspire to.

“We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.” Aldo Leopold.

We will look back at the episodes of abundance of acorns from the oaks that supported a boom of squirrel activity. And the epic water clarity that was followed by an abundance of rooted aquatic vegetation. When rains relieved the drought conditions, the weeds washed away.

The new development threat from logistical operations will be recognized, and the opportunities being presented by various towns’ riverfront development plans.

The guests on Sunday will enjoy refreshments, some news about Friends of the Fox River, and leave with some tangible tools for helping us to continue progress as together WE keep on fixin’ the Fox.

River weeds last summer