I Love My Friend, the Fox River

February offers several reasons to celebrate, such as, Ground Hog Day, President’s Day, Chinese New Year, and Mexico’s Constitution and Flag Day. The big winner though is Valentine’s Day. Like many holidays, the actual honoring of the date has been stretched but the essence is the heart symbol and love messages. As a fourth grader, sending a little valentine card to each of my classmates caused me to ponder how I was expressing my love. I was confused as to what love is. Was it like the love of my grandma, brother (not), pet, my best friend, or the cute girl seated next to me? Love can take different forms and have many levels. I understand love better now and know that I truly and deeply love the Fox River.


I love the Fox River as my friend and not just for its caring for me like a friend.
Sure, providing my drinking water accepting my community’s sewage and stormwater, and being the foundation for why people settled where I now live are generous and consistent acts of friendship. The Fox River is also there for my pleasure every day and on the evenings that I choose to visit. Nothing brings me peace like sliding into the river in a kayak, supported by its gentle hold and carried through all kinds of natural beauty provided by the abundant flora and fauna. The bountiful wildlife that often surprises me makes just being there an adventure. Can on ever tire of seeing a Bald Eagle? It is a symbol of river recovery. The Fox River never denies me joy nor offers criticism for my mood. I am in love with the Fox River and want to show my love to my friend in return.

GS in kayak

We are actually all Friends of the Fox River (FOTFR), but some of us are not so good at showing it. The fisherman is always thankful for the fish that the Fox provides, but not as considerate for leaving trash behind. We are thankful that street drains carry storm water away, but many people add litter to the mix.

The drains from our house go to a wastewater treatment plant designed to sanitize the effluent before it is river bound. Putting wipes and grease down the drain disrupts that process and is a mess for our friends, the treatment plant operators. It is easy to be a better friend if we take some care to consider our friend the Fox River with our behaviors.

At Friends of the Fox River we help you show your love.
FOTFR’s weekly communication, the Watershed News is intended to entertain and educate its readers. “Be a Better Friend” tips come on the second week of the month. Our daily posts on Facebook/Instagram seek to inspire similar actions. FOTFR’s educational presentations to various audiences throughout the watershed offer more ways to be a good Friend. Visit our website and keep an eye on our calendar for upcoming events. Many opportunities will be available in April and May. Participating in a cleanup, whether on the shoreline or in the water, is a wonderful way for whole families and groups to show the Fox River some love. It’s Our Fox River Day on September 21st will offer dozens of different locations and activities to celebrate our friendship with our river.

FOTFR is a collection of Friends.
To operate a non-profit requires fundraising. We do that in various ways and appreciate the essential support. We are also in the business of Friend-raising. It is our human resources that best protect the Fox River.

If you support FOTFR through participation in events or financially, we consider you our Friend, and you will enjoy the benefits formerly provided through memberships. We appreciate whatever and however you can support our work/fun efforts. Since it does require significant funds to do our work, we will on occasion, ask our Friends for financial support. This however will be at whatever level is comfortable and appropriate for you. If you are able to commit to a reoccurring monthly donation, we no longer will need to trouble you with reoccurring asks. That will be a way to sustainably show your love.

I am fortunate that I can see and appreciate my friend the Fox River every day.
I am also fortunate that I can work every day as a volunteer for FOTFR – it is my way to demonstrate my love and help others to do the same. Together, we keep on Fixin’ the Fox.

This coming Valentine’s Day, please consider showing your love to your friend the Fox River. No need to send a Valentine’s card, just click on this page and select the level of love that works for YOU. If you do, you will get a personal Valentine from me in return. Just like in 4th grade, let’s be Friends and Valentines.