Gary Swick

Let’s Be Friends with the Fox River

What is a friend? Someone with whom you have a bond of mutual affection and support is a friend. As each party learns about each other, the relationship develops over time, which creates a feeling of respect that grows into affection. Such a relationship has give and take and tangible reasons for the camaraderie. Sustenance to Profit … Read more

Join Us in Fox River Protection

River protection comes in the form of education, advocacy, research, and restoration. Friends of the Fox River (FOTFR) is the local leader and invests heavily in watershed education. Jenni Kempf is now the Director of Educational Program Operations. Since 2009, FOTFR has employed part- time educators to lead students in boots-on and in-stream explorations. The … Read more

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 … Read more

What Does it Mean or Matter to be an Endangered River?

On April 18, 2023, American Rivers released their 38th annual list of the 10 most endangered rivers in America (endangered rivers video). The objective of the list is to amplify the stories of each river to rally together the support necessary to address the threats they face. Currently, three factors have converged that threaten many … Read more

Are You a Voice for the Fox River?

If Not You, Then Who? Spring is a period of transition. Cold one day and warm the next. But all the while new plant and animal growth is steadily emerging and soon to be blooming or birthing. Some of yesterday’s political candidates will be emerging as our new local decision and policy makers. Friends of … Read more

Building a Watershed Community of Caretakers

Humans are generally social creatures. We survive and thrive by working together. We are all individuals. For a variety of reasons, we develop relationships.  We find commonality with others as siblings, neighbors, classmates, partners, friends, colleagues and more. By cooperating and collaborating with others, we can better achieve our common interests and aspirations. These groups … Read more

Can U Canoe?

Of course, you can! And you should on the Fox River.  The Fox River is a wonderful place for canoe experiences. As a mid-size river, it offers fewer hazards than big rivers with barges or small narrow rivers often blocked by fallen trees. The Fox River is normally slow moving with many areas along shorelines … Read more

The State of the Fox River 2022

The Fox River is healthier than it has been in 100 years. This is due to government intervention in the name of public health and continued federal and state regulation on effluent from private businesses and public wastewater sources. A major turning point was during the Nixon administration. Wedged between a very unpopular Vietnam War … Read more

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

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  In addition, many of you have ordered your FOTFR wall calendar; if you haven’t, it’s still available, but the supply is limited. … Read more

Pearl Harbor and the Fox River Watershed

What do Pearl Harbor and the Fox River have in common? You are correct if you said, they both are places where pearls have been found. Pearl Harbor in Hawaii is locally known as Wai Momi or, “Waters of Pearl”. In 1914, the largest pearl in America was found in the Fox River. Mourning Our … Read more