Gary Swick

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

Thank YOU for 2022

We know it is Giving Tuesday for most groups, but Friends of the Fox River (FOTFR) is thanking YOU for contributing to a big year of accomplishments. We had a prosperous year of improving what we do and attempting some new approaches to achieving our mission. Improved – The Big Event What began as a … Read more

How to Be a Better Friend

Barry Commoner’s 3rd Law of Ecology is that Nature Knows Best.  When humans alter or try to improve natural systems, problems are likely. During the days of autumn, nature is preparing for winter by conserving chlorophyll and storing the green for use in the spring. Colorful leaves fall from branches and cover the ground. In … Read more

Make Choices, Vote

Our lives are full of choices. Two things that we had no control over: who our parents are and where we were born. Those two factors are very significant in determining our future. Often, we can overcome cultural and geographic obstacles and forge a life for ourselves where we are primarily in control of our … Read more

Be a Better Friend Remember: Nature Knows Best

Where we live, the Fox River Watershed has been ecologically evolving since the last glacier’s recession 12,000 years ago. The plant and animal species that moved into the region are many times older than that. Our ecosystem had been pretty stable until human settlement 200 years ago. At that point, humans changed the landscape by … Read more

Fall on the Fox River is a Fabulous Time

Largest Watershed Event It’s Our Fox River Day ’22 was a conclusion to the busy summer season. So many folks representing the entire watershed came together to celebrate OUR Fox River. Over 1000 watershed residents, attended one of over 50 events spanning the entire 200 miles of the Fox River. Event data and photos are … Read more

It’s Our Fox River Day 2022 Makes History

It’s Our Fox River Day 2022 was the largest Fox River watershed celebration event in history! With over 50 different event locations covering the full length from Waukesha, Wisconsin to Ottawa, Illinois, Friends of the Fox River reached its goal of demonstrating the collaboration of caretaking and offering thanks to the Fox River over its … Read more