It’s Our Fox River Day (IOFRD 24)

How will YOU celebrate IOFRD 24?

Saturday, September 21

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It’s Our Fox River Day (IOFRD) is held each year on the third Saturday of September. Individuals and groups organize events to celebrate, protect and restore the health of the Fox River.

The Fox River “watershed” is the total land area that drains into the Fox River; it encompasses over 2500 square miles and serves over 1 million residents. Protecting a watershed requires thinking and acting as a watershed. It’s Our Fox River Day (IOFRD) is the largest demonstration of Fox River watershed-wide protective and celebratory action.

Host a River Celebration Event

FOTFR invites you and your affiliates to register an event now for IOFRD ’24 to enable watershed-wide advertisement of your organization’s event and all of the collective events. FOTFR will help you plan and implement your event. Contact us at or call 815.385.6605 for questions.

Join Us in Celebrating the Fox River

FOTFR and its partners organize events that include celebrations along the entire Fox River like clean-ups, restoration activities, municipal proclamation signing, shoreline yoga, flower blessing ceremony, art & music making, and paddling parties. Contact us at or call 815.385.6605 for questions.

The Fox River Watershed map below highlights events that happened in 2023 across the 200-mile span of the river.

To see all IOFRD events held in 2023, the map must be in full screen mode.

Click the icon in the top left corner to open the index. Zoom in to see where events were hosted. Click on a logo to see event details.

IOFRD 2023 Clean Up & Restoration Events

Beautify Boone Creek as part of It’s Our Fox River Day!McHenry, IL
C.A.R.E.S.Hampshire, IL
Dixie Creek Volunteer Restoration WorkdayAlgonquin, IL
DRiFT CleanupBatavia, IL
Fox River Cleanup DayWaukesha, WI
Geneva River Clean-upGeneva, IL
It’s Our Fox River DaySt. Charles, IL
It’s Our Fox River Day Clean UpBatavia, IL
Oswego River CleanupOswego, IL
Plant Chapel HillDeer Park, IL
River Rascals Fox River Cleanup DaySt. Charles, IL
Rooted in Renewal: Breathing Life Back into OaksElgin, IL
Rotary Club River CleanupCarpentersville, IL
St. Charles River CleanupSt. Charles, IL
TYS Help Clean Up the FoxElgin, IL
Village of Montgomery Rotary Club River Clean-upMongomery, IL
Willow Creek cleanupElgin, IL
Yorkville River CleanupYorkville, IL

IOFRD 2023 Educational Events

Beginner’s PaddleAlgonquin, IL
Dutch Creek Johnsburg Junior High Field TripJohnsburg, IL
Elgin’s Fox River: An Environmental HistoryElgin, IL
Glacial Wonders of the FoxElgin, IL
It’s Dundee Crown High School’s Fox RiverCarpentersville, IL
It’s Dundee Highlands Elementary School’s Fox RiverWest Dundee, IL
It’s Otter Creek Elementary School’s Fox RiverElgin, IL
Jump Right In – Fox River ExplorationWaukesha, WI
Learn to Kayak Workshop – Fox River ExplorationWaukesha, WI
Lyle St. gardens in Valley CreekElgin, IL
Mother Earth’s Listening Stick & Native AmericansElgin, IL
Pancakes with MusselsWest Dundee, IL
Restoring the Fox River – Dam Removal & Reducing Individual ImpactsAurora, IL

IOFRD 2023 Special Activities

Beginner’s PaddleAlgonquin, IL
Dutch Creek Johnsburg Junior High Field TripJohnsburg, IL
Elgin Native Plant SaleElgin, IL
Fox River Cleanup DayWaukesha, WI
Jump Right In – Fox River ExplorationWaukesha, WI
Kayak the Fox River on Your Own – High Roller Fun RentalsWaukesha, WI
Mandala Dot Rock PaintingSt. Charles, IL
Mother Earth’s Listening Stick & Native AmericansElgin, IL
Pancakes with MusselsWest Dundee, IL
Rides for Rubbish and more!Lake Geneva, WI
RiverFestPort Barrington, IL
Tai Chi by the RiverCarpentersville, IL
Water Ceremony at the Fox in Geneva ILGeneva, IL
Yoga & PaddleElgin, IL

IOFRD 2023 Community Proclamations

Spring Grove, IL
McHenry, IL
Crystal Lake, IL
Carpentersville, IL
Elgin, IL
South Elgin, IL
Batavia, IL
Oswego, IL
Yorkville, IL
Ottawa, IL

IOFRD = “I Offered”

IOFRD is pronounced “I offered” – a day intended to be both an individual and collective event that offers a thank you to the Fox River. The concept originated as a 200-mile cleanup to symbolize the need for a unified approach to protect and restore a watershed. IOFRD has evolved to include celebrations that go beyond the standard trash removal. It is intended to grow awareness throughout the entire watershed for the need to work collaboratively to protect and restore the health of the Fox River. It is also an opportunity for residents to be able to say, “I offered” thanks to my Fox River.

The Fox River serves 1 million residents

Without interruption the Fox River serves over 1,000,000 watershed residents every day. It carries the wastewater and stormwater from over 100 communities, and provides drinking water for over 300,000 residents. It also provides habitat for a diversity of plants and animals and is an exceptional resource for boaters, paddlers, anglers, hikers and photographers. All the while, the Fox River brings economic value through its aesthetic appeal to every riverfront community. 

Managing a resource that crosses a state line and several municipal borders is a huge challenge. FOTFR’s founder, Pat Reese called for a unified effort for watershed management in 1988. It’s Our Fox River Day is a step in that direction.

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FOTFR’s Director of Education Operations Jenni Schiavone organized a full-length river paddle trip to help raise awareness about IOFRD and the importance of the Fox River’s natural resources. Jenni experienced unique challenges, inspiring moments and beautiful scenery along her 10-day river journey, paddling and portaging.

Jenni said, “I watched giant fish, turtles, and invertebrates in their natural environment as though it were an aquarium.” Throughout her trip, she also identified threats to the health of the river such as stormwater inputs, combined wastewater overflow, agricultural runoff, and litter.

See IOFRD 2022 Event Photos

IOFRD 2022 Results:

Between 2021 and 2022, the number of events more than doubled, the territory tripled and the number of participants quadrupled!
In addition to the events hosts, we had over 50 supporting partnerships.

2021 – 20 events, 60 miles, 500+ participants

2022 – 51 events, 200 miles, 2000+ participants

We are still gathering information and welcome additional materials, photos, logos and/or corrections.

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31 cleanups produced mounds of trash from in and around the Fox River and its streams.
5 flower blessng
Six (6) groups took a mind-body path to the celebration that included yoga, tai chi, and a flower blessing.
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Nine (9) events involved a paddling component that included Jenni Kempf Schiavone’s full length river paddle.
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Ecological restoration events included oak tree planting, shoreline planting of native species, and creekside clearing of invasive species.

Friends of the Fox River is grateful for the support of organizers and participants whose impact was too enormous to fully tabulate.

IOFRD Organizers

  1. Municipalities – 9
  2. Service Organizations – 12
  3. Business hosts – 10
  4. Individuals – 4
  5. Large Events with Multiple Partners
    • Lake Geneva – 8
    • Port Barrington – 14+
    • Algonquin – 8
    • St. Charles – 20
    • Yorkville – 6
    • Additional various locations – 11

Together, we keep on fixin’ the Fox!