environment

Meet Your Neighbors: Spring Cuties

By Jack MacRae Ephemeral Flora Spring beauties (claytonia) are true cuties. They’re wee little flowers found in our mature oak and maple woods. Look close and you’ll see five peppermint pink striped petals that form a saucer shape corolla, two soft green sepals that form the calyx, and five stamens with pretty in pink anthers. They … Read more

fox river by gm

The Who’s Who of Fox River Protectors

By Gary Swick Because our watershed is biologically significant, it’s experiencing continual growth, and it’s home to a lot of conservationists, the Fox River is fortunate to have an incredible assortment of protectors. The list of who’s doing what can be quite confusing, with an alphabet soup of acronyms. The following is only a partial … Read more

Fox fall color

2018 Annual Photography Contest

Our Annual Photography Contest has become a big hit, so we are excited to step it up this year! Our theme this time around is “SEASONS OF THE FOX RIVER.” We want you to try to capture the beauty of the Fox River in the context of a particular time of year. Spring, summer, fall … Read more

Who’s Protecting the Fox River?

 By Gary Swick What government agency is responsible for the Fox River’s shoreline and bottom, its water quality, the fish in it, or the bald eagles visiting it? The answer is four different agencies! Do you know who they are? Just deciphering who’s protecting the Fox River can be a huge challenge. If Hilary Clinton … Read more

The Fox aka Jim Phillips

Schweitzer Second Sunday: The Legend of “The Fox”

“The Fox” also known as James F. Phillips, is better known around the world than he is in the Fox Valley where his covert, one-man campaign to stop pollution from entering the Fox River made him famous as an “eco-activist”. When “The Fox” plugged his first pipe that was polluting the Fox River, the sign … Read more

Fox River gravel bar

Diversity and Stability

by Gary Swick One of the basic concepts of ecology is that diversity leads to stability. The Fox River watershed has two kinds of diversity! It can boast of biological diversity, and a diversity of groups that work to preserve and increase the biological diversity. Diverse Origins Illinois may seem like a simple landscape. Most … Read more

Carpentersville Dam

Dams of the Fox River, A Layperson’s View

by Eric Pepa When I became a member of Friends of the Fox River several years ago, one of the first things I learned was that we were not Friends of the dams of the Fox River. As a layperson (an architect by profession), my interest in the Fox River has been mostly recreational. I … Read more

challenge-v-comfort-zone

Meeting New Challenges

By Gary Mechanic, Executive Director 2017 was the worst of years, and the best of years, and I’ve seen a lot of years. I’m 70 and I’ve never seen federal protection of the environment take such giant steps backwards! Since the USEPA was created in 1970, it has dragged it’s feet creating pollution control standards, it’s refused to regulate … Read more

Common goldeneye

Meet Your Neighbors: The Duck with a Golden Eye

By Jack MacRae Goldeneyes don’t dabble. They are diving ducks with a talent of Olympic proportion. They’re synchronous divers. When feeding, all the birds in one section of a flock may dive at the same time. They swim to the bottom of lakes and rivers in search of crunchy food. Analyses of their stomach contents … Read more

resolutions 2018

Resolution 2018

Resolution 2018: Connect to Nature By Gary Swick It’s in the middle of the Friends of the Fox River’s mission statement; Connecting people to nature is what we do. It initiates a natural wonder within people that brings a sense of joy and a desire to care for what we love. We want people to love … Read more