water quality

The Resilience of Rivers

By Gary Swick, President 2020 has been a spectrum of angst ranging from a dumpster fire, to a period of darkness, to great hope bestowed upon 2021 as the light. The holiday season is a festival of light from many different cultures’ traditions. All these traditions symbolize getting through the tough time of short days, … Read more

FOFR Ends Education Programs!

I love April Fool’s Day. It is a time to find some humor in the ordinary. With great respect to the very serious conditions we are experiencing, I hope you will excuse the opportunity to bring some light humor to an extraordinary time. April Fools! By Gary Swick, FOFR President The Need Since the beginning … Read more

FOFR_30th Anniversary logo

Happy 30th Birthday Friends of the Fox River

What Were You Doing 30 Years Ago? By Gary Swick, President Maybe you were getting a new job, traveling, going to school, still in diapers, or maybe you weren’t even been born yet. Lucky for us that founder of the Friends of the Fox River (FOFR), Pat Reese was visioning a better world for Fox … Read more

Fox-River-duckweed-and-algae

State of the Fox River 2020

Fifty Years of Environmental Protection In this year’s live presentation of the State of the Fox River, I shared my challenge in answering the complex question that I often receive: “How is the Fox River doing?” Since the enactment of the Clean Water Act in 1970 things have been improving. That legislation was a federally … Read more

How Are We Protecting the Fox River?

By Gary Swick, President “How is the river doing?” and “What’s new with Friends of the Fox River (FOFR)?” are the two most common questions that I hear related to the Fox River. In January, I will answer the first question during my State of the Fox River 2020 report at Schweitzer Environmental Center (SEC) … Read more

burning river

It’s Your River – Vote to Protect It!

By Gary Swick, President While in Waubonsee Creek in Oswego, with 7th graders from the Aurora University STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) school, I got a surprise. We were doing a physical-feature analysis to make a map of the creek segment that we were monitoring. Students focused upon two concrete pipes which were discharging a … Read more

Kristin Delaney, family and friends cleanup in S. Elgin

It WAS Our Fox River Day!

By Gary Mechanic, Executive Director The 1st It’s Our Fox River Day was a successful start for an annual event despite some awful weather for a cleanup. More than 150 volunteers braved the winds, cloudy skies, and rain to pick up trash. For the first time in history, local organizers ran cleanups at eleven sites … Read more

web and earth

Nature’s Gifts

By Gary Swick, FOFR President Nature offers us much that we take for granted. Our need for drinkable water, clean air, and bounty of food choices are often underappreciated because they are so readily available. In addition, nature provides many beautiful gifts of art for our appreciation. Many of us are anticipating with excitement the … Read more

blue green algae microphotograph

Blue Greens in the Fox – Another Dam Matter

By Art Malm, P. E., FOFR Director A disclaimer: The study of algae is a huge and enormously complex science. Every generality thought to be true has its exceptions. Even the word algae should be printed with an asterisk, explaining its use to be generally related to microscopic organisms that have chlorophyll or similar means … Read more