water quality

river Santa

The Fox River’s Gift List

By Gary Swick, President  Many years ago I was given a wood carving from an anonymous source. The accompanying note read: “This is the River Spirit. It only speaks to children and a few select adults. You are one of those.“ So I was sitting by the Fox River wondering what it has on its … Read more

Fox River from Norris Woods by GM


By Gary Swick My assigned topic for this month’s President’s article is Giving. This seems appropriate as we are entering the giving period, culturally marked by Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and the religious holiday mother lodes in December.  Now we participate in the latest non-profit annual holiday Giving Tuesday. So it’s a good time … Read more

What Will It Look Like?

By Art Malm, FOFR Board Member Maybe the first question asked by almost anyone considering dam removal is “what will it look like?”. There aren’t many people left in the Fox Valley who remember what the Fox looked like before the dams were built. Doubtful their grandparents did either. The best way to know what … Read more

student and crayfish

How Well Do You Know Your Friends?

By Gary Swick, President Our personal friends are different to us than other people we pass in traffic, store aisles, or on the bike trail. What makes friends special to us is our understanding of them. This higher level of understanding usually comes from something we have in common. Until we become aware of this … Read more

checking wq to protect

People + Legislation = Water Quality Protection

by Gary Swick Having access to clean water is a need for all living things. The natural environment provides that through the hydrological cycle. Humans routinely interrupt that process and threaten their own water quality. It is the mission of Friends of the Fox River to protect our watershed through education, restoration, research, and advocacy. … Read more


The Fox’s Formerly Phenomenal Filtering Freshwater Mussels

By Arthur Malm It has been 100 years since the passage of Illinois’ Sanitary District Act of 1917. That Act allowed voters to petition for a referendum to form a sanitary district and build treatment plants to “conduce to the preservation of the public health, comfort and convenience”(1).  Since that Act’s passage great strides have … 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