About Our Program

Collecting with a netAdopt A River Schools

Friends of the Chicago River has been helping teachers and students explore the wonders of the Chicago River for over a decade. In 2002, Friends created Adopt A River Schools with the goal of sustaining service learning based Chicago River programs at local schools. Through each school’s service learning program, students develop science, social science and language arts expertise, hone their critical thinking skills, and become active citizens. In addition, the Chicago River gains new advocates, its quality improves and we learn more about the river’s health.

Since its inception, the Adopt A River Schools program has grown to 15 schools across the watershed. Each of these schools conducts annual water and habitat monitoring at their site, and works to improve the Chicago River through restoration, outreach and education, and clean-up activities. Students from these schools have presented their findings to the Cook County Board of Commissioners, cleared invasive species, and mentored elementary school students by teaching about the river from their own experience.

In 2008, Friends of the Chicago River launched this website, the Watershed Community Report, as a way to share the Adopt A River Schools water quality data with the public.

AARS member schools and their adopted sites:

Chicago City Day School
Miami Woods (North Branch)

Curie Metro High School
McClaughrey Springs Woods (Mill Creek)

Deerfield High School
Deerfield High School (Middle Fork)

DePaul College Prep High School
Clark Park (North Branch)

Drummond Elementary School
Irene Hernandez Family Picnic Area (North Branch)

Jamieson Elementary School
Legion Park (North Shore Channel)

Lane Tech College Prep High School
Clark Park (North Branch)

Lincoln Park High School
Linne Woods (North Branch)

Loyola Academy High School
Loyola Acad. - Main Campus (Skokie River) & Munz Campus (West Fork)

Maine Township High Schools
Linne Woods (North Branch)

Northside College Prep High School
Northside College Prep (North Shore Channel)

Schurz High School
Miami Woods (North Branch)

Skinner North Classical School
Goose Island - The Wild Mile (North Branch Canal)

Solorio Academy High School
McClaughrey Springs Woods (Mill Creek)

Taft High School
Bunker Hill (North Branch)

Von Steuben Metro Science Center
Kiwanis Park (North Branch)

Waters Elementary School
Sunken Gardens Park (North Branch)

Westinghouse College Prep High School
McClaughrey Springs Woods (Mill Creek)