From wasted rivers to wildlife sanctuaries

Your support brings life back to urban waterways, connecting city residents to nature in ways never before possible

 
 
 
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Our mission is to transform city rivers into wildlife sanctuaries.

We measure our impact through the number of students we reach with our curriculum, the number of visitors we inspire, the amount of new habitat we create and the number of graduate research projects we support.

Wildlife
New Habitat created
Native plant species introduced
Native wildlife observed

Education
Number of students reached
Number of graduate research projects supported

Engagement
Number of visitors to the park
Number of community volunteers

Learn more about our work from some of the young students we work with.

 
 
 

THE WILD MILE

Urban Rivers’ flagship project.

We are working closely with partners and key stakeholders in Chicago to make this park come to life.

 
 
 
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The Wild Mile will be the first-ever floating eco-park of its scale in the world.

Wild Mile Chicago will be a mile-long a floating park located on the North Branch Canal of the Chicago River, a manmade channel along the east side of Goose Island between Chicago Ave and North Ave.

The completed park will consist of floating gardens and forests with public walkways and kayak docks in the Chicago River. The Wild Mile will function as a public park, open-air museum, botanical garden, kayaker destination, classroom for the community, and provide habitat for native wildlife.

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SUSTAINABLE PROJECTS FOR A BRIGHTER FUTURE

Urban Rivers works in partnership with the City of Chicago’s Department of Planning and Development, community groups, large corporations and local businesses to ensure thoughtful planning and acceptance of the Wild Mile as a long-term and cherished asset. 

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COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT & ECONOMIC GROWTH

Restoring life to the Chicago River goes beyond the plants and wildlife that now have habitat to thrive; a beautiful river lined with lush greenery and public walkways brings life to the community and revitalizes businesses along the river’s edge. 

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PROVEN SCIENCE FOR ECOLOGICAL RESTORATION

From the very first section of floating habitat installed, Urban Rivers has used scientific research to inform our decisions, with the goal of scaleable impact for global good. Through partnerships with universities and scientific institutions, like Shedd Aquarium, we continue to learn from this first-of-its-kind endeavor.

 

Get Involved

 
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Donate

When you make a tax-deductible donation to Urban Rivers, you’re supporting the most effective and innovative solutions to bringing life back to city rivers. By building urban wildlife parks in partnership with students and other members of the community, we can all experience, first-hand, what it means to re-engineer our built environment and make a better future together. That’s why your contribution is so much more than charity; it’s an investment in the future of our cities and planet.

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Volunteer

We rely on our team of dedicated volunteers to keep the Wild Mile pristine, monitor wildlife and collect data for our research projects. Does kayaking through the Chicago River 1-2 hours a week sound fun? Become a River Ranger! Don't worry, we'll train you on everything you'll need to know, from citizen science to kayaking safety. Our volunteers come from all backgrounds but have one thing in common - they make a huge difference!