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Little Calumet River Clean UP

Help Clean Up the Little Calumet River

and Learn How to Enjoy and Care for Local Waterways!

 Help clean up of the Little Calumet River and enjoy a day of paddling or visiting Cook County’s forest preserves.  This event will include an on-the-water clean up of the Little Calumet from canoes and kayaks and a land based cleanup in the forest preserves along the river.  We will host a gathering at the Forest Preserve District of Cook County’s Little Calumet Boat Launch Forest Preserve after the cleanup event (in unincorporated Riverdale, see below for directions).  Everyone is invited to participate! Paddlers with canoes and kayaks are encouraged to bring them and assist in the cleanup of the river. Those without boats are encouraged to help on land.  We will also have a limited number of canoes and kayaks to lend to those without their own boat. Sign up early if you are interested in this option.  This event is completely free, but participants must register in advance. To register, please visit Hope to see you there!

Those who will be participating in the on water clean up will meet at Gouwen’s Park at 8:00AM

Getting there: Gouwens Park, owned by the Village of South Holland, is located just north of 159th Street (Route 6), just west of I-94, in South Holland. For access from Route 6, turn north on Woodlawn Avenue, and then immediately veer east onto Seton Road. Follow Seton Road to the Gouwens Park parking area.


Those who will be assisting with the on land clean up will meet at the Little Calumet Boat Ramp Forest Preserve (in unincorporated Riverdale) at 9:00AM:

Getting there: This boat ramp, owned by the Cook County Forest Preserve District, is located just east of Ashland Avenue, north of Jackson Street, in unincorporated Riverdale.  If coming from I-57, exit I-57 at 127th (Burr Oak Ave) and go East about 0.10 miles to Ashland.  Turn south on Ashland.  Just after passing Broadway St, look for a (likely unmarked) connector street on your left (the east side of the street).  The total distance on Ashland from 127th  to this connector street is about 0.80 miles. This street will connect you to Jackson Ave—Ashland does not connect to Jackson.  When you get to Jackson Turn east (left) on Jackson and then north (left) into the Little Calumet Boat Ramp Preserve.


This event is supported by a grant from REI (Recreational Equipment, Inc.) to Openlands to assist Illinois Water TrailKeepers, and by grants from Illinois Environmental Protection Agency and L.L. Bean/American Canoe Association. Illinois Water TrailKeepers is a volunteer stewardship project of the Illinois Paddling Council and Openlands,

The Little Calumet Cleanup is supported by donation of canoes from Chicagoland Canoebase and sponsored in part by the Forest Preserve District of Cook County.  The clean up is also sponsored and organized by the Calumet Waterway Stewards, a coalition that includes representatives from Illinois Water TrailKeepers, Openlands, the City of Blue Island, the Chicago Southland Convention and Visitors Bureau, and citizens who want to enjoy and improve our waterways.






Visit two of the treasures of the Forest Preserves of Cook County