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Friends of the Kishwaukee River

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Love Your River

The mission of Friends of the Kishwaukee River is to promote and enhance good stewardship of the river and the surrounding lands by restoring and preserving its natural character, encouraging safe and responsible recreation, protecting its watershed from degradation, and increasing our community’s appreciation of its natural beauty.

Company Overview

Our 2012 Initiatives:


Stewardship Initiative - Form an alliance of concerned organizations, concerned individuals, and local landowners that will adopt a hands-on approach to encourage good stewardship of the river.


Education Initiative - Increase public awareness of the Kishwaukee River's unique and precious attributes, the threats that they face, and the ways we can protect them.


Safety Initiative - Communicate with local and regional law enforcement officials to ensure that the river is being used in a safe and responsible manner.


Legal Initiative - Work with elected officials to amend existing ordinances and implement new ordinances that will better protect the river’s natural character and encourage safe recreation.

We're an alliance of concerned individuals and organizations.

General Information

This year we will be launching our "Love Your River" campaign. Stay tuned for more information.



An email I received this week...........


Hey Friends


Joann will be presenting our proposal to the Cherry Valley Board of Trustees this Monday. Our proposal contains:


1) Request for funding for a kiosk in Baumann Park

2) Request for funding for additional police patrols or a park ranger to patrol Baumann Park on Saturdays and Sundays in the summer

3) Permission to hold our Love Your River kick-off at the shelterhouse on June 9

4) Request to sign a Memorandum of Understanding and become an official partner.


We would like several of our committee members to be present at this meeting to show support for the project. The meeting is this Monday at 7 p.m. at Cherry Valley Village Hall. Please attend if you are available (I will be at a church meeting).


I'm pleased to announce that Friends of the Kishwaukee River is now a member organization of the Four Rivers Environmental Coalition. FREC is a non-profit alliance of environmental organizations and agencies in the watersheds of the Rock, Pecatonica, Sugar, and Kishwaukee Rivers. Naturally, this is a perfect fit for us. Check out FREC at
or on Facebook at


I'm VERY pleased to announce that FREC has also approved our request for funding. We now have a grant of $1000 for our Love Your River campaign! (We're not broke anymore!) This is one of the largest grants FREC has ever given and I'm extremely grateful for their trust and support of our project. This grant will come with a few restrictions; details are forthcoming.


As a part of our new relationship with FREC, we will be introducing ourselves at FREC's general meeting on Wednesday, March 28th at 3:30 p.m. at the Winnebago County Forest Preserve District Headquarters (
5500 North Rock Drive, Rockford, Illinois
). Our own Jamie Johannsen and Katie Townsend serve on the FREC Board of Directors (although they abstained from the vote that gave us funding). JoAnn and I will be giving a quick presentation on who we are and what we're doing. Again, I'm asking any of our committee members who are available that day to attend the meeting and introduce yourselves.


Enjoy the weather,






Friends of the Kishwaukee River

1623 Pleasant View Court

Rockford, Illinois 61107


I have been work with these people and giving them some input over the last few months.

I do plan to attend the "Love Your River" kick-off campaign on Saturday, June 9.

It would be great if I could get a few ISA members to also volunteer to show up to this thing and maybe help out if needed. I'll know more as we get closer to the date. I should warn anybody that might attend that I have been asked to perform my Kishwaukee River song at this event. :o

I have agreed to do so and may even do more than the one song. Sorry. :D

One big thing this group is trying to focus on is supplying tubers with some type of bag to put their trash in so they don't leave their trash on the banks, islands or in the river itself. I hope they can figure it out.

They do plan (not sure if they have yet) to apply for a grant through the ISA Grant Program.


Hope to hear from some of you.



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One big thing this group is trying to focus on is supplying tubers with some type of bag to put their trash in so they don't leave their trash on the banks, islands or in the river itself. I hope they can figure it out.

They do plan (not sure if they have yet) to apply for a grant through the ISA Grant Program.


Terry, if they need help in providing bags for trash and have a plan to implement it we will give them the money to make it happen. No need for a grant request.

Just let me know the details.

Thanks for all your hard work!

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The Kish gets hit hard by tubers during the summer months. The economy being the way it is today has just made the tube action that much greater.

I attended one of the first "Friends of the Kishwaukee River" meetings and presented them with a bag option.




( Uncrushed may I add )


This is a rubber type mesh bait bag that I had picked up at Gander Mnt. (and a couple others as gifts) on sale for $.99.

The Friends of the KR had the idea of handing out plastic bags to tubers and also supplying bags on their kiosk for tubers to grab.

Of course I told them my concerns of using plastic bags. There are biodegradable bags available that I am looking into.

They like the mesh bag I presented and I believe are looking for a supplier. This is a good sturdy, good quality bag.

A bag that I don't believe will be left lying around on some island where as a plastic type bag will get filled and left behind.

This bag stands 11 inches tall with an 8 inch dia. The top has a 3 sided flap opening that secures tightly with all edges velcro.

This little bag holds a punch............





Also there are plans of putting up "Love Your River" signs along the banks of the tube route on the Kish.

I have already informed them that the ISA can probably deliver the man-power to put up the signs & post and it would not

surprise me at all if a few ISA Catch and Release signs make it on to a few of those posts.

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This is all great stuff. Mike, I would prefer official grant request. Looks better and keeps in place for future requests. I would think this would get funded easily.


I would definitely like to see ISA signs since we've not hadbsuccess with them in that area.

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I would definitely like to see ISA signs since we've not hadbsuccess with them in that area.


Speaking of ISA Signs in this area.........

I was reading through the minutes of the WCFPD meetings and found this to be interesting............


Campaign signs on District properties – Randy mentioned that he would like to see the Forest Preserves allow campaign signs. In the past, Tom Kalousek had been approached about candidates putting campaign signs in forest preserves, and he indicated that there was a previous ordinance not allowing them on property entrances. Attorney Scheurich advised the Commissioners that public land is open as part of the first amendment, and voting signs are acceptable. He then outlined the restrictions, and indicated that the size can be regulated. Vaughn Stamm said that in the past the operation staff has been instructed to remove them if they impeded vision. Judy would like to lay this over to the next meeting and ask other forest preserves their policies. Tom Kalousek requested that Attorney Scheurich put together some guidelines for the next meeting. He then indicated that the Rockford Park District’s policy says the candidates can place signs in parks. Tom then said during the last election, the District followed what the County was doing and told people they cannot put signs in the preserves. The Commissioners agreed to wait for Attorney Scheurich’s suggested policy.


So if approached about putting up ISA signs and shown the ISA signs and the signs meet regulation standards, then they can't really say no?

I never watched Perry Mason so I don't know much about law.

Am I twisting things in think we have a right to display our ISA signs?

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Pat M - That would be great! It always helps to know somebody.

I also want to say that I agree with Scott and Rich both. I understand that we have had problems in this area for some reason with posting our signs.

I do want to work with WCFPD on this. I do not want to just go out and put up signs and get them all upset about it.

I have no problem with Rich's idea and I will see to it myself to take them down after the spawn season.

Pat, if you do talk with Mr. Kalousek also mention that when ever possible or where ever possible, I would like to just put our sign on the same post

as they have a sign on. That way we won't have to sink on posts, which I'm sure is the problem they have with the whole thing anyways.

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I'll try and attend the kick-off June 9 also. I'll let you know for sure as it gets a little closer. Let me know how I can help with any of the signs. I'm willing to help out any way that I can.



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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...

For anyone interested Friends of the Kishwaukee River is having an open house (from their Facebook page)...............


Mark your calendars! Friends of the Kishwaukee River is having an open house on Wednesday, April 25th, at 7 p.m. at Cherry Valley Village Hall. We'll be discussing the threats that our river faces and how we can keep the Kish clean, healthy, and safe. Come find out how you can get involved and become a Friend.


Cherry Valley Village Hall, 806 E. State Street, Cherry Valley, Illinois, 61016.

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I like how they list tubers as the #1 problem, from everything I've seen they are absolutely correct. Nothings worse than fishing a quite serene spot only to hear them rounding a bend, loud and obnoxious, with a wake of cans and trash behind them. I hate to generalize but 80% + of the groups I've come into contact with have been like this.


The Kish is not a bar, yet people are obviously tanked and drinking in public. It's not a garbage, but having to keep track of all your beer cans must be terribly inconvienent on a tube <_< . This may be jelousy speaking but my kayak is a floating piece of man powered plastic, yet I have to register it, pay taxes, and obey all the rules. Why don't people on innertubes have to do the same?


It's easy to rant about what's wrong, and much harder to find a solution to fix it. Placing more officers at the busiest of parks would likely be a deterrent, especially when violations are met with $$$ fines. I think it will take more than that but I'm excited to see what ideas the group can come up with.

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I know one way they (FOTKR) plan to battle the drunken tubers is to try and make Baumann Park "Absolutely No Alcohol".

Right now there is no drinking in Baumann Park but tubers are allowed to transfer alcohol from there cars to their tubes and begin drinking once

they begin to float. If they get it changed then there will be a Cherry Valley police officer there to enforce the new ordinance. Okay, then what?

They also want WCFPD to change to "No Drinking" within their forest preserves but I really don't see that happening nor should it.

So now the tubers won't be able to put in at Baumann Park with alcohol so now they're going to put in some place else. Where?

Which stretch of the Kish are they going to abuse now?

I could see putting in at Kish F.P. and floating to Larsons Landing in New Milford. Or they would probably put in at Deer Run F.P. and float to Kish F.P.

I've been keeping in touch with the Cherry Valley Trustee that is trying to change the rule for Baumann. If it gets changed then so will the float route.

I would rather see more law enforcement but I don't think that will happen.

I think I'm going to loose my south branch. :angry:

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I see them frequently on stretches above the Belvidere Dam also, where I've yet to ever see an officer. My point is once expensive tickets start getting handed out word will spread. The thought of tubing isn't so fun when it may cost you a couple hundred bucks. Instead of focusing on one park like Baumann They could focus on a different one each weekend at random.

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Tubers suck! That pretty much sums up my view and experience with them. Fines only work if there are officers on site to enforce them and I don't see that happening. They need to be educated and encouraged to respect and protect the Kish. Hopfully the FOTKR can come up with some good strategies to tackle these issues. And I hope they keep the South Branch in view.

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