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It's Our River Day


Saturday September 19, 2009

A Celebration of Illinois Rivers Through Education, Recreation, and Conservation

Illinois waterways have been crucial in shaping the culture, commerce and communities of our state. Ancient civilizations settled along our rivers because of the rich diversity of plant and animal life, and access to trading partners. Early pioneers settled here not via wagon train, but by canoes and flatboats. Millions of migratory birds use Illinois rivers as flight patterns. Today, we still rely on rivers for drinking water, transporting goods and nature-based recreation.

The vital link between the Great Lakes and Gulf of Mexico flows across Illinois, from the increasingly clean Chicago River to the resource-rich Illinois River to the mighty Mississippi. The Illinois River, its tributaries and all of Illinois’ rivers and streams - big and small - are the lifeblood of our nation.

On Saturday, September 19, a statewide celebration of these precious resources will occur in towns across Illinois. It’s Our River Day will feature dozens of activities and events promoting recreation, conservation and education about Illinois rivers.

The goal of “It’s Our River Day” - which will be held on the third Saturday of every September - is to boost awareness of rivers by offering hands-on conservation activities as well as lively recreational opportunities. Broad citizen participation is needed to protect this natural resource, and It’s Our River Day is an important organizing tool for private and public agencies concerned with protecting this asset.

Illinois rivers are increasingly becoming attractive tourist destinations. Such activities as bird-watching, fishing paddling and boating generate revenue for many towns along the rivers. Any investment of time or money in the preservation and protection of our waterways is an investment in Illinois’ future.

A Native American proverb states, “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.” That must be the guiding principle of our stewardship and is the sentiment behind It’s Our River Day.

For details on the many It’s Our River Day activities on September 19, call the Governor’s Office at 217-785-6830 or 312-814-5220, or visit



AT&T Pioneers-Volunteer Network/Illinois Chapter

Illinois-American Water