Outdoor Adventures: Clean the Kish

Join NIU Outdoor Adventures to help clean trash out of our community treasure. The Kishwaukee River is classified as a Class A river and is home to 28 endangered, threatened or watch-listed species. Let’s show this river some love on National Public Lands Day.

Participants will be divided into teams to tackle multiple sections of the river, and participants will have a choice of varying difficulty of work. See below for more information. 

New this year: The City of Genoa is collaborating and hosting a site starting at David Carroll Memorial Park. Please select which location you will volunteer at when registering. 

There is no cost to participate in this event; we would just like to know you are coming to help with planning, please register in advance

Preregistration closes at noon Friday, Sept. 22.

If you are not registered in advance you will be asked to sign a waiver in person before volunteering.

If you have a group that would like to participate or have any questions, please contact us.

Date and time(s): 8 a.m. to noon Saturday, Sept. 23.

DeKalb: Meet at the East Lagoon on College Ave.
Genoa: Meet at David Carroll Memorial Park

Volunteer Information

MEETING INFO: Check in at the tent in the parking lot in front of the north side of the East Lagoon (Parking Lot #14) at College Ave. Registered volunteers will check-in and non-registered will also need to sign a liability waiver before 8:00 a.m.  

Transportation will be provided for those participating in the starting locations away from the Lagoon.  

The volunteer crew will be divided into several different working groups depending on the turnout and interest and preparedness of the volunteers.  Come prepared for whichever option interests you!  

Stay Dry Walk Options 

Option 1) Clean up around the East Lagoon and walk on the path to Prairie Park 

Option 2) Walk shoreline/trail to Hopkins Park 

Option 3) Walk along shore of Watson Creek through NIU’s campus to the West Lagoon 

In the River Options* 

Option 4) Need at least 6 people walking in river from Lions Park to Lagoon (1.7 mile), limited boots and waders available, shuttle provided to start. 

Option 5) Need at least 6 people walking in river from Hopkins Park to Lagoon (1.7 mile), limited boots and waders available, shuttle provided to start. 

Option 6) Walk through Watson Creek through NIU’s campus to the West Lagoon 

*Options 4-6 include walking and/or traversing in the river.  Some spots could be deep; river levels vary frequently but no deeper than 3 feet in select spots.   Caution and careful footing are encouraged. **It is also imperative that if you plan to walk in the river you need to wear closed toe shoes, sturdy boots are preferred, no exceptions. **  


*If walking in the water hard-soled covered footwear is required (you may wear the provided boots or waders, but sizes/quantities are limited). If you own polarized sunglasses, please wear them to help see into the water for more trash finding. Please wear old worn expendable clothing and a dress for the weather. Bring an additional change of clothes if you are getting wet/slip in.  

The expected forecast is 58deg at 8am and warm up to 71deg by 12pm. We recommend you dress for the cooler weather and wear layers.  If you are in the river, wool socks and a beanie are recommended as the water temps will be cool. Remember to come prepared with any personal needs i.e., emergency medications, water, sunscreen, etc.  

POST CLEAN-UP: Upon completion of your project, you are invited to eheck out at the Lagoon to share your experience and share and see what was found. We will have prizes for interesting finds. 

If you have decided not to attend, you do not need to let us know.  

If you are seeking volunteer credit verification, we will have certificates you can get at check out, or you can email us after the date, and we can send you a certificate.  

Please let us know if you have any questions by email outdooradventure@niu.edu or call 815-753-9422. 

Saturday, September 23, 2023 at 8:00 AM to 12:00 PM

East Lagoon
41.93214994018493, -88.76127169488016