Outdoor Adventures: Clean the Kish

Join us to celebrate National Public Lands Day and help clean trash out of our community treasure. The “Kish” is an amazing river; the south branch has its humble beginnings in Shabbona, Illinois and another branch starts in Woodstock, Illinois for over 60 miles and, after many winding turns, eventually feeds into the mighty Rock River. We are thankful for the recreation opportunities from fishing to paddling. 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 and help protect this important resource.  

Participants will be divided into teams to tackle multiple sections of the river and participants will have a choice of varying difficulty of work.  There is no cost to participate in this event, we would just like to know you are coming to help with planning.  

Advanced registration closed at 3 p.m. on Friday, 9/24.  Please come to sign up the morning of the event.  See below for day of event details.

There is a free picnic and opportunities to paddle in the lagoon after the event. 

Meet at the East Lagoon on College Avenue. 

No charge to participate but registration is highly encouraged. 

Date and time(s): Sat, Sept. 25, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.  

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Day of Event Details

Thanks for your interest in volunteering in helping’s CLEAN THE KISH! 

MEETING INFO: Registered volunteers should meet and check-in and non-registered will also need to sign a liability waiver before 9:00 a.m. in the parking lot in front of the north side of the East Lagoon (Parking Lot #14) at College Ave and the Kishwaukee River.  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. 

Option 1) Clean up around the East Lagoon via shoreline or canoe   

Option 2) Walk shoreline/trail to Hopkins and back to Lagoon and/or to Prairie Park bridge and back to Lagoon.  

*Option 3) Need at least 6 people walking in river from Bethany to Buena Vista (~1 mile), limited boots and waders available, shuttle to/from provided  

*Option 4) Need at least 6 people walking in river from Buena Vista to Hopkins (~1 mile), limited boots and waders available, shuttle to/from provided  

*Option 3 and 4 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 and boots are preferred, no exceptions. **  


*If walking in the water hard-soled boots 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 current forecast is 51deg at 9am with W 7mph winds and warm up to 66deg by 1pm. We recommend you dress for the cooler weather and wear layers.  If you are in the river, wool socks and a beanie are highly recommended.  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 continue to clean up at Lagoon until all parties arrive. We will have awards for various categories of interesting finds, and you are invited to participate in free boating activities (kayaking, canoeing, and standup paddle boarding) at the East Lagoon and enjoy a free picnic lunch of hotdogs, chips, bean burgers, cookies, and Gatorade. 

If you are seeking volunteer credit verification, email us, we will 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 25, 2021 at 9:00 AM to 1:00 PM

Kishwaukee River DeKalb, IL

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