Illinois Water TrailKeepers
DesPlaines River Marathon to provide support for Illinois Water TrailKeepers
in the fun of the DesPlaines River Canoe Marathon and Support Illinois Water
For the past three years participants of the DPR Marathon
have opted to contribute to the Upper DesPlaines River Ecosystem Partnership,
the Illinois Paddlers' Patrol and Openlands, organizations devoted to extending
the environmental and recreational potential of the DesPlaines and other
This year the Marathon organizers have identified the Water TrailKeepers Program
as the organization for which we encourage your financial support by adding an
optional amount to your registration fee. Both the SignMeUp web registration
and the paper registration will facilitate your contribution to this cause!
To register for the canoe marathon, go to www.canoemarathon.com
Cleanup Corner is a work in progress.
Moving Forward, Cleanup Corner will be a resource where people can promote
their cleanup efforts, before and after the events. Send information of upcoming cleanups or Cleanup Trip Reports to Tom Eckels
Illinois Water TrailKeepers (WTK) is a joint program of the Illinois Paddling Council (IPC) and Openlands, TrailKeepers is a corps of volunteer stewards for designated watertrails in Illinois.
Illinois Water TrailKeepers monitor and maintain seven watertrails in nine counties in northern Illinois totaling nearly 350 river miles.
These are the currently adopted TrailKeeper WaterTrails:
- North Branch of the Chicago River
- Little Calumet River
- Salt Creek
- Des Plaines River (from the Wisconsin border to McKinley Woods Forest Preserve)
- Fox River (in McHenry, Lake, Kane and Kendall Counties)
- DuPage River (including the West Branch and East Branch)
- Kishwaukee River (in Boone & Winnebago Counties)
“Reach Stewards” take responsibility for a reach of an adopted watertrail. Reach Stewards monitor and report on trail conditions. They maintain the trail by conducting on-the-water, bank and site clean-up. Reach Stewards may also advocate for the development and improvement of their reach and the watertrail. Reach Stewards may recruit and coordinate the work of Reach and Trail Volunteers and other individuals and groups on their reach.
A Trail Steward takes responsibility for an entire watertrail. The Trail Steward manages the Reach Stewards and coordinates their work. The Trail Steward also coordinates the removal of larger obstructions and human hazards with the local authorities (if any) or with the TrailKeepers In-Stream Maintenance Crews. The work of the Trail Stewards is coordinated by TrailKeeper Program Manager Tom Eckels who is also a Reach Steward on the Upper Des Plaines River WaterTrail.
The Illinois Paddling Council and Openlands would like to acknowledge the generous support of the Grand Victoria Foundation which funded the development of this program through a grant to Openlands..
You can help
You don't have to be a TrailKeeper to help your favorite watertrail. Paddlers can be the eyes and ears for TrailKeeper stewards by reporting deadfall, strainers and dangerous obstructions. To report a human hazard on the watertrails listed above click here to report a watertrail problem
To volunteer or to learn more about Illinois Water TrailKeepers click on the links below
Reach or WaterTrail volunteer:
Resources for TrailKeepers
Assumption of Risk & Indemnification form
See a map of Northeastern Illinois watertrails
Find us on Facebook
[Home][Officers][Access Project][Internet Resources][Membership]
Please e-mail the Webmaster with additions, comments and corrections.
Copyright © 2008 Illinois Paddling Council. All Rights Reserved.