Community-Led Riverfront Projects - Metropolitan Planning Council

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Community-Led Riverfront Projects


The Chicago Community Trust is currently funding ten community-led riverfront projects through their Our Great Rivers grant. These projects, taking place across the Chicago region, align with the Our Great Rivers themes of inviting, living, and productive, and address two or more of the Trust's funding priorities: sustainable development, economic development, arts and culture, and public health. This series highlights each of the current projects. Get to know more about each project by following the links below (additional links will be added as blog posts are completed). 

Looking for information about the recently awarded second round of Our Great Rivers projects? See more here

To see the Cohort members' proudest moments, visit our year-end Our Great Rivers post

Chicago River North Branch

  • Chicago Public Art Group and the American Indian Center will develop the Northwest Trail Outdoor Museum, featuring art installations and gardens to tell the story of the Native American portage between the Des Plaines River and Chicago River.
  • Heartland Housing, in partnership with the Chicago Housing Authority, will establish a Friends of Lathrop entity in conjunction with the new housing development at Lathrop Homes which will open in 2018.

Little Calumet River

  • The Forest Preserves of Cook County is engaging the surrounding communities in a 10-year plan to connect the nearby residential areas to Beaubien Woods and the Calumet River to improve access to the river and explore programming that will support this initiative.
  • The Chicago Neighborhood Improvement Project and partners are supporting environmental and aesthetic improvements to the Mayor Taylor Trail near the Little Calumet River.

Chicago River South Branch

  • MPC, in partnership with the South Branch Advisory Council, Friends of the Chicago River and Active Transportation Alliance will develop a framework plan for the South Branch parks, build community capacity to improve current riverfront access and examine the potential for a connected riverfront trail.

Calumet River

Des Plaines River

  • Active Transportation Alliance will advance multi-jurisdictional planning, development, and management of the Des Plaines River Trail between Touhy and North Avenues.


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