Since 1986, volunteers have removed large quantities of trash from the river. Public perception shifted from the river as an open sewer and a place to dump trash to its restoration including invasive plants removal, installation of native plantings, and stabilization of stream banks.Learn more...
We involve elementary, middle, and high schools from across southeastern Michigan. Students learn about the Rouge River in class, and then perform hands-on scientific exploration of the river on a field trip to its banks. They are encouraged to take action to restore and protect the river.Learn more...
How we care for the land impacts water quality in our local lakes and rivers. The River Restoration program teaches residents of the watershed how to manage their land to improve water quality and to provide wildlife habitat through hands-on projects and educational events.Learn more...
This program engages residents to become citizen scientists, collecting data about the health of the watershed through biological indicator species (bugs, frogs, fish, etc.) that reflect the long-term health of the watershed. As water quality improves, bugs frogs and fish are returning.Learn more...
FOTR is currently working with local partners to develop a water trail on 29.25 miles of the Lower Rouge from Canton to the Detroit River. Much of the river corridor is protected within Wayne County Parks, making it ideal for the development of launches and amenities.Learn more...
Our community stakeholders, partners, and alliances make our watershed healthier! Thank you to all who make a difference by caring about the Rouge River.
We adhere to all federal and state regulations, produce annual financial audits, submit all reporting documents in a timely manner with clear accounting methods and record keeping.
Hear Our Voice
We acknowledge …the systemic injustices and pervasive racism that occurs for people of color.
You care about the Rouge River. Watch how, together, we have been making your river cleaner and more vibrant for the plants and animals, and for the people of Southeast Michigan to enjoy.
Any chance that we have to expose our students to science in the world outside of our classrooms is an opportunity to expose them to new passions. We know that days like this have the potential to change the trajectory of a student’s life.
We’re all connected to our environment, whether we realize it or not. I am making a difference by educating myself, and educating others, that our actions and attitudes affect the habitats around us. I am always proud to tell them that the Rouge is much improved over the past decade, thanks to the collective efforts of sponsors and volunteers.
By working with the FOTR, it helps to improve my skills as a scientist and gives my graduate work new meaning. Knowing that what I am doing could potentially help save an ecosystem like the Rouge River is inspiring to me as a future scientist.
Your volunteer group has been amazing this year. All the work they have done with the native plantings and cleaning up around the water looks top notch. Spreading the sand and stone at the boat launch has really improved the area visually and, according to the users comments below, it functions much better to launch boats. Please let your volunteer group know that their work is extremely appreciated by parks staff as well as the visitors.
“I envision the new rain garden as a living demonstration for stormwater management in a neighborhood (Hamtramck) that continually suffers from flooding during heavy rains. A place where people can learn how a rain garden can help them naturally manage floods.”
“I really want to thank Friends of the Rouge. You have allowed me to have fun over the years and get involved in something rewarding. With a group like FOTR, you really get to “act locally” by getting directly involved and getting your hands dirty and getting wet. To experience first hand that volunteers can make a difference in protecting and advocating for a local natural feature.”
“You have a lot of kids who come in and say ‘I don’t like science.’ ‘I am not a scientist.’ ‘I have never been to the River.’ The Rouge Education Project changes them.”
“It gives me a rush! I love the thrill of grabbing the big tray of leaves and mud….All that potential of finding what’s alive and waiting to be discovered”
Come visit us at PARC. Our regular business hours are M-Th 10-4.