friends@therouge.org | 734-927-4900 | Fax: 734-927-4920
Logjam Opening Work Days
Calling for Volunteers to Open Logjams
DATE CHANGE: July 24, 2021
We are working to open the Lower Rouge Water Trail from Canton to River Rouge for kayaks and canoes by clearing logjams & woody debris.
Logjam opening work by three men
Teacher Professional Development
Teacher Professional Development
August 2-6
Learn more about our river education program for schools by attending our Rouge Summer School
Group of supporters in Solidarity with support for diversity
Rouge Cruise 2021
All Aboard the Rouge Cruise 2021!
Tuesday, August 17th, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Join Friends for a one-of-a-kind evening along the Rouge River on the Diamond Belle! Dinner & live narration included.
Rouge Cruise 2021
Rain Barrels
20% off Native Plants, Rain Barrels, and Composters
Rain Barrel + Native Plants = Winning Combo!
Select from low priced, pick-up-only, plant kits, rain barrels, and composters OR explore options for shipped-to-your-door 50 plug native plant kits or single-species flats.
Explore the Rouge WeSpire
Summer fun & learning!
Join our interactive "Explore the Rouge" activity. Learn about the environment and Rouge River watershed and come up with solutions to concerns in your community.
student with ipad
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FOTR Happenings

PARC Capital Campaign

Help FOTR in our new space!
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The FOTR Wish List

Every little bit helps!
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Don’t miss a thing! Read FOTR news you can use in our Rouge Rundown.

Friends of the Rouge BBB Charity Seal

Watch Rain Gardens 101 with Matthew Bertrand

Friends of the Rouge

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Today is #NationalHammockDay! Be sure to take some time today to throw your feet up and relax. Where is your favorite place to hammock, be it indoors or the great outdoors, let us know in the comments below! ... See MoreSee Less

Today is #NationalHammockDay! Be sure to take some time today to throw your feet up and relax. Where is your favorite place to hammock, be it indoors or the great outdoors, let us know in the comments below!

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Got mine ready!

Not until we find a mosquito net!

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Our Services

Friends of the Rouge in ACTION

Rouge Rescue

Rouge Education Project

River Restoration

River Monitoring

Rouge River Water Trail

Our annual river clean up

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.

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School-based environmental education

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.

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How we care for the land

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.

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Residents become citizen scientists

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.

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Along 29.25 miles of the Lower Rouge

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.

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Volunteer to Make a Difference

Friends of the Rouge began as a volunteer organization, so volunteerism sits at the core of mission to serve the Rouge River watershed.

Become a Member

Be part of the legacy. Support the vital work we do by helping us meet critical milestones for programs that make a lasting impact of the Rouge River watershed’s health.

Sponsorship Opportunities

Get involved! Support our diverse programs through sponsorships that have the power to make real and lasting change for the health of the Rouge River watershed!

Networking to Build Community

Our community stakeholders, partners, and alliances make our watershed healthier! Thank you to all who make a difference by caring about the Rouge River.

Financial Transparency

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.


Curious about something in the Rouge? We may already have an answer to commonly asked questions regarding our organization or the watershed. Check out our FAQs HERE.

Our Sponsors

  • Cleveland-Cliffs Foundation
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  • Erb Family Foundation logo
  • Great Lakes Water Authority
  • Pure Oakland Water logo
  • Ralph C. Wilson Jr., Foundation Parks & Trails logo

Hear Our Voice
We acknowledge …the systemic injustices and pervasive racism that occurs for people of color.

A Better Rouge For Us All

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.

Voices for the Rouge