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Thanks to all our volunteers for Rouge Rescue 2019

Thanks to all our volunteers for Rouge Rescue 2019

We appreciate you! This event connects people across southeast Michigan to improve the Rouge River for enjoyment today and for generations to come. Didn’t make it to the May 18? We still need many volunteers to help install rain gardens which have a big impact on water quality.

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This Spring, 29 Chances to Build a Rain Garden!

This Spring, 29 Chances to Build a Rain Garden!

Dirty hands, clean river! This Spring, help plant a rain garden. With 29 planned rain garden installations around the Plymouth area, take time to learn if a rain garden is right for you by planting one yourself!

Get Your Hands Dirty!
2017 Rouge Cruise - faded image for background

Join us on the 2019 Rouge Cruise Aug 6

Join us on the 2019 Rouge Cruise Aug 6

Join us on August 6 for our 11th Annual Rouge Cruise, a unique experience as we explore an urban river aboard the Diamond Belle narrated by Dr. Paul Draus, Professor of Sociology — University of Michigan Dearborn.

Register today!

FOTR Happenings

PARC Capital Campaign

Help FOTR move to our new space!
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We’ve MOVED!

On Sept. 4, 2018, we moved to our new location in the Plymouth Arts and Recreation Complex. Come by and visit! Why the PARC location matters…
650 Church Street Suite 209 Plymouth, MI 48170

Friends of the Rouge

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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.

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Voices for the Rouge