friends@therouge.org | 734-927-4900 | Fax: 734-927-4920
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Heart of the Rouge 2022
Join the Heart of the Rouge Celebration!
A Benefit on the Banks - AUG. 11
TICKETS ON SALE on sale now! Celebrate your hometown River at a historic site - the Phoenix Mill - as you power a better future!
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2022 Water Trail Paddle Events
2022 Paddle Trips
Don’t miss your chance to paddle the Rouge!
If you are an experienced paddler, or if you have never paddled before, we’ve got a trip for you!
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Explore Planned Giving for Your Hometown River
Chart your legacy for a better River and a better world—for this generation and the next!
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FOTR Happenings

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Several teachers learned the basics of our Rouge Education Project throughout this week: looking at water chemistry, bugs, and a physical stream survey. 💧🧪🏄

They will take this information back to their classrooms to work with students this upcoming school year, encouraging project, place, and research-based work and taking action in their communities based on what they find!

REP also worked with the Aerokats and Rover Education Network to learn more about how to use water quality probeware (ROVER), and a kite equipped with a camera and sensors to collect atmospheric data (AEROKAT) as part of the international GLOBE program.

Thank you to this wonderful group of educators for learning with us, and to the NOAA Education Great Lakes B-WET program for their support of this hands-on watershed education program!
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what a fun day of sunshine and BUGS! 🪱🐛🐞🦗🦋 ... See MoreSee Less

what a fun day of sunshine and BUGS! 🪱🐛🐞🦗🦋Image attachmentImage attachment+7Image attachment

Comment on Facebook

Aside. On Tuesday, I heard my nephew's story about some gigantic bug that bumped him while he was swimming. I finally determined from the description that it was a hellgramite.

The cardinal flowers are stunning in the PARC rain gardens. ... See MoreSee Less

The cardinal flowers are stunning in the PARC rain gardens.

Comment on Facebook

I had them in my yard many years ago. I discovered this flower on the banks of the AuSable River. They're so striking.

Hummingbirds love them.

Beautiful 😍

Saw them on my tour


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Thank you Giffels Webster for your wonderful partnership for a cleaner and more vibrant Rouge River! You put Heart into the Rouge! www.giffelswebster.com/ ... See MoreSee Less

Thank you Giffels Webster for your wonderful partnership for a cleaner and more vibrant Rouge River! You put Heart into the Rouge!  https://www.giffelswebster.com/
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Don’t miss a thing! Read FOTR news you can use in our Rouge Rundown.

The FOTR Wish List

Every little bit helps!
Read all about it ?

PARC Capital Campaign

Help FOTR in our new space!
Learn more ?

Rain Gardens 101 with Matthew Bertrand

One Water – We Are 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.

Learn more...
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.

Learn more...
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.

Learn more...

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

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  • Ralph C. Wilson Jr., Foundation Parks & Trails logo
  • Erb Family Foundation logo
  • Bosch logo
  • Alliance of Rouge Communities
  • Pure Oakland Water 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