friends@therouge.org | 734-927-4900 | Fax: 734-927-4920
Logjam Opening Workhop
Calling All Landscaping & Forestry Contractors!
Saturday, September 25, 2021
Don't miss this opportunity to grow your business. Learn the basics of clearing and opening logjams using proven environmentally safe methods.
Logjam opening work by three men
Summer Fun & Learning Online
Become a Rouge River Detective! Perfect for
home, school & lifelong learners
Join our online, 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
Apply Now to Become a Master Rain Gardener!
October 2021 Virtual and In-Person Options Available
Design your own rain garden with one-on-one support from expert landscape designers as part of a friendly, supportive learning community. Become your neighborhood's expert on rain gardens!
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FOTR Happenings

Logjam Opening Workshop

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Friends of the Rouge

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Thank you to OHM Advisors (Orchard, Hiltz & McCliment, Inc.) for your amazing support of a better Rouge River, the 2021 Rouge Cruise and of advancing the community through year-round river action and education! www.ohm-advisors.com/ ... See MoreSee Less

What beautiful weather on the Industrial stretch of the Rouge River on Saturday! Thank you to Riverside Kayak Connection and everyone who was able to come out and paddle with us! ... See MoreSee Less

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we were there in spirit! maybe in person next year with any luck.

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

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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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.

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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
  • BOSCH logo
  • 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