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Group gives tips for folks to preserve the Fox River

The ConservatiFoundatiCEO Brook McDonald kayaks white water Yorkville Dam Yorkville Ill. McDonald spends least three four days month river. |

The Conservation Foundation CEO Brook McDonald kayaks the white water at the Yorkville Dam in Yorkville, Ill. McDonald spends at least three to four days a month on the river. | Michael Gasen~The Conservation Foundation

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the fox

For more information on protecting the river, or to find a copy of “A Citizen’s Guide to Preserving the Fox River,” visit

Guide to preserving the Fox River
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Updated: October 29, 2011 12:45AM

Brook McDonald loves the Fox River, and he wants others to love it too.

The Conservation Foundation CEO spends at least three to four days a month on the river. He fishes and kayaks on it, and has seen some amazing wildlife, including bald eagles.

“It’s just a wonderful river,” he said.

McDonald and the Conservation Foundation are in the midst of a project designed to help others fall in love with the river as well. The Conservation Foundation recently released a 48-page booklet called “A Citizen’s Guide to Preserving the Fox River.”

The guide is free, and available at several locations between the Wisconsin line and Kendall County, McDonald said.

Most people do have a general knowledge of the environmental problems the river faces, he said.

“People are much more aware than they were 10 years ago,” McDonald said.

He hopes to promote a love for the river, and inspire people to find ways to work and preserve it.

“A Citizen’s Guide to Preserving the Fox River” is filled with stories of people who are having an impact on the river. There’s a story about a neighborhood in Sugar Grove that did a whole green makeover. There’s a story about a man in Geneva who runs a rain barrel program. There’s a story about someone who had their yard green certified, making it more environmentally friendly.

There’s also a section devoted to Fox River heroes — people over the last several decades who have committed their lives working to preserve the quality of the river.

The guide also includes conservation tips, such as using a rain barrel, building a rain garden in your yard, and using native plants in your landscaping.

“Those are just a few examples of some real simple things that people can do,” he said.

The booklet is available at several area locations, including the Fox Valley Park District office on Illinois Avenue and the Aurora Public Library.

The response to the project has been overwhelming, McDonald said. More businesses have signed on as places to pick it up. There is a complete list at

The website works in tandem with the guide as a conservation tool, McDonald said.

“The magazine acts as a why, and the website is a how,” he said.

He hopes to have distributed the 25,000 copies by next year, update the guide, and make another run.

“The response so far has been overwhelming,” he said.

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