Please note that this schedule, session descriptions, and speakers are subject to change as we continue to plan the event.

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Thursday, October 17 • 2:00pm - 5:30pm
Chicago Off-Site Session: Chicago River Restoration and Access Site Visit

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Join funders and grantees on a boat tour to learn about a unique collaboration led by family foundations and other partners to improve water quality and riparian habitat, and to increase public access to the Chicago and Calumet Rivers.  Less heralded than our famous lakefront, these long-neglected waterways were once vital transportation corridors for what grew into a global metropolis.  In recent years, the rivers have been the focus for a transformation effort to become a vital recreational resource and economic development engine.  In 2013, the Chi-Cal Rivers Fund was formed by local foundations and corporate funders, in partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, to pool philanthropic resources for ambitious restoration projects along the two rivers. The program is just one example of collaborative efforts spearheaded by family foundations across the Midwest.

Designed by the 2019 National Forum Host Committee, this experience will offer Forum participants the chance to learn more about effective and ongoing philanthropic collaborations in Greater Chicago.

For those attending the off-site visits at 2 pm, please sit towards the rear of the room during the concurrent plenary session (tables noted with reserved signs) to exit early. Thank you! 

avatar for David Farren

David Farren

Executive Director, Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation
David Farren is the Executive Director of the Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelley Foundation. David assumed leadership of the foundation in January 2013. For 20 years prior he worked with the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC), where he led major legislative, litigation and agency policy... Read More →
avatar for Aislinn Gauchay

Aislinn Gauchay

Program Director, Great Lakes, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation/Chi-Cal Rivers Fund
Aislinn Gauchay is the Program Director, Great Lakes at the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and supports the Chi-Cal Rivers Fund. The Chi-Cal Rivers Fund is a public-private partnership working to restore the health, vitality and accessibility of the waterways in the Chicago... Read More →
avatar for Michelle Parker

Michelle Parker

Environment Program Officer, Crown Family Philanthropies
Michelle Parker is the Environment Program Officer for Crown Family Philanthropies in Chicago, where she oversees the foundation’s investments in watershed integrity of the Great Lakes and Western United States and climate change. Michelle currently serves on Calumet Collaborative’s... Read More →
avatar for John Quail

John Quail

Director of Watershed Planning, Friends of the Chicago River
Friends’ Director of Watershed Planning, John Quail, has coordinated river corridor restoration projects and policy initiatives throughout the watershed over his 19 year tenure with Friends, helping to lead the fight for a clean Chicago River. Prior to working with Friends, John... Read More →

Thursday October 17, 2019 2:00pm - 5:30pm CDT
Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile 540 North Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611