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Connecting communities to urban rivers

through ecosystem rehabilitation and education

 
 
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Our pilot project

Reimagining the Chicago river

Urban Rivers is facilitating the design and implementation of a park on the east side of goose island consisting of floating gardens, wildlife habitat, and more to be enjoyed by the local community--wildlife and people alike! 

What we strive to achieve

  • Build a park that beautifies Chicago's landscape

  • Rehabilitate wildlife habitat

  • Teach communities about urban rivers

  • Help clean the Chicago River of trash and pollutants

  • Develop the park from North Avenue to Division Street, one floating garden at a time

 
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Research

  • We are conducting formal research on how floating islands interact with urban rivers

  • Currently we are partnered with MWRD on a 3 year study, looking at aquatic life in the North Branch Channel

  • Check out our current research here

  • If you are interested in learning more send us a message!

Partners & Friends

Brette Bossick Brette has experience in both the public and private sectors on water and climate initiatives. She acted as a Coordinator and Health Education Chair for a project to implement water filters into rural areas of Southeast India. She also worked with the German Federal Enterprise for International Cooperation (GIZ) in New Delhi, where she educated women in children in coastal villages about the effects of climate change. Brette has a B.S. in Business Administration from Central Michigan University and a Master of Public Policy from the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, Germany.

Brette Bossick

Brette has experience in both the public and private sectors on water and climate initiatives. She acted as a Coordinator and Health Education Chair for a project to implement water filters into rural areas of Southeast India. She also worked with the German Federal Enterprise for International Cooperation (GIZ) in New Delhi, where she educated women in children in coastal villages about the effects of climate change. Brette has a B.S. in Business Administration from Central Michigan University and a Master of Public Policy from the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, Germany.

Nick Wesley Nick recently graduated with a BBA in Entrepreneurship from Wilkes University and has worked on aeroponic systems since the age of 19. While in college he built an aeroponics system for two restaurants and a 1000 gallon aquaponics system for a not-for-profit farm located in Pennsylvania. He also spearheaded the mushroom plant research at 'The Plant' by building a pasteurizing system with a capacity of 250 gallons of growing media for mushrooms, and retrofitting a room into a fruiting chamber. Nick also owned his own marketing and advertising business before leaving to pursue an industry which can “actually make a difference” in vertical farming.

Nick Wesley

Nick recently graduated with a BBA in Entrepreneurship from Wilkes University and has worked on aeroponic systems since the age of 19. While in college he built an aeroponics system for two restaurants and a 1000 gallon aquaponics system for a not-for-profit farm located in Pennsylvania. He also spearheaded the mushroom plant research at 'The Plant' by building a pasteurizing system with a capacity of 250 gallons of growing media for mushrooms, and retrofitting a room into a fruiting chamber. Nick also owned his own marketing and advertising business before leaving to pursue an industry which can “actually make a difference” in vertical farming.

Zachary Damato Zachary founded his first company after Purdue, selling food from the trunk of his car turning Norman Distribution into a multi-million dollar food distribution & marketing company. He stepped away to engage in internships ranging from professional cooking, farming and Techstars. He co-founded Urban River Project focusing on Urban River restoration. He's an advocate for decentralizing our food system, Industrial Hemp and eating amazing food. He's currently COO of Niwa; building connected indoor grow systems for fruits, vegetables and other plants.  

Zachary Damato

Zachary founded his first company after Purdue, selling food from the trunk of his car turning Norman Distribution into a multi-million dollar food distribution & marketing company. He stepped away to engage in internships ranging from professional cooking, farming and Techstars. He co-founded Urban River Project focusing on Urban River restoration. He's an advocate for decentralizing our food system, Industrial Hemp and eating amazing food. He's currently COO of Niwa; building connected indoor grow systems for fruits, vegetables and other plants.

 

Phil Nicodemus Phil graduated from the University of Illinois in 2013, where he studied Integrative Biology and History. He has worked in assisting several research projects, including those studying Sandhill Cranes,  gathering data for the Lake Michigan Biological Research Station, and assisting Josh Yellin in his master's research on Artificial Floating Islands. Since 2014, Phil has worked largely in the the conservation and restoration field, carrying out standard ecological control methods such as prescribed burns, various means of ecosystem management, and invasive species control

Phil Nicodemus

Phil graduated from the University of Illinois in 2013, where he studied Integrative Biology and History. He has worked in assisting several research projects, including those studying Sandhill Cranes,  gathering data for the Lake Michigan Biological Research Station, and assisting Josh Yellin in his master's research on Artificial Floating Islands. Since 2014, Phil has worked largely in the the conservation and restoration field, carrying out standard ecological control methods such as prescribed burns, various means of ecosystem management, and invasive species control

Josh Yellin Josh was born and raised in the Chicago area. After finishing undergrad at the University of Illinois in 2007 Josh spent a few years in the wilderness of Montana and Alaskan building hiking trails and guiding canoe trips.  After returning to Chicago in 2010, Josh spent the next five years involved with waters in and around Chicago.  He has worked for Friends of the Chicago River, Shedd Aquarium, and focused his master’s degree research in the same stretch of Chicago River where Urban River Project's pilot installation will go. Josh holds a B.S in Integrative Biology and Psychology and an M.S. in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences. Josh currently lives in San Francisco and is a Program Manager for Google.

Josh Yellin

Josh was born and raised in the Chicago area. After finishing undergrad at the University of Illinois in 2007 Josh spent a few years in the wilderness of Montana and Alaskan building hiking trails and guiding canoe trips.  After returning to Chicago in 2010, Josh spent the next five years involved with waters in and around Chicago.  He has worked for Friends of the Chicago River, Shedd Aquarium, and focused his master’s degree research in the same stretch of Chicago River where Urban River Project's pilot installation will go. Josh holds a B.S in Integrative Biology and Psychology and an M.S. in Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences. Josh currently lives in San Francisco and is a Program Manager for Google.

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