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Local Group to Highlight Projects That Have Helped Boost the Chicago River's Profile

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Friends of the Chicago River will honor developments that have displayed thoughtful and sustainable designs

Chicago owes its very existence to its river. From the city’s humble genesis as a fur trading outpost on its swampy shores to becoming an economic powerhouse thanks a vital 1884 canal connection to the Illinois and Mississippi Rivers, the Chicago River has been central to it all. Though its industrial importance has changed, the city’s most famous waterway has also taken center stage in much of Chicago’s recent development boom. From downtown projects like the Chicago Riverwalk, Wolf Point, and 150 N Riverside to north and south branch redevelopment sites like the Lathrop Homes, Finkl Steel, and Riverline proposals, the Chicago River serves not only as a precious natural resource but also an engine for economic progress and renewal. Recognizing this, the non-profit group Friends of the Chicago River is seeking nominations for its seventh annual Chicago River Blue Awards that "best exemplify sustainable design for people, wildlife, and clean water."

Founded in 1979, the group created the awards in 2010 to honor public and private developments that have displayed a special attention to protecting the Chicago River. With past winners including Lincoln Park’s riverfront Whole Foods, Jeanne Gang’s Clark Park boathouse, the Chicago Riverwalk Framework Plan, and Chinatown’s Tom Ping Memorial Park, the awards recognize projects that are not only mindful of sustainability but also increase public access to one of the city’s greatest natural assets. Nominations are being accepted through April 8th ahead of the Friends of the Chicago River’s 2016 Big Fish Ball at the Sheraton Grand Chicago on June 8th. For more information and a chance to nominate a local project displaying outstanding river-sensitive design, visit the Chicago River Blue Awards website.

·Chicago River Blue [Friends of the Chicago River]

·Construction on Chicago Riverwalk Extension Continues [Curbed Chicago]

·A First Look at the Lathrop Homes Redevelopment Plan [Curbed Chicago]

·A Closer Look at Studio Gang's Clark Park Boathouse [Curbed Chicago]