CHICAGO (CBS) — Saturday is Chicago River Day, dedicated to preserving one of the area’s most valuable natural resources.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle joined volunteers who picked up litter at Flatfoot Lake in Beaubien Woods. Nearly 2,000 volunteers also helped beautify 72 other riverfront locations.

“People just want to get out in general. People are rediscovering nature. A lot of people, because of the pandemic, didn’t have as many options, and they’re out now, and they continue to be out. We see more people on our trails, and along the waterways than ever. So we’re excited about that, and we want to encourage people to get out and enjoy nature,” said Arnold Randall, general superintendent of the Forest Preserve District of Cook County.

Cleanup efforts like these benefit the people who enjoy the Chicago River for fun, but also the plants and animals that rely on the river to thrive.

CBS 2 Chicago Staff