Openlands Launches the African American Heritage Water Trail

“Openlands and partner organizations in the Chicago region have been working for years to improve the enjoyment and quality of local rivers.That work includes designating more than 500 miles of “water trails” on the Calumet, Chicago, Des Plaines, Fox and other rivers, and creating an online guide to canoeing or kayaking on those waterways.

Now, Openlands and regional friends are making its first attempt at creating a historical tour on a waterway: the African American Heritage Water Trail along the Little Calumet River and the Cal-Sag Channel on the Far South Side. The trail takes in important people, places and events in local Black history going back more than a century.

The launch of the heritage trail this year fits with Openlands’ goals of educating people about local waterways, encouraging them to get out in canoes or kayaks, and, hopefully, making them more interested in cleaning up rivers and creeks.” Read the full article by WBEZ’s Jerome McDonnell.