The History of the Rock River Coalition

Rock River Coalition (RRC) began in 1994 when concerned community members met to bring attention to the Rock River Corridor, particularly around issues of tourism, natural resources, and education. People in their communities united, learned, and became inspired together which led to RRC becoming an incorporated nonprofit 501c3 organization in 1996.

Since then, RRC has continued to expand. In 2002, we added a volunteer stream monitoring program which has trained more than 400 individuals in monitoring water resources; currently 180+ are monitoring wadeable streams in the basin. Our stream monitoring interactive map shows where our volunteers are at and their data.

Here is a snapshot of other past partnerships and projects:

  • In 2004 a wetland monitoring program with a focus on monitoring the restoration of a large muck farm just west of Lake Mills from farm fields to prairies and wetlands.
  • In 2005, twenty native shoreline restoration projects resulted in 46,145 square feet of shoreline and 6,000 linear feet of shoreline protection.
  • A Rain Garden in Every Community, a partnership in2006 between schools, communities and the RRC, resulted in 300 students from ten schools helping design and build 23,000 square feet of rain gardens.
  • Send you Legislator Down the River Events were held for several years where we enjoyed conversations and a meal with legislators and local elected officials.
  • Testing the Waters event in 2016 was a successful 11-day paddle down the full length of the Rock River using a new, innovative water quality array.
  • In 2019 we collaborated on the Actually Restorable Wetlands project, an effort to locate suitable wetland restoration sites in the Rock River Basin.