Adopt-A-River Mile

The Adopt-A-River Mile program is an opportunity for you, as an individual, family, group, organization, or company to participate in by “adopting” a mile(s) section river shorelines. In 2014, we decided to expand this program to cover all U.S. Waterways. You can adopt one or more miles, on one or both sides of the river shoreline. Any shoreline that is in your adopted mile is yours to keep clean. By making this commitment, you agree to help beautify, restore, and maintain that section of river.






How does it work?

Those interested can submit a request form on our website regarding the stretch of river they wish to adopt (mile markers are ideal). If that mile(s) is available, you can officially adopt that mile and a free, permanent, outdoor metal sign displaying your name and your river mile(s) will be sent to you.  New adoptees will also receive cleanup supplies.  Not sure what river miles are near you? Click here to view the Mississippi River chart. Click here to view the Illinois River chart.

What can I do with my mile?

Many Adoptees do a spring and fall shoreline cleanup, some do a cleanup once a month, while others have planted trees or removed invasive species within their mile. It’s ultimately up to you and the landowners!

Where did the idea originate?

This project was initiated in 2001 and was modeled after the successful Adopt-A-Highway Mile program as a way to sustain the efforts of Living Lands & Waters and encourage local citizens to become loyal stewards of the river.

Is there a cost to participate in this program?

No, the program is free.

Do I need to provide any information to LL&W?

We simply ask that you periodically provide photos, reports, or stories about the time spent on your mile. With your permission, this information will be used for updating and sharing on our website and in our annual reports.

Who can I contact with questions?

Contact Dan at or 309.236.6599 for any inquiries about this program.

Once you have adopted your river mile(s), you can clean as often as you would like. If you find items that you cannot remove, please document them and let us know, and we will get them removed the next time we are in your area.

You can also feel free to contact Dan at or 309.236.6599 for any inquiries about this program.

To Adopt-a-River mile submit the following form:


Group Name (if applicable)
This name will be printed on the "Adopt-a-Mile" sign

Number of People in Group





Daytime Phone

Your Email (required)

Which River

"If Mississippi River was selected, which shoreline (East or West) do you wish to adopt?"

If Illinois River or other river was selected, which direction (North, South, East, and West) of the shoreline do you wish to adopt?

If "Other", which river and shoreline do you wish to adopt?

Miles Requested
Beginning mile marker to ending mile marker.