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Fox River advocate Ralph Frese remembers his friend, Te Fox, and one of their adventures: “Tere was a property where a landowner had a silica mine, just upstream from Wedron,” Ralph recalled. “Tey were filling in a canyon to make a washing dam. It was near this rare red pine, and we were complaining about the desecration of plant life on the bluffs. I wrote to state forestry asking them to come down and look at what they were doing. Te night before they came, the Fox and I went down the river and he tacked up a four-foot sign on a dead tree - What God giveth, Owens Illinois Taketh Away. We did a number of things like that. It was fun over the years.”


At the end, when Jim was in the hospital, he called Ralph. “He had diabetes and he was about to lose his leg. He said to me, ‘Ralph, what was the most important thing I’ve done? Was it working with kids?’


“ I think the most important thing was the unique way he alerted the community that there was a problem with the river. He left his little message with a logo and he got the media to expand his message, all over the world. Te Bangkok newspapers reported ‘Te Kendall County Fox strikes again.’ “He made the point that it is possible for one person to make a difference in this world.”


Aurora’s RiverEdge Park www.riveredgeparkaurora.org by Sandy Kaczmarski


By 2013, yet another addition will be added to the ever-changing landscape of Aurora’s downtown: the 30-acre RiverEdge Park on the Fox River will be ready for open air events, picnickers, and hikers and bikers enjoying a new view.


Te ambitious project is described as part urban, part natural that will be designed with green technology. RiverEdge Park will provide a place for community events and recreational opportunities as well as restore some natural areas along the river.


Te highlight of the park is a curved pedestrian bridge spanning the banks of the Fox by a single mast cable suspension system. Te bridge crosses through Blue Island which will be restored with native plant species and serve as a mid-river nature sanctuary. A major element of the park is a music garden providing an outdoor performance venue seating up to 9,500 people, including a lawn and rooftop viewing area. A bit further north, a new wetland will be created at the mouth of Indian Creek, which flows into the Fox River. By restoring this natural filter and creating an urban wildlife habitat, the riverfront will become a classroom that can be studied at the new environmental center.


On the western riverbank, Wilder Park will offer beautiful views of the river on the site of the former police station. In its place will be a scenic area for community gatherings, a weekend marketplace and special events staging.


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