Features - 41
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A River Runs Through Them

The Rock River ties together the communities of our region and it’s been a driving force for commerce and growth. We celebrate our region by looking at the many recreational and cultural treasures that lie along our riverfront.

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The Voyageurs: Paddlers, Traders, Explorers of Wilderness

Dubbed by some historians as “the Teamsters of their time,” the French Canadian voyageurs made an incredible impact on the New World. Learn about these rugged men who paddled, portaged, traded and mapped our region.

Cheap Trick star Rick Nielsen, with a few of his unique guitars. (Mike Graham photo)
Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen, A Star and His 2,000 Guitars

Rock star and Rockford resident Rick Nielsen actually started out playing drums. Once his love affair with the guitar began, he never looked back, and each part of his unique collection has a story to tell.

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100 Years Later, Lorado Taft’s ‘Black Hawk’ Still Stands Sentry

Whether you call it ‘Black Hawk’ or ‘The Eternal Indian,’ Taft’s concrete giant reminds us not only of our heritage, but of the artist whose influence is still felt throughout our region.

Rock River runs through several urban areas, including Rockford, pictured here. While point source industrial pollution is less of a concern than it was 30 years ago before the 1972 Clean Water Act, agricultural run-off continues to be of major concern to environmentalists who study the Rock’s water quality.  (Brad Nordlof photo)
The Rock River: From Ruin to Recovery

Human impact has forever changed the quality of this great river, and it will never again regain its sparkling clarity or many native species now extinct. Nearly 40 years after the Clean Water Act, things are looking better.