Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Known by the beloved term "Mr. Canoe," Frese, of Niles, pioneered and popularized paddling sports on Chicago rivers starting in the 1950s. He's a champion among environmentalists and paddling sports advocates, reflected in many awards.
Even three years ago, Ralph Frese fretted that his knees weren't in good enough shape to let him set out in a canoe. For someone who almost single-handedly pioneered and popularized the sport of canoeing on Chicago's network of waterways--the Chicago, Des Plaines, Fox and other rivers--that had to be hard. Frese, 86, of Niles, passed away Dec. 10. Visitation will be held from 3 p.m. until the 8 p.m. service at Simkins Funeral Home in Morton Grove. Earlier: VIDEO: Cruising Chicagoland Waterways with 'Mr. Canoe' for 70 Years Frese was also a noted environmentalist. In his work with the Illinois Clean Streams Committee, he and other paddlers reported on the conditions of the waterways, including pollution and blockages, to government …
Monday, May 7, 2012
In this feature, we tell you about upcoming deadlines for things you may not want to miss.
How does paddling down the Des Plaines River, guided by experts from Chicago River Canoe and Kayak, sound? The Park Ridge Park District is planning an outing Saturday, May 19, doing just that. The canoes will put in at Lincolnshire and paddle downriver. Canoes or kayaks, as well as life jackets, are provided. $60 for a two-person canoe, $45 for a single kayak. The last day to register is May 11. Like Niles-Morton Grove Patch on Facebook
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Ralph Frese, 85 of Niles, shares his love for water.
This week's Patch Portraits also features Glenview's local food guru and Winnetka's sporting social entrepreneur. Ralph Frese has collected numerous awards and honors in his long career, but the best may be being known as "Mr. Canoe." The 85-year-old Niles resident has run Chicagoland Canoe Base in Portage Park, a city neighborhood, for more than 50 years. The shop inhabits the same building where Frese worked with his father as a blacksmith for many years, before devoting the shop fully to his passion for canoeing and kayaking. Earlier: Check out all of the Patch Portrait archives. Frese has done a number of extraordinary things in conjuction with his love of the water, such as organizing re-enactments of canoe trips done by early …
Sunday, January 2, 2011
Local residents and some out-of-towners participate in the annual New Year's Day Canoe Paddle.
Early on New Year's Day, more than 100 people dipped their canoes and kayaks into the Chicago River in celebration of 2011. Paddlers braced freezing temperatures on Saturday morning to kick off the 26th annual New Year's Day Canoe Paddle. Nicole Cline drove from Kalamazoo, Michigan to celebrate her fourth year participating in the event. "It's exhilarating," laughed Cline. "It's something better to do than sleep in all day." The official Forest Preserve District of Cook County event started below the Skokie Lagoons with the first paddlers getting into the water at 9 a.m. Participants made their way down the river and ended at Linne Woods in Morton Grove. Elmwood Park couple Ryan and Beth Iverson completed the trip in just over an hour…