A place for people to dream, grow and thrive.
The Currents of Kankakee is a multiyear effort to reposition Kankakee as a premier Illinois riverfront community. When complete, the riverfront improvements will be the centerpiece of a transformed live/work/play city that attracts regional visitors, skilled workers and families with a package of exceptional river-centered natural, cultural and recreational attractions, complimentary residential and commercial development, a more sustainable economy and a significantly improved ideology.
The Kankakee Riverfront Society, Inc. is a not-for-profit 501 (c) (3) organization dedicated to the implementation of the Kankakee Riverfront Master Plan whose mission is to make The Currents of Kankakee an extraordinary riverfront experience that will transform the region’s image, raise its marketplace appeal and enhance its quality of life.
The City of Kankakee shares the vision as a historic, vibrant and active riverfront community. Kankakee continues to transform into an extraordinary place to dream, grow and thrive. Embracing its diversity, the city aspires to be progressive, inclusive and innovative.
The Kankakee Valley Park District exists to: acquire, develop and maintain parks; promote the conservation of natural and historical resources; provide recreational facilities and programs; and provide services for the benefit of all District residents.
Board of Directors
Front row (l to r): Alderwoman Carmen Lewis, Barbi Brewer-Watson, Staci Wilken, Dayna Heitz, Kathy Peterson
Back row (l to r): Scott Franco, Alderman Dave Baron, Alderman Mike Cobbs, Bill Ziemek, President Raymond Eads, Matt McBurnie, Terrance Hooper (not pictured)
Executive Director: Bill Yohnka
Bill Yohnka took the leadership role overseeing The Currents of Kankakee after extensive professional and volunteer experiences in the community. Bill has served in leadership roles with the Kankakee Development Corporation, the City of Kankakee and Kankakee School District 111.
Bill is involved on the community as a morning radio host on X-Country 106.5, manager of the Kankakee Farmers Market and the announcer for the Kankakee County Speedway and Kankakee Kays Basketball.
C O M M I T T E E S
If you are super excited about The Currents of Kankakee this is the committee for you! We’re looking for folks who believe in the overall mission of the organization and can be an advocate on social media, attend networking or fundraising events and help others see the vision for the project. This committee is great for volunteers that might not have a ton of time to commit, don’t fall into the design & construction, fundraising or marketing/PR specialties and just want to get involved.
Design & Construction
If you have a tape measure on your hip or a hard hat in the backseat, this is the committee for you! We’re looking for individuals that will promote top-notch design efforts, decision making, delivery methods and preconstruction/
construction phases of the projects. This committee is great for construction professionals that will collaborate with other related committees and provide educational opportunities to the board concerning construction issues.
If you were the kid that turned a dollar into ten, this is the committee for you! We’re looking for individuals that will be responsible for raising capital and operating funds necessary to fulfill the purposes of the Kankakee Riverfront Society. This committee is great for volunteers that have an enthusiasm and passion for the mission of the organization, a reputation for integrity and the ability to dedicate time to committee meetings. Outside the box thinking and excellent communication skills are a bonus!
If you are the right-brain type, this is the committee for you! We’re looking for folks that will create and support an overall comprehensive marketing and communications strategy for the purposes of program and organizational messaging, fundraising, awareness and branding. This committee is great for creatives with a knack for the big picture while paying attention to the details. You’re brand-conscious, font-sensitive and know what hi-res means. Also looking for PR junkies who will work to ensure the organization builds strong and strategic relationships with stakeholders.
Get involved with reshaping our community!
The Currents of Kankakee is overseen by the Kankakee Riverfront Society, Inc. (KRS). The KRS is a not-for-profit 501 (c) (3) organization made up of community members with an interest in improving the City of Kankakee’s riverfront areas.
- Be an advocate on social media, in your friend groups and at the dinner table
- Join a committee: Ambassadors, Design & Construction, Fundraising, Marketing & PR
- Share your passion for the project with your political leaders.
Funding will come from a variety of sources, including: state grants, city capital improvement funds and private fundraising.
Completion will depend on funding and permitting. We anticipate construction to begin on the first phase, the East Riverwalk in 2023 and should be completed by 2024.
The East Riverwalk will be located at the Southeast corner of River St and Schuyler Ave.
The majority of the riverfront property is already owned by the City of Kankakee and the Park District. It is not anticipated that a significant numbers of homes or businesses will be displaced.
The majority of the riverfront will provide free, improved public access, although certain activities and events such as kayak rentals, concerts or food vendors could charge fees to use.
Individuals can make donations via cash or check payable to Kankakee Riverfront Society, Inc. Businesses can contribute by contacting us via email.
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