River Keepers

A nonprofit organization

12 donors

River Keepers mission is to advocate for safe and sustainable use of the Red River of the North primarily in the Fargo, North Dakota and Moorhead, Minnesota area.  

We were established in 1990 after a large community-wide assessment said that the Red River is underutilized, underappreciated and in some cases mistreated.  To someday meet our vision that "All people value the Red River as a vital part of our community”, our work is broad in scope. It includes many river and water related activities such as water education, water quality monitoring, river safety, riparian restoration, and river recreation. This is done so that the community understands the value and importance of the Red River, properly maintains it and safely enjoys it.  

River Keepers has a long history of collaborative efforts with a wide range of partnering agencies including local, state and federal government agencies, schools, businesses, other nonprofits and individuals to administer projects which promote a renewed vision for the Red River in Fargo-Moorhead. 

We create programs and events for current and future leaders designed to build a sound foundation for science-based decision making. 

 One of the ways we promote stewardship is to work with over 2000 volunteers annually to conduct our Storm Drain Marking Program, plant trees and shrubs in the degraded riparian area, conduct water quality monitoring, pick up garbage in and along the river and more. We teach people to use the river safely through our adult and youth fishing clinics, River Paddling Excursions, and Race the Red canoe and kayak races as it's been proven in other communities that people who use a resource take better care of it.

The quality of our programming has been recognized by many, including the EPA which has awarded us with two Friends of the EPA Awards. The international Red River Basin Commission has also recognized us with two awards for our ability to develop programs utilizing multiple partners.

Some activities undertaken to fulfill our mission include:

  • Conducting classes and workshops on river friendly yard maintenance such has How to Make Your Own Rain Barrel, How to Make Your Own Compost Tumbler, and Planting a Pollinator Habitat
  • Coordinating adult and youth fishing clinics
  • Restoring the riverfront with tree plantings 
  • Conducting bank and on-the-river clean ups
  • Managing a Storm Drain Marking Program
  • Performing water quality monitoring
  • Providing River Paddling Excursions discussing river history, wildlife, and demonstrating the effects of human actions on the river
  • Advocating for river safety projects including dam retrofits
  • Advocating for portages and boat ramps for increasing river recreational use
  • Offering service-learning opportunities for youth
  • Creating an international “sister river” as a way to discuss “all water is connected.”
  • Providing presentations at local universities, high schools, elementary schools, service clubs and community organizations.
  • Developing numerous displays on water related issues

Organization Data


Organization name

River Keepers

Tax id (EIN)





1120 28th Ave. N., Ste. B
Fargo, ND 58102


(701) 235-2895