Working to protect the Mississippi River and its watershed in the Twin Cities area

Earth Day in the City: Minneapolis River Gorge Cleanup

Display Date: 
Saturday, April 26, 2014 — 2:00-4:00 pm
E. 36th St. & E. 44th St. at W. River Pkwy, Mississippi River Gorge, Minneapolis
Volunteers at Earth Day cleanup Volunteers at Earth Day cleanup

Helping to clean up the oak savanna and maple basswood restoration sites is a Gorge Stewards Earth Day tradition. Join us!

Photos: Jeremy Aaron

This cleanup is an Earth Day tradition in the Minneapolis River Gorge. People come from throughout the local river corridor neighborhoods and metro area — individuals, families, small church, corporate and student groups — to celebrate Earth Day and contribute to the health and vitality of this national treasure in our midst, the Mississippi River. ...And enjoy the Parkway Pizza!

We’ll meet at two bluff-top sites on the parkway trail. Pick whichever meeting spot works better for you:
East 36th Street and West River Parkway, an oak savanna actively being restored by FMR Gorge Stewards volunteers.
East 44th Street and West River Parkway, a maple basswood forest also benefiting from Gorge Stewards restoration volunteers.

You'll see a small tent and signage near the bike and walking trails. (Please note that the start-time is indeed 2 p.m., we're starting later this year due to a race taking place on the trails earlier in the day.) You’ll sign in, enjoy pizza from Parkway Pizza, and receive trash bags, beverages and directions. If possible, please bring your own gloves. A limited quantity will be provided, it would help us conserve limited resources (and the gloves we can provide are often ill-fitting).

Both sites also feature ongoing educational presentations, usually involving a National Park Service ranger and other high-quality presenters. Details will be added as soon as they are confirmed. Information will also be available about the Mississippi River Gorge Stewards program and additional upcoming FMR volunteer and educational events at these and other restoration sites.

We hope to see you there!

Preregistration is not required for this event unless: 
* You are under 18 and your guardian will not be attending with you. Teens 15 and up are welcome to participate! However, we will need your parent or guardian to complete this online minor permission form ahead of time. (It's a legal thing.) 
* You're with a group of 10 or more, please contact FMR Registrar Lindsay Hefferan, lhefferan[at], 651-222-2193 x31, to help ensure adequate supplies and to help make the registration process easier for your group.
Groups of 20 or more should also consider setting up a cleanup site just for their members. It's quick and easy, and helps ensure that cleanup efforts are better distributed throughout the city. To coordinate an Earth Day site for your group, contact Tom Godfrey at


Parkway Pizza
This cleanup is part of the Gorge Stewards, an educational and volunteer program led by Friends of the Mississippi River that provides opportunities for people who care about the Twin Cities River Gorge to actively engage in its care. Learn more!


*Did you know the River Gorge is part of a National Park? In fact, all Gorge Stewards volunteers are considered National Park Service volunteers as well.

* Photos from the chilly River Gorge Earth Day Cleanups are available here on our Flickr site.


Want a cleanup site closer to home?

This event is part of a larger citywide cleanup effort sponsored by the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board and the City of Minneapolis. There are over 20 other cleanup sites, listed here. FMR recommends the Bottineau Neighborhood Association's cleanup at Gluek Park, a riverfront park in Northeast Minneapolis a.k.a. the Above the Falls stretch of the Mississippi River. Please note that most other sites will be holding their cleanups 9:30 a.m.-noon. For more information on the Gluek Park cleanup, contact Bottineau Neighborhood Association, (612) 367-7262, A map and basic description is also available from the Minneapolis Park & Recreation board here.

The park board's annual 5K Recycle Run will be April 19th this year, with all proceeds benefitting the Minneapolis park system (plus  kids run free).


Can't make it but would like to hear about upcoming events? 

For a twice-monthly email with information on all volunteer and educational events as well as important river news and updates — FMR's "Mississippi Messages" — enter your email address in the purple-blue box on the right.

Thank you Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, Longfellow Community Council, Patagonia, REI and the National Park Service!
Please note that unlike most volunteer activities, preregistration is not required for this event; details and directions are above. Feel free to share via the "Send to a friend" option below, facebook or twitter.