Earth Day in the City: Minneapolis Watershed Cleanup *** UPDATE ***

Submitted by srich on Thu, Jan 17 - 12:40 PM
Volunteers at Earth Day cleanupVolunteers 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


WEATHER UPDATE: This event may be rescheduled due to the weather. The final call will now be made by the city Friday at 10 a.m. At a minimum, we have decided to cancel the second volunteer site due to both safety and erosion conscerns. Please bear with us during this strange snowy spring and check back for updates!


This cleanup is an Earth Day tradition in the Minneapolis River Gorge. People come from throughout the local river corridor neighborhoods and metro area — through churches, corporations and classes — to contribute to the health and vitality of the Mississippi River Watershed.

Due to the weather, we will be meeting at only one site this year instead of two. Please meet at East 36th Street and West River Parkway, an oak savanna actively being restored by FMR Gorge Stewards volunteers. (Normally, we also meet at a second site just down the parkway, a maple basswood forest, but this restoration site has steep embankments and fewer hard trails. With the snowcover, it will be harder to know where to step without slipping and falling, and unintentionally causing erosion.) 

You'll see a small tent and signage near the bike and walking trails. (Please note that the start-time is 9:30 a.m.) Youll sign in, 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).

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.

Pizza will be provided for volunteers at the end of the cleanup by the Longfellow neighborhood's own Parkway Pizza!

We hope to see you there!

Preregistration is not required for this event unless you are with a large group.
— If you are with a group of 15 or more, please e-mail lhefferan[at] to help ensure adequate supplies and to help make the registration process easier the morning of the cleanup.
— 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 Megan Gregory at

Photos from previous River Gorge Earth Day Cleanups are available here on our Flickr site, and video from the 2009 cleanup is available here on Youtube!

Parkway Pizza

How does this cleanup fit in to larger programs?

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!

All Gorge Stewards events in Minneapolis are also National Park Service and Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board-partnered events! All Gorge Stewards volunteers are considered National Park and Minneapolis parks volunteers as well.


Volunteers at Earth Day cleanup

Kids are welcome — and tend to find the most interesting items. FYI We will have some youth-sized gloves, but it's difficult to gauge how many we'll need or to offer a full range of sizes. If you have youth-sized garden or other gloves for your child or member of your youth group, please do bring them.




Want a cleanup site closer to home?

This event is part of a citywide cleanup, with many different cleanup sites and exhibits, and is sponsored by the Minneapolis Parks & Recreation Board and the City of Minneapolis.

You can also support the Earth Day Clean Up by participating in the 5K Recycle Run the following day! Proceeds benefit the Minneapolis park system, and 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 periwinkle box on the right.


Want to set up your own cleanup? Or do an educational presentation at another site?
MPRB is looking for groups of 20 or more to volunteer at additional cleanup sites. If interested, please contact Megan Gregory,
MPRB is also looking for organizations and experienced individuals to engage volunteers through watershed and environment-related presentations at cleanup sites throughout the city. If your or your organization would like to have a table or present at a cleanup site, contact Marcus Hendrickson,