What better way to begin 2011 than with a little spring cleaning! While it’s obvious to most that river cleanups improve the quality of our water, here at the Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, we've discovered that they do much more than that. Cleanups are also a great way to develop a sense of “river community” and this is your chance to volunteer and be part of it.

Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper (UCR), the U.S. National Park Service and Trout Unlimited (TU) have joined together to organize a multi-site cleanup within the 48 miles of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area (CRNRA). On April 16 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., we'll be tackling 11 park units and paddling seven segments. While this is the first time we’ve undertaken a cleanup of this magnitude in one day, we envision this as an annual event that will become a favorite of our volunteers.

And our timing couldn’t be better: It’s National Park Week from April 16-24, 2011. All 392 national parks across the country, including the CRNRA, will offer free admission during National Park Week. 

We've got a good roster of sponsors and volunteers for this first annual cleanup. (See a map of the entire recreational area here, and learn about the specific locations each group will cover.)

The following organizations are event sponsors and have generously made contributions to support all 18 cleanup sites:

  • REI (sponsor of first aid kits)
  • ReMix Recycling and GreenPlate.org (co-sponsors for recycling our trash)
  • OrangeHalo.com (co-sponsor for our volunteer T-shirts)
  • Republic Services (providing the roll-off dumpster for all the trash!)
And thanks to all the volunteers for being so generous with their time. We've reached capacity for all areas. (But don't worry, we'll do this again. Be sure to sign up early for the 2012 event.)

For a breakdown of how volunteers will cover the recreational area, click on over to the Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper site for details.