Kansas City Missouri River Clean-up 2018

KC Riverfront Park Boat Ramp, Kansas City, MO

We had a beautiful spring day in Kansas City cleaning up the river with 115 fantastic volunteers. Kansas City is the largest city centered on the Missouri River and has a growing population of people that love this long neglected river. It feels so good to be back working there with those wonderful KC people.

The morning started with an electrical storm that delayed boat boarding for 50 minutes. Rather than sit around waiting, most of the volunteers grabbed trash bags and scoured the forest around the parking lot for trash. And Riverfront Park really needed the help!

Then everyone boarded boats and cleaned up 7 miles of floodplain forest, some areas which we had never reached with a clean-up before.

Kansas City Boat Ramp

Volunteers loading on boats after a rain storm. Photo copyright by Melanie Cheney. 

Our local friends at Healthy Rivers Partnership, Vicki Richmond and Susie Burton, took a group of volunteers to the mouth of the Blue River, where they cleaned up the beaches and netted trash right from the river. A crew from Rivermiles, the hosts of the MR340, took out a crew and so did Justin Pyberg, a Mo. Dept. of Conservation agent from Lafayette County. Plus River Relief's diehard crew of volunteer boat operators.

Netting on the Blue River

photo by Vicki Richmond, Healthy Rivers Partnership

The trash piled up quick! Our biggest group of the day, Girl Scout Troop #1622, brought 7 kids and 3 adults and they worked hard. The scouts nearly swept the Trash Contest! For the first time, the trash contest was directed by Yassi Armer-Shabazz, who has been doing River Relief clean-ups since he was a baby.

Lunch was cooked up by our brand new crew of lunch chefs - JD Enke from Ivanhoe Mason Lodge No. 446 and "Uncle Tom" Scrivner joined Jen Davis and Kris Mattern to grill up brats, hot dogs and burgers for the hungry volunteers. Thank you lunch crew!

Keep posted for more results as we compile them!


Girl Scout 1622


Trash Tally

104 Total Bags of Trash Collected

4 Tires on Rim

28 Tires off Rim

4 Tire Treads


Trash Contest Categories - 

Best Darned Find of the Day

Winner - Broken Ceramic "Fishing Angel"

Large Stryrofoam Chunk with living plants

Wedding Photo


Lees with Styrofoam

Lee family with "Living" styrofoam - Photo by Steve Schnarr


Wedding Photo

Weirdest Trash

Part of street sweeper machine

Plastic lego wagon

Pepper shaker

Baby shoe


Oldest Trash


Glass vial


Most Likely to be used as a Weapon

Gas container

Broken Scissors




Training Toilet Bowl


Most Artistic Trash

Glass Bottle

Fishing Angel

Lego figurine

"I Dream of Jeannie" bottle

Metal wire


Most Fashionable

KC Hat



Most Useful Trash

Unopened Bud Light

2 lighters



Rubber Ball

Unopened cigar





2 Cooler Lids

2 5-gallon plastic buckets

1 55-gallon metal drums

1 metal oven door

1 piece of a couch

1 fluorescent light fixture

1 large piece of carpet

1 metal grill

1 long piece of conduit

1 plastic jungle gym piece

1 small corrugated plastic culvert

2 metal t-post fence posts

1 plastic chair

1 plastic Mother Mary


1 folding chair

8 pieces of rubber tubing (between 2' and 20')

1 large chunk of styrofoam

1 plastic glove

1 pull cart

1 Basketball

1 ceramic "Fishing Angel" sculpture

1 truck bumper

1 cushion

1 recycling tub


Heading on the River

photo by Mark Frazier


Healthy Rivers Partnership "Cypress" boat. Photo by Steve Schnarr

MRR Crew

MRR Crew planning meeting the night before the clean-up - Photo by Kristen Schulte

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