Cooper's Landing Missouri River Cleanup 2020

Friday, October 23 - October 25, 2020
Cooper's Landing Campgrounds & Marina


Being able to do a clean-up on our home stretch of river brings us so much joy. Through sun, wind, rain, and cold, 99 dedicated volunteers and crew cleaned up along a 14 mile stretch of river near Cooper’s Landing over the course of 3 days, removing 5.5 tons of trash including 56 tires. Each day brought new trash treasures, tires and boatloads of bags to be sorted for recycling. Our volunteer crew spent 5 chilly days with us as we set up camp, scouted the river for trash, cleaned the river, and picked up camp at the end.

On Friday we welcomed our first groups of volunteers. The morning got off to a rough start with cold rain and an hour lightning delay. The same storm that stuck our dear McBaine Bur Oak Tree. Once the skies lightened up, our volunteers hit the river. A group from Columbia Rotary South worked at the mouth of the Perche Creek while AmeriCorps members from Columbia Center for Urban Agriculture worked across the river, tackling nearly 20 tires along Plowboy Bend Conservation Area. Another group from Boone's Lick Master Naturalists headed 2 miles upstream to hit a site littered with bottles and styrofoam cups while the Davenport-Counihan group headed downstream to tackle their own trashy site.

On Saturday we had 3 additional boats from the Missouri Department of Conservation join us to help get volunteers out on the river, doubling our capacity for the day. Several families along with groups from Columbia Rotary South, Rotary Interact, Mizzou Alternative Breaks, and Ashland Future Farmers of America joined us on the river. After their hard work, everyone headed back to Cooper’s to enjoy a riverside lunch while watching boatloads of trash come up the ramp. Soon after, the recycling began. Bag after bag was opened and hand-sorted into glass, aluminum and clean plastics.

Sunday was our final day on the river and our chance to get all of the remaining trash sites. Another group from Future Farmers of America, along with Hickman Biology Club, Conservation Federation of Missouri Conservation Leadership Corps, and U.S. Geological Survey helped us get the job done. While folks were out on the river, the River Relief Crew went to work on breaking down camp, cleaning equipment and loading vehicles to make sure we were able to leave before Monday’s weather. Just as the sun was setting the last of our boats and vehicles headed to the boatyard to close out one crazy season.

Trash Tally

171 Bags Trash!! Plus…

  • 56 tires
  • 1 refrigerator
  • 2 chest freezers, one with rotten meat inside
  • 1 message in a bottle from Rocheport, MO
  • 2 propane tanks
  • 5 plastic tubs
  • 5 coolers
  • 8 large chunks of Styrofoam
  • 3 5-gallon plastic buckets
  • 2 55-gallon metal drums
  • 1 55-gallon plastic barrel
  • Pool frame & ladder
  • 2 trash cans
  • ¾ of a bowling ball
  • Bed frame
  • BBQ grill
  • 2 bird scooters
  • 5 lawn chairs
  • Duck decoy
  • 200-gallon steel fuel tank
  • Industrial concrete sprayer
  • Long metal cable
  • 1 chemical sprayer
  • 1 Styrofoam pontoon floatation device

Cooper's Landing Cleanup Results

Check out the amazing photos on Facebook and Flickr!

Check out our news coverage of the event:

Total Volunteers: 99

  • Volunteers signed in: 69
  • River Relief Crew: 30
  • Boats: 5 MRR Boats | 3 MDC
  • River Miles Cleaned: 14 (MM164 - MM178)
  • River Stage: 7.6-ft. @ Boonville Gauge
  • Landfill: 2.2 tons
  • Scrap Metal: 1.5 tons
  • Recyclables: 0.8 tons
  • Tires: 56 - 1 ton

Total Trash Tonnage: 5.5 tons!

Groups Participating: Columbia Rotary South, Hickman Biology Club, Rotary Interact Students, Columbia Center for Urban AgricultureBoone's Lick Master NaturalistsU.S. Geological Survey River StudiesMizzou Alternative BreaksAshland Future Farmers of AmericaConservation Federation of Missouri Conservation Leadership CorpsArnold Stream Team #211

A Big Muddy Thank You To Our Event Sponsors:

"Great Blue Heron" Event Sponsors

"Paddlefish" Event Sponsor

Missouri Department of ConservationDepartment of Natural ResourcesMid-Missouri Solid Waste Management District

In-Kind Sponsors

Missouri Stream Team

Event Partners

Ready for Action?

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