Kansas City Cleanup 2009

Kaw Point Park, Kansas City, KS
Saturday, October 3rd, 2009

This was our seventh year hosting a massive Missouri River clean-up in the Kansas City area. Each year it gets bigger, our list of partners grows, and the amount of trash removed from the river continues to be staggering. This year 394 volunteers joined the effort. And they worked their butts off!

We cleaned up a couple miles of the Kaw River, in addition to ten miles of the Big Muddy. A big crew of students from Scuola Vita Nuova, after attending the Watershed Festival the day before, tacked a site by land on the Kaw River. Many other school groups have caught on that this is THE event of the year to experience the Missouri River as well as do their part to improve the river. Education in action! That's what it's all about!

For the first time in the KC area, we attempted a large-scale recycling program, thanks to a partnership with Coca-Cola Enterprises. As trash was collected on the river, volunteers "source-separated" into bags with plastic & aluminum and bags with all other trash. MRR crew member Lynne Hooper organized a crew of Coke employees to further sort all the recyclables. It went smoothly, and we are still awaiting tonnage results.

Getting this many people out on the river in one morning is impossible without the help of our boat piloting partners. This year we had help from Mo. Dept. of Conservation, EPA, Burns and McDonnell, and Rivermiles. In fact, this was the clean-up debut of the new Rivermiles boat called "Lewis". Not only did Lewis (piloted by MR340 organizer Scott Mansker) shuttle volunteers, but she also served as the floating video platform for documentary filmmaker Jodi Pfefferkorn who is making a film on the clean-up. We'll let you know when she finishes it!

One of the volunteers was KC mayor Mark Funkhouser. He was so impressed with the efforts of volunteers that he presented a resolution to the KC City Council honoring Missouri River Relief. Click here for more details!

Thank you Mayor Funkhouser for joining us for a day of stewardship! Photo by Alicia Pigg

"Git that Garbage" Trash Contest Award Winners

(we forgot to get the peoples' names, but this is what they found!)

Most Useful piece of Trash: 1 pair of Pruners
Oldest Trash: 1958 & 1969 License Plates
Biggest piece of Trash: 2 Large Plastic Culverts (4 feet in diameter, 20ft long)
Tackiest piece of Trash: A “Protect the Environment” fish bait container lid
Wierdest piece of Trash: Busted can of Foam
Best Darned Find of the Day: 1 Unopened Can of Beer “211 Still Reserve”  
Most Resembling… a Sea Anenome: a squishy rubber toy

One man's trash is another man's treasure! Photo by Melanie Cheney.

Trash Tally

245 Bags of Trash
219 Pieces of Scrap Metal
25 Tires on Rim
34 Tires w/o Rim
4 Semi Truck Tires
2 Inner tubes
1 Wheel
16 Chunks of Styrofoam
6 Coolers
1 Water Jug
11 – 5 gallon Plastic Buckets
2 – 55 gallon Metal Drums
6 – 55 gallon Plastic Barrels
NO HOT WATER HEATERS -- this has got to be A Missouri River Cleanup Record!!! Perhaps our efforts to clean the river are working!!!
1 Propane Tank
1 Deep Freeze
2 TVs
1 Air Mattress
1 Waterbed Side Rail
3 Window Frames
1 Futon Frame
1 Grill Rack
4 Chairs
3 Storage Tubs
1 Laundry Hamper
1 Baby Play Pen
1 Welcome Mat
1 Home Depot “green” bag
1 Railroad Car Spring
1 Jeep Tail Gate
2 Gas Tanks
1 John Deere Tractor Cover
1 Hub Cap
1 Car Door
2 Car Bumpers
1 Truck Mud Flap
4 Large Rugs
2 pieces of Carpet Padding
1 piece of Astroturf
2 Road Cones
1 Hand Saw
2 pieces of Barge Rope
3 Street Signs
2 Croc sandals
1 Sled
15 Toys & Balls
2 pairs of Sunglasses
1 Large Lightbulb
2 liter Glass Soda Bottle
1 Baby Stroller
1 Message in a Bottle
1 Pan
1 Tea Cup
14 pieces of Metal Cable
15 large Metal Plates & Bolts
1 Shovel Spade
1 Compressor
1 Camp Stove
200 ft of Cable
1 Shopping Cart
1 Cabinet
6 pieces of Electric Wire
1 American Flag Light Bulb
8 Fishing Poles
7 Tarps
2 Headlights
1 Electric Switch
2 Tents
1 My Little Pony Lunch Box
1 pair of Boots

Kansas City Cleanup Results

Photo album on Flickr

River Notes Blog

Blog by MRCN Americorps volunteer Rebecca Spicer

Blog by UCM Environmental Awareness Club

Blog by volunteer Marty Woodward

Total Volunteers: 427

  • Volunteers signed in: 394
  • River Relief Crew: 33
  • Boats: 16 (4 Missouri Department of Conservation; 4 Missouri River Relief, 1 Burns & McDonnell, 3 Rivermiles, 3 Environmental Protection Agency, 1 Private)
  • River Miles Cleaned: 12 (10 on the Missouri River, 2 on the Kaw River)
  • River Stage: 10.4-ft. @ Kansas City gauge
  • Landfill: 8.2 tons
  • Scrap Metal: 2.7 tons
  • Recyclables: 440 pounds of plastic & aluminum
  • Tires: 63 - 1 ton

Total Trash Tonnage: 12.1 tons

Groups Participating: World Helping Empower Youth (W.H.E.Y.), Trenton High School, Scuola Vita Nuova, Rockhurst University, Breakpoint Community Church, Crossroads Church, UCM Environmental Awareness Club, Friends of Kaw Point, North Central Neighbors

Stream Teams: 1875, 1876, 3331, 175, 41, 211, 1995, 907, 1212, 2793,

Fun Team Names: The Arrowheads, the Treasure Hunters, The Cold, The Gnarly’s, the Yankees, Roos 1, Roos 2, the Whirling Dervishes, Ratatouille, Big Ass Group, Phils Team, Sacs, The Funks, The Cougars, Go-Chicken-Go, Home Brewers, Muddy Buddies, Coke Rocks, The Mud Guppies, Pirates, The Woodleys, The Keystone Cops, the Bearcats, Classic Cola, Coca Cola, Group 6, Oscars, Team Yassi, EAC, the Oddballs, the Grouches, Sprite, The W.H.E.Y. (World Helping Empower Youth), Gap

A Big Muddy Thank You To Our Event Sponsors:

Burns & McDonnell
Coca-Cola Enterprises
EarthShare of Missouri
John & Alex Jansen
Kansas City Power & Light
KCMO Water Services
Layne Christensen
MO Dept. of Conservation
National Park Service
Olathe Ford
Port Authority of Kansas City

Event Partners

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