Kansas City Missouri River Cleanup 2018

KC Riverfront Park Boat Ramp, Kansas City, MO
Saturday, May 12, 2018

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. 

2018 kansas city cleanup
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. 

2018 kansas city cleanup
Healthy Rivers Partnership were among our great partners on cleanup day. Photo by Vicki Richmond.

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!

Cleaning up the Missouri River is a formal affair! Photo by Kristen Schulte.

Trash Tally

104 Total Bags of Trash Collected
4 Tires on Rim
28 Tires off Rim
4 Tire Treads
QTinthewild2 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

2018 kansas city 2018 kc cleanup
Lee family with "Living" styrofoam - Photo by Steve Schnarr

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

Kansas City Cleanup Results

Photo album on Flickr

Photo album on Facebook

Total Volunteers: 115

  • Volunteers signed in: 115
  • Boats:  7 (4 MRR; 1 Healthy Rivers Partnership; 1 MDC; 1 Rivermiles)
  • River Miles Cleaned: 7 miles (The mouth of the Blue River, and Missouri Rivermiles 357-364)
  • River Stage: 17-ft. @ Kansas City gauge
  • Landfill: 1.31 tons
  • Scrap Metal: 0.2 tons
  • Tires: 32 - 0.54 tons

Total Trash Tonnage: 2.1 tons

Groups Participating: Girl Scout Troop #1622; UMKC Student Environmental Coalition; Ivanhoe Mason Lodge 446

Fun Team Names: Garbage Rats, Off Roaders, Mean Green Cleaning Machines, Trash Heroes, Carp Bait, Trash Superstars, River Monsters, Lucky Seven

A Big Muddy Thank You To Our Event Sponsors:

Dave and Fran Stous
Missouri Department of ConservationRivermilesVanTrust Real EstateHulston Family Foundation
Colvin Family Foundation
Kristyle MarketingRepublic Services

Event Partners

healthy rivers partnership

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This website is created and maintained by Missouri River Relief, P.O. Box 463, Columbia, MO 65205
MRR is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Federal Tax ID (EIN) 03-0425187
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