St. Joseph Missouri River Cleanup 2014

French Bottom Boat Ramp - St. Joseph, MO
Saturday, May 17th, 2014

Our fourth river clean-up in the St. Joseph area was on a beautiful spring day. With graduations and college letting out, it was a busy weekend for the town. We had a relatively small volunteer turnout, but the folks that came were fantastic.  We had a bunch of old clean-up pros and some energetic new folks. 95 volunteers removed 1.2 tons of trash from 11 miles of the river!

Thank you to the 95 hardcore volunteers that joined us Saturday morning! Photo by Patty Farrar.

With great help from the Mo. Dept of Conservation and Burns & McDonnell,  we had enough boats that each boat could stay with its group, making for a more efficient event. In general we didn’t see as much trash as in the past. That’s due in part to several other local groups doing clean-ups along the Riverfront Trail and Riverfront Park. In fact, the Restoration Church was holding their Riverfront Park Rescue the same day as ours!

We also know that our efforts over the past several years have gotten rid of a lot of old trash deposits and dumps. Things are looking up in St. Joseph! This also meant we could push the limits of how far we could clean-up this time, and covered about 11 miles of river.

Volunteers get to enjoy a boat ride out to the pre-scouted trash spots on the river's banks. Being on the Missouri River is a first time experience for a lot of the individuals that join us for a day of stewardship! Photo by Tina Casagrand.

The St. Joseph area is a pretty narrow, channelized reach of river, with no sandbars or islands. And with the interstate taking up all the riverfront property downtown, the city is pretty physically disconnected to the river. This makes gems like the Riverfront Trail, French Bottom Landing and the Remington Nature Center all the more precious. And people love to come down to enjoy a river walk or sunset.

After the clean-up, the St. Jo Frontier Casino hosted lunch for all the volunteers. We held the trash contest in their banquet hall. Just perfect.

Trash Contest! Thank you to St. Jospeh Frontier Casino for allowing us to use your banquet hall! Photo by Alex, former staff member.

The Remington Nature Center allowed our crew to camp out in their "front yard", right next to the river. Such a convenient and beautiful spot to be. Plus, after the cleanup, our old friend Ken Reeder bought dinner for our whole crew overlooking the river at the casino!

Some of our favorite shots of volunteers Saturday morning!

Trash Tally:

Partial list of trash collected by our volunteers!
73 bags of trash
10 tires
4 chunks o’ Styrofoam
2 coolers
5 – 5-gal. buckets
3 ½ - 55-gal. plastic barrels
2 plastic garden tubs
2 refrigerators
1 large propane tank
2 chairs
1 serrated knife
1 chemical jug
6 roof shingles
4 pieces of metal cable
3 metal poles
7 pieces of corrugated metal
1 railroad spike
1 pieces of an alien airship
1 old fm receiver
1 tent
1 tent pole
1 rubbermaid tote lid
1 garden hose
1 industrial hose
1 40-foot boom
1 – 1000 gal. farm spray tank
4 chunks of plastic
3 plastic table pieces
1 bottle of Aspirin
1 locust thorn
1 cat skull
1 jaw
1 shelf fungus
1 plastic apple
1 terrarium in a glass bottle
1 can of carpet fresh
1 blue laundry bottle
1 ruler from Sutherland Lumber Company of St. Joseph

St. Joseph Cleanup Results

Photo album on Flickr

Photo album on Facebook



Total Volunteers: 95

  • River Relief Crew: 23
  • Boats: 9 (5 MRR, 2 MDC, 2 Burns and McDonnell)
  • River Miles Cleaned: 11  (MM446.5 - MM457.5)
  • River Stage: 9.2-ft. @ St. Joseph gauge
  • Landfill: .75 tons
  • Scrap Metal: 0.3 tons
  • Tires: 10

Total Trash Tonnage: 1.2 tons

Groups Participating: Missouri River Relief Crew, Missouri Department of Conservation, Missouri American Water, Burns & McDonnell, Advanced Airlift Tactics Training Center, Missouri Stream Teams #1875, 1876, 4475, 4806, 211, St. Joe Youth Alliance, Mo. Master Naturalists of the Loess Hills, City of St. Joseph, St. Jo Frontier Casino, St. Joseph Regional Port Authority, Remington Nature Center, St. Joseph Convention & Visitor’s Bureau, John Wood & Herbie O’Keefe, River R. Reeder Foundation, Restoration Church

Fun Team Names: Master Naturalists, Piranha, One-A, Team Awesome, Beach Bums, River Sharks, Minnows, The Masters, AMF

A Big Muddy Thank You To Our Event Sponsors and Partnerships:

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