Washington River Festival and Cleanup 2017

Saturday, April 8, 2017
Rennick Riverfront Park - Washington, MO

Washington, Mo. is one of the most river-centric towns on the Lower Missouri River. The beautiful park overlooking the river is the ideal place to hold, not just a community river clean-up, but also a local river festival highlighting the town's connection to the river.  We had our sixth Washington River Festival and Missouri River Clean-up on April 8, 2017. And it was the best ever. 

washington river festival and cleanup 2017
"The Mighty Unicorns" clean-up crew heads out on the river at the 2015 Missouri River Clean-up. photo by Gale Johnson

Special Thanks to our Festival Committee!

Gloria Attoun Bauermeister, Mike Smith, Kate Kresse and family, Tony Carosella, Jen Sieradzki, Ryan Snider and family, Matt Soete, Holly Currier and Stefanie Virgen! We love you guys!

River Cleanup

On Thursday before the cleanup it became clear that the river would be in floodstage on Saturday. Following our policy, we essentially canceled the Missouri River part of the clean-up and started finding parks and streams around Washington that our volunteers could work on. 

Our sites were centered around Busch Creek, with locations near the High School, the old Fricke Trailer Court (new city property), the Old Busch Brewery, the Middle School, Berger Park and the eastern trailhead for the Riverfront Trail. We also had volunteers working along the Riverfront Trail and the new park area where the Riverfront trail extension will continue upstream from the boat docks. Other groups cleaned up Augusta Bottoms Road, Phoenix Park and near the park in Dutzow. 

Washington River Fest and Cleanup 2017
Cleanup volunteers registering! MRR provides a free tshirt, water, gloves, and other gear needed to cleanup!

We still sent out two of our river clean-up boats with more experienced volunteers. The high water made a unique opportunity to be able to boat up St. John's Creek, and our crews found a heck of a project up there. They found two compressed bales of milk jug plastic that had been washed out of the City's recycling plant in 2001. The volunteers broke up the bales, bagged the plastic, hauled it to boats and boated it up to a bridge near the recycling plant. City Streets Director Tony Bonastia met them there with a truck which they loaded up for the recycling plant. After 15 years, those bottles got baled up again!

2017 Washington River Festival

This was the sixth year for the Washington River Festival, and it was the best. Our growing committee of community members, led by Gloria Attoun, brought together a fantastic mix of education, music, art, food and tasty treats...all to celebrate the Missouri River! 

Here's a taste of all the amazing people and groups that contributed. 

Entertainment Schedule

11 am -  Babaloo - Complete fun for the whole family! Bring your kids and the neighbor kids!

Noon -   World Bird Sanctuary - an hour of entertainment and learning with live birds! Sponsored by Washington Boat Club. 

1 pm -    River Kittens - tight, clever and rootsy vocal trio from St. Louis. 

2 pm -    Art Auction (Jean Ponzi, auctioneer) - incredible art by local talent! 

3 pm -    Woodshine - Modern and energetic bluegrass from these Washington natives. 

4 pm -    Texas Giants - classic rock and country.

Educational Booths

Check out the amazing list of our exhibitors on the right! It's like a "who's-who" list of river and nature organizations. 

Hands-on Art & Activities

Fun and educational activities for the whole family!

Collaborative River Mural with Arts Council of Washington

"Boat Graffiti" - The Snider family is bringing their wooden boat and YOU can leave a message to the river on it! 

Missouri River Camera Obscura School Bus - Augusta artist Teri Moore has created this awesome pinhole camera out of a school bus. You have to experience it! 

Transform invasive bush honeysuckle into fun furniture with artist and woodworker Dale Dufer

Face Painting by Maria

"What the River Means to Me" student art display

Plus, lots of kid's activities to keep your toddler's smiling...

Art Auction

A 2 p.m. Art Auction - featuring amazing works of art from local river artists, wood sculptors, and trash-to-art artists!

All proceeds benefit Missouri River Relief! Click here to check out the art!


"MileMarker 63 South Point Quilt" Raffle

Purchase a raffle ticket for Cheryl Heggemann's beautiful handmade quilt, celebrating our stretch of the river, which is the southern-most part of the Missouri River. 


Riverfront Forest walk with Bill Davit

Join this master of native botanical lore for a stroll through Washington's beautiful riparian forest to learn the plants and ecology of this special treasure. 

Washington Cleanup Results

Check out the amazing photos on Facebook and Flickr!

Check out our news coverage of the event:

Total Volunteers: 170

  • Boats: 3 (2 MRR, 1 personal)
  • River Miles Cleaned:  3 (mm 68-69, 2 miles on St. John's Creek)
  • River Stage: 20.5-ft. @ Washington Gauge
  • Landfill: 2.75 tons
  • Scrap Metal: 0.5 tons
  • Recyclables: 1.25 tons
  • Tires: 98 - 1.75 ton

Total Trash Tonnage: 6.25 tons!

Groups Participating: Missouri River Relief Crew, Washington Middle School Environmental Club, Washington High School National Honor Society, Tamil Sangam Youth Volunteer Organization, Alliance Water Resources, Mississippi River Stream Team 168, Arnold Stream Team 211, League of Watershed Guardians, Bourbeuse River Stream Team, Walmart 172, Stream Team 5065, Desoto Stream Team 1995, Menke Stream Team 4933

Event Sponsors

Cleanup programs like these would not be possible without our generous donors and sponsors.

Event Partners

City of Washington - helping with the Park, Disposal and logistics. Huge thanks to Tony Bonastia, Darrell Lamb and Darrell Dunkle! 

Tony Carosella Multimedia

The Washington Coffee Shop

 Missouri Stream Team

Donating Artists

Click here to check out the donated art! Thank you to our generous artist friends. 

Bryan Haynes

Michael Bauermeister

Joey Los

Brian Watson

Teri Moore

Cheryl Heggemann

Tony Carosella

Ryan Snider

Gloria Attoun

Mike Smith

Miriam Krone

Slava Bowman 

Ready for Action?

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
© 2024 Missouri River Relief | Website development and design by Pixel Jam Digital
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram