Washington River Festival and Missouri River Cleanup 2019

Saturday, April 13, 2019
Rennick Riverfront Park, Washington, MO

From fabulous weather to being able to experience the demolition of Washington’s iconic bridge by river, we are so thankful that the stars aligned to create the best river festival and clean-up yet. We are beyond thrilled that we were able to get one of our favorite communities on the water with cooperating river levels. On Friday, 160 elementary students from parochial and public schools visited the riverfront for our "Investigating the Missouri River" education program. These students visited several stations that inspires students to think like a scientist, get up and close with some of the river's fish and try their hand at expressing their perspective of the river through watercolors.

Students get up close and personal with some of the Missouri River's wildlife. Photo by Melanie Cheney

There was no better way to kick-off our clean-up season than the Washington River Festival & Missouri River Clean-up. We were joined by so many of our friends and river family for an entire day of river celebration through music, art, education and of course some good old-fashioned stewardship on the banks of the river. 169 volunteers helped us pull off this fantastic event and we are so thrilled with the results. Together, we removed 5.5 tons of trash from the banks of the Missouri River, half of which we were able to recycle. Check out the side panel on the right for the full results.

A full 30-yard trash bin sits near the Washington boat ramp after a full day of cleaning. Photo by Steve Schnarr

As a part of this clean-up, we had a group of dedicated volunteers clean some hard to reach spots with canoes. The canoe clean-up squad did some serious damage on Boeuf Creek on their way to the Washington Boat Ramp. A huge shout out to all of you. A special thanks to Bernie Arnold and Brian Waldrop of Arnold Stream Team #211 for leading the charge in your aluminum army. This was also our first clean-up with our new big boat, Lucia. We were able to fit 19 volunteers and the worlds cutest dog in one trip. This team also happened to go up St. Johns Creek to tackle a recycling bale we found in the woods that floated away from the recycling facility during a flood several years ago. Make sure to check out some more of those seriously cool pictures.

Volunteers bag up the remains of an old recycling bale of milk cartons. Photo by Steve Schnarr

The hard work of the Washington River Festival Committee shined through this year's festival. Musicians, artists and educational booths from around the state joined forces to give us one of the best river festivals we have ever had! A huge thank you to Gloria Attoun-Bauermeister and the absolutely wonderful and dedicated river festival committee, Mike Smith, Kate & Josh Kresse and family, Tony Carosella, Jen Sieradzki, Ryan Snider, Matt Soete, Holly Currier, Stefanie Virgen and Kelly Oreskovic, for hosting this festival to support our organization. On top of everything, the festival was a zero-trash event, with vendors and suppliers only using compostable or recyclable goods. At the end of the day, the trash was sorted and we ended the day with for big bags of recyclables and compost, and only one bag of landfill trash. Fantastic job!

World Bird Sanctuary showcasing one of their friends during the Washington River Festival. Photo by: MK Design Photography

Trash Tally

250 Bags Trash!! Plus…

30 tires on wheel rims
3 small tractor tires on wheel rims
3 tires w/out wheel rims
1 18-wheeler tractor trailer tire w/out wheel rim
1-wheel rim w/out tire
1 truck bumper
1 truck bed liner
1 truck front guard
4 coolers, 1 cooler lid
3 refrigerators
1 hot water heater
3 metal freezer racks
1 sleeping bag
1 baby swimming pool
1 hot tub liner
1 30’ x 8” diameter ribbed plumbing hose
1 very large raft (river blue)
1 snowboard (faded turquoise)
3 plastic yard chairs
1 couch cushion
1 pillow
1 screen door w/out screen
1 10’ wooden slatted stair railing
2 shovel blades
1 shovel handle
9 1-gallon plastic flower pots
1 fishing reel
8 large chunks of Styrofoam
3 55-gallon metal drums (one cut in half)
12 55-gallon plastic barrel (4 cut in half)
1 5-gallon metal bucket
14 5-gallon plastic buckets
1 milk crate
7 plastic tubs
1 steel fence post
1 plastic farm feeder
4 large pieces rusty metal
1 rusted 30’ x 3” wide rusted metal stripping
1 PVC pipe (8’ x 10” diameter)
1 PVC pipe (6’ x 3” diameter)
1 hockey puck
3 fishing bobbers
1 duck decoy
1 golf ball
3 tennis balls
1 soccer ball
1 basket ball
1 baseball
3 rubber balls
3 flip flops
1 tie-up shoe
1 pink clog
1 large plastic toy truck
1 sand shovel (lime green)
1 beater stick
1 radio or TV vacuum tube
innumerable cans and bottles (sorted for recycling)


11:00 - 11:45 - Babaloo Music & Fun - Gets kids smiling and singing

11:00 - 11:45 - Nature Walk - A fun tour of plants near the Missouri River

12:00 - 12:45 - World Bird Sanctuary - Missouri River Birds up close

1:00 - 1:45 - Wild Horse Creek Band - Acoustic mix and lightning licks

2:00 - 2:45 - Art Auction Featuring Beautiful Pieces From Local Artists 

3:00 - 3:45 - The Burney Sisters - Original, Indy, Pop, Folk, Amazing

4:00 - 4:45 - Woodshine  - High energy bluegrass and engaging performers

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. You can click here to see the list and read a little bit about each organization and the great work they do.

...Plus all of these amazing events 

  • A lineup of local food vendors to satisfy any craving

  • Hands-on art & activities that provide fun for the entire family

  • And so much more!

Washington, MO Cleanup Results

Check out the amazing photos on Facebook and Flickr!

Check out our news coverage of the event from the Missourian

Total Volunteers: 169

  • Volunteers signed in: 140
  • River Relief Crew: 29
  • Boats: 7 (5 MRR Boats | 2 MDC Boats)
  • River Miles Cleaned: 10 (MM68 - MM78)
  • River Stage: 16.3-ft. @ Washington, MO Gauge
  • Landfill: 2.2 tons
  • Scrap Metal: 0.4 tons
  • Recyclables: 2.2 tons
  • Tires: 36 - 0.7 tons

Total Trash Tonnage: 5.5 tons!

Groups Participating: Cathy Gunther's AP Biology Class, MVTA, DNR, Tim Bull Crew, Virgen Stream Team and Stream Teams #3419, #5163, #1875, #211

Fun Team Names: The Double X's, Trasher, Bassemo, Team Wildcats, The Maybe Foragers, The Pou Crew, Potato Fortnite, Asian Carps, River Dogs, The Divers

A Big Muddy Thank You To Our Event Sponsors:

"Great Blue Heron" Event Sponsors

"Paddlefish" Event Sponsor

"Paddlefish" Event Sponsor

Event Partners

Donating Artists

A Special Thank You to the Washington Festival Committee

Gloria Attoun Bauermeister, Mike Smith, Kate & Josh Kresse and family, Tony Carosella, Jen Sieradzki, Ryan Snider, Matt Soete, Holly Currier, Stefanie Virgen and Kelly Oreskovic

Educational Booths & Partners

Ready for Action?

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