Weldon Spring Missouri River Cleanup 2019

Saturday, September 14 2019
Weldon Spring Conservation Area Boat Launch

Doing a Missouri River Clean-up out of a new location can be difficult, but it gave us a wonderful opportunity to make new connections, see new places and clean up stretches of the river that we have never been able to before. It turns out that Weldon Spring Conservation Area knocked all three of those out of the park.

Before our trash scout on Friday, we weren’t sure how the recent flooding was going to impact the trash deposits. Nevertheless, the trash was out there and you all sure found it! We found several large trash spots around Howell Island Conservation Area and along Centaur Chute, right across from our clean-up headquarters. While several groups of volunteers worked this area, others were ferried further up and downstream to trash sites hosting some of the best trash we have seen this year. One group even found an unopened 5-gallon bucket of pickles!

If you were there, you know that the weather could not have been better for us on Saturday. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky as our boats ferried volunteers up and down a 10-mile stretch of the Missouri River. Once we were all back on land, the towering cottonwood trees provided ample shade as we all enjoyed lunch together awaiting the trash contest. Soon enough, cheers roared through the parking lot as we voted on the best trash finds of the day.

Next it was right back to work. Our crew headed out once again to pick up all the trash collected throughout the morning. Bag after bag made its way up the ramp to a group of hardcore volunteers, ready to rip open every 45-gallon heavy-duty trash bag and spill the contents. 

Throughout the afternoon, 198 bags were sorted through, picking out glass, plastic and aluminum for recycling. At the end of the day, there is nothing that brings a smile to our faces like a fully loaded trash bin, even after all the recyclables were sorted through and taken out. By the end of the day, we had removed 4.6 tons of trash from the Missouri River. We were able to send 1.2 tons of that to the recycling center and all 51 tires to the scrap yard thanks to Stream Team #211. 

Thank you so much to everyone who was able to make it out, our wonderful and generous sponsors, our hosts at the Missouri Department of Conservation and our amazing Missouri River Relief Crew who camped with us and gave their all this weekend, we couldn’t have done it without all of you. We were so happy to have groups from Francis Howell & Brentwood High School, STLCC-Meramec Service Works, Troop #358, the St. Louis Aquarium Foundation, Midwest Moon Sangha, Botanical Garden Outdoor Youth Corps and so many more.

Trash Tally

198 Bags Trash!! Plus…

42 tires on wheel rims
1 small tractor tire on wheel rim
7 tires w/out wheel rims
1 18-wheeler tractor trailer tire on wheel rim
1 truck liner mat
1 truck wheel flap
1 tractor headlight
1 toy truck wheel
3 coolers
2 refrigerators
1 freezer
3 propane tanks
1 swimming pool filter
1 shop vac
2 turtle sandboxes
1 floating boat bumper
1 snow boogie board
1 plastic yard chair
2 canvas folding chairs
1 child size chair
1 leather armchair in pieces
1 broken camel saddle
1 folding stairs
1 decorative planter
1 foam bedsprings pad
7 large chunks of Styrofoam
4 55-gallon metal drums
2 55-gallon plastic barrel + 3 half barrels
8 5-gallon plastic buckets
1 industrial mop bucket on wheels
3 milk crates
16 plastic tubs
4 sheets of hard plastic
2 plastic drop cloths
1 steel fence post
1 Speed Limit 50 mph sign on post
1 Vote No Prop A sign
1 buoy
1 gaucho hat
1 orange construction cone
2 large boards
1 10’ cable wire
6 PVC pipes
3 sewer pressure pipes
2 lateral sewer lines
2 buried cable post signs
1 yellow cable cover
4 corrugated pipes
2 culverts
1 work torch
2 sliding door panels
3 out-of-bounds golf course markers
1 fishing lure
1 fish skeleton
1 armadillo skin
1 shotgun shell
1 hunting list
1 plastic leaf rake
1 nail polish brush (hot pink)
1 large tool chest
1 35’ oil spill retainer
1 plastic coat hanger
1 floral bouquet (carnations)
1 gourd (rattles)
1 apple (some eaten)
1 duck decoy
1 parakeet on a stick
1 soccer ball
1 tennis ball
2 baseballs (one with “thank you River Relief” written on it)
1 pool noodle (lime green)
1 intact TV tube
1 intact polaroid flash bulb
1 message in a bottle (picture of Jesus with 2 silver crosses and a silver heart)
innumerable cans and bottles (sorted for recycling)


Weldon Spring Missouri River Cleanup Results

Check out the amazing photos on Facebook and Flickr!


Total Volunteers: 196

  • Volunteers signed in: 153
  • River Relief Crew: 43
  • Boats: 10 (5 MRR Boats | 3 MDC | 2 Beasley Fish Commercial Fishermen)
  • River Miles Cleaned: 10 (MM38.6 - MM58.6)
  • River Stage: 15.77-ft. @ Washington, MO Gauge
  • Landfill: 1.94 tons
  • Scrap Metal: 0.2 tons
  • Recyclables: 1.2 tons
  • Tires: 51 - 1 ton

Total Trash Tonnage: 4.3 tons!

Groups Participating: Arnold Stream Team #211, Stream Team #5146, #3419, #5863, #2926, #5807, League of Watershed Guardians, Bourbeuse River Clean Stream #3, Francis Howell High School, Midwest Moon Sangha, St. Louis Aquarium Foundation, Botanical Garden Outdoor Youth Corps, Gabe’s Bar Mitzvah Group, The Sunflower Crew, Messiah Church, Brentwood High School National Honor Society, STLCC-Meramec Service Works, Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri – Troop #358, Bank of America, Central Visual & Performing Arts High School, Gateway Science Academy

Fun Team Names: Win, Fantastic Cool Aquarium, Cobra, Siddhartha, Dumpster Divers, Francis Howell, Sarah’s Hollers, River Rats, Team Puppies, Pollywigs, No MO Trash, River Monsters, Lorax & Friends, Aquadeers, Tiger Team A-1, Aidan Tiger Team

A Big Muddy Thank You To Our Event Sponsors:

"Great Blue Heron" Event Sponsors

Department of Natural Resources

"Paddlefish" Event Sponsor

"Pallid Sturgeon" Event Sponsor

In-Kind Sponsors

Event Partners

Missouri Stream Team

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