20 Year Timeline

MRR Timeline

2001
2002
2003
The “Git that Garbage” Trash Contest is Born
The “Git that Garbage” Trash Contest is Born

Winners gain such sought-after titles as “Most Likely to be Used as a Murder Weapon” and the “Down and Dirty Award”.  The first contents at Cooper’s Landing yielded a matching pair of ruby red slippers (foreshadowing our first cleanup in Kansas) and a “Muddy Creek” road sign.

2004
200th Anniversary of Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery Reenactment
200th Anniversary of Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery Reenactment

“Voyage of Recovery” Series of 9 Cleanups ahead of them

2005
Learning Festival
Learning Festival

First education event at the Confluence of the Mississippi

2006
"The MegaScout"
"The MegaScout"

754-mile trash mapping journey with 2 boats from Ponca State Park, NE, to the Mississippi River in St. Louis

"The Great Flying Carp Cleanup”
"The Great Flying Carp Cleanup”

First cleanup by canoe, hosted by a group of friends called "The River Ladies Auxiliary"

2007
Second Plate Boat Added to Fleet, "Hildy Harliner"
Second Plate Boat Added to Fleet, "Hildy Harliner"

Fourth boat to join the MRR fleet

First "River Camp"
First "River Camp"

A series of cleanups, water quality demonstrations, a land management workshop, networking dinners etc all canceled due to the Flood of 2007… before the flood however we were able to complete a “Birds, Bugs & Botany” event and a Stream Team Cleanup & Summit out of Sioux Passage

MRR’s First Trip up to Yankton, SD
MRR’s First Trip up to Yankton, SD

1 of 7 “away teams” that year from Yankton, to the Mississippi, to the Springfield Plateau

Flying Carp Canoe Race
Flying Carp Canoe Race

MRR’s second (of three) “Flying Carp Canoe Races” organized once again, by the River Ladies Auxiliary.  The race course featured ferrying across the river from Cooper’s Landing, around “Carpbait Curve”, an upstream paddle over to the “Maidens Mouth” where they had to stop and pickup up a few strategically placed items of trash, before heading back downstream.  The race was followed by an evening of music and a “Charlie Brown Boogie-Down Dance off” where river rats strutted their stuff to the exotic rhythms of Los Desterrados.

First Tree Planting Restoration Project
First Tree Planting Restoration Project

Overton Bottoms Big Muddy National Fish & Wildlife Refuge

2008
The Infamous “Mari-Osa Dump Cleanup” on the Osage River
The Infamous “Mari-Osa Dump Cleanup” on the Osage River

Filled five 40-yard dumpsters with junk!

Started the Big Muddy Speaker Series
Started the Big Muddy Speaker Series

Monthly presentations given on Missouri River topics by the experts in their field. Partners: Friends of Big Muddy and the Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge (BMNFWR)

Campout at Goat Island in Yankton, SD
Campout at Goat Island in Yankton, SD

Traveled back up to Yankton, SD where we camped on “Goat Island” and found the biggest morel haul in river relief history

Began Participating as "Safety Boats" for the MR340 Canoe & Kayak Race
MR340 Race Start 2016

This race event was the 3rd annual MR340 Race, the longest non-stop river race in the world

2009
MRR Develops Cleanup Manual
MRR Develops Cleanup Manual

Printed copies are distributed throughout the country and available online.

River Camp!
River Camp!

People still talk about it to this day

2010
2011
"Anna Deka" Plate Boat Joins the MRR Fleet
"Anna Deka" Plate Boat Joins the MRR Fleet

Fifth boat to join the MRR fleet

MRR’s 10th Anniversary
MRR’s 10th Anniversary

First Big Muddy Clean Sweep = Jefferson City to the Arch in St. Louis

2012
First Brunswick Cleanup on the Grand River
First Brunswick Cleanup on the Grand River

A group of Native students walking to Washington, DC to protest the destruction of wetland near their school, stopped and helped scout the river for trash

2013
River Rally Comes to St. Louis
River Rally Comes to St. Louis

RR performs in the talent show with Dave Bandy’s River Relief song

2014
Second Big Muddy Clean Sweep
Second Big Muddy Clean Sweep

Brunswick to Hermann, MO

2015
Missouri River Relief Awarded $91,000 EPA Grant

2-year grant awarded to only 35 out of 400 applicants nationwide

“Refurbish our Fleet” Capital Campaign
“Refurbish our Fleet” Capital Campaign

First capital and crowd-funding campaign on Indiegogo called “Refurbish our Fleet” focused on replacing our aging passenger vans

Worked on 5 River Races
Worked on 5 River Races

More than 700 paddlers competing on a 459-mile stretch of water

River Gala - Kansas City, MO
River Gala - Kansas City, MO

Our First (and only) “River Gala” at Faultless in Kansas City, MO

2016
EPA Grant Programs
EPA Grant Programs
  • Five-day “Missouri River Academy” Summer Camp
  • Four-day “Catalyst for Learning” Teacher’s Workshop
  • Three-day “Missouri River Rendezvous” Gathering
2017
“Missouri River Days” and “Missouri River All-Stars” Education Programs Launch
“Missouri River Days” and “Missouri River All-Stars” Education Programs Launch

School programs in partnership with Columbia Public Schools

First “Trash Mob” at Cooper’s Landing

Spontaneous, non-scheduled crew cleanup

Total Solar Eclipse
Total Solar Eclipse

MRR shuttles out to an island to watch this once-in-a-lifetime event

2018
Moved to New Office Location
Moved to New Office Location

Moved out of our original office at 812 E. Broadway in downtown Columbia, to our current location at 916 N. College

Awarded “Conservation Organization of the Year”
Awarded “Conservation Organization of the Year”

from the Conservation Federation of Missouri

2019
First Passenger-Hauling Boat Added to Fleet - "Lucia"
First Passenger-Hauling Boat Added to Fleet - "Lucia"

First passenger-hauling boat designed and built for Missouri River Relief

Created a Land Acknowledgement

Shared at each event that Native Americans were the original stewards of this land

2020
Coronavirus Pandemic
Coronavirus Pandemic

40 events were canceled and programs were modified and moved to “virtual” online to still connect people to the river safely. Cleanups, races, and excursions reshaped for outdoor safety.

105 “Trash Mobs”
105 “Trash Mobs”

105 “Trash Mobs” took place, individuals removed 15 tons of trash from the river

“Watershed Expeditions at Home”
“Watershed Expeditions at Home”

Virtual Summer Camp and Camp in a Box

MRR acquires the MR340 Race
MRR acquires the MR340 Race

MRR and Rivermiles begin to merge staff and responsibilities

2021
Big Muddy Clean Sweep #3
Big Muddy Clean Sweep #3

200 miles from Kansas City to Cooper's Landing

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MRR is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Federal Tax ID (EIN) 03-0425187
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