Most safe practices on the river are just good common sense. Come prepared to have fun, because you will, but always keep a sharp lookout for hazards. You may be in an unfamiliar setting, so here are a few tips to make your day go by safely.
We strive to be as accommodating as we can for all our volunteers within the variety of spaces we work out of. If there are any specific accommodations we can provide, or information you’d like to discuss in terms of accessibility, please be in contact with us; the more time we have to plan for accommodations the better! For those with mobility limitations we can offer land scouts if our boat rides cannot be made accessible to you. Our organization also received MU Thompson Center’s Autism Business Friendly training in hopes to better support Autistic people. We offer resources that may be helpful for some neurodivergent people before and during a cleanup.
All River Relief cleanups will go ahead unless the stretch of the Missouri River we are working at is in technical flood stage. Technical flood stage is anything "minor" or above on the respective gauge. In the case of severe weather or lightning, we will delay our start time until the weather is safe. Check the event page for the latest updates on the event.
Prepare to get dirty, this is the Big Muddy after all. Sturdy shoes or boots that won’t get sucked off in the mud (no sandals or slip-ons), long sleeve shirts and long pants (jeans), a hat to shade your head and face, and bug repellent are recommended. We will have simple work gloves but if you have a favorite pair of gloves, bring them. All volunteers on the river are required to wear life jackets and close-toed shoes while in the boats or working along the river. Life jackets will be provided, but if you have your own life-jacket, bring that.
Bring your own snack and some water for the morning. Our support boats will have water but you will be using up a lot of body fluids, so be prepared.
People working on the river will be out at a specific trash site for about 2-4 hours. Volunteer teams will be filling trash bags with small litter and dragging larger items of trash down to the river bank and collecting trash into piles. We will bring you back to cleanup headquarters for lunch. Those that can stay for the afternoon can help haul the trash back in our boats, help sort recycling or help break down the event site.
Definitely! Scouts, office parties, church groups, etc. all are welcome. But please sign up ahead of time so organizers know how to best utilize your people-power! We try our hardest to keep groups together, but some of our boats can only hold 10 passengers, so your group may go to two different cleanup sites, which is a great opportunity to swap trashy stories after the cleanup! To offer the same opportunity to everyone, we like to keep our groups to around 20-25 people. Feel free to wear your company logo or organization’s T-shirts.
Yes, these are great events for kids. Kid-volunteers are needed to help clean up on land as well as the river. If you are bringing kids who you are not the legal guardian of, make sure to download and print our minor risk-release form for their parent or guardian to sign before the event. Make sure to bring this form with you on event day!
Of course, and it is encouraged! Just make sure to download and print the minor risk release form and have the child's parent or guardian sign this before the cleanup. Make sure to bring the completed form to the river clean-up on Saturday! If you need, we can mail you a form for you to get signed prior to the cleanup. Just contact email@example.com and we would be more than happy to help you out!