Mayor’s Grand River Clean up

The same community event

but this time a little more spread out!

To respect social distancing measures brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, WMEAC has decided to ‘deconstruct’ the 18th Annual Mayors’ Grand River Cleanup into a week-long campaign with volunteers, like you, setting your own routes and cleaning up streets, storm drains, streams and/or the Grand River.

From Saturday, September 11th, through Saturday, September 18th, WMEAC will provide supplies to volunteers throughout the communities of Grand Rapids, Wyoming, Grandville, Walker, Kentwood, and Plainfield Township to remove trash from the tributaries and storm drains that feed into the Grand River as well as from the Grand River itself.

Protecting water quality will always be at the forefront of our mission and this year we are asking you to become the stewards of our streams and rivers. As the world becomes increasingly virtual, this is an opportunity for you to make a very real, concrete difference.

Streets and sidewalks accumulate litter which will be washed away into drains and waterways if we don’t stop it. In urban areas around the Grand River the “first flush” of pollution after a rainstorm can take less than 15 minutes to reach the river.

Removing litter from our environment becomes increasingly difficult and more expensive the farther it gets from its source. Taking action to remove the trash within your community will ensure a swimmable, drinkable, and fishable future for the waters we all share.

Sign up as an individual, a small group of friends or family, or as a business to take on this challenge!

There will be a lot of changes this year from the Mayors’ Cleanup you know and love, so check out the Frequently Asked Questions at the end of this document. If you have any additional questions please contact info@wmeac.org.

How to get involved?

Individuals

The biggest differences start with the smallest of actions! Feel free to register for the Mayor’s Grand River Cleanup as an individual to clean your community and protect our water resources. Trash bags and disposable gloves will be provided to all registered participants.

Small groups

We ask that all groups respect social distancing measures and provide their volunteers with the recommended personal protection equipment. Trash bags and disposable gloves will be provided to all participants within the group. Please limit supply pickup to 1 individual per group.

Additional cleanup equipment such as first-aid kits, sharps containers, buckets, and even chest waders and nets will be available for pre-registered groups to rent. These supplies are limited so it will be first come, first serve. To request additional supplies for your group please contact info@wmeac.org for availability.

Trash Scout

Do you know of a spot in your community that is contaminated with trash? Submit details to khart@wmeac.org to have the location highlighted on our Google Story Map to recruit the help of Mayors’ Grand River Cleanup volunteers.

Volunteers

Even with our new, decentralized model we always need extra hands to make things run smoothly. We are looking for volunteers to assist with passing out supplies to the participating communities. If you are interested in volunteering please contact info@wmeac.org.

Register for the 2021 Mayors’ Grand River Cleanup

Coming Soon

Frequently Asked Questions

After registering on Eventbrite, please fill out the Google Form [coming soon] linked in your confirmation email to request your supplies. WMEAC will provide disposable gloves and trash bags to all registered participants. There will be supply hubs located in Grand Rapids, Grandville, Kentwood, Walker, and Plainfield township. Times and dates vary for each hub so please register on the Google Form in advance. Community specific information will be available closer to the Cleanup.

If you are interested in volunteering with distributing supplies or hosting a supply hub in your community please email info@wmeac.org for more information.

Due to the socially distant nature of this years’ Cleanup we ask that volunteers participate in place by cleaning their neighborhood’s streets and storm drains, local tributaries, and parks. You can visit wmeac.org/mayors-grand-river-cleanup for a map of publicly accessible polluted areas in need of cleaning!

The Cleanup is a week-long campaign and volunteers are expected to participate in their own capacity. We will not have a centralized trash drop-off location or pick-up service. All participants are expected to dispose of the trash they collect through their own residential services or public dumpsters at participating parks. These locations will be announced closer to the start of the Cleanup.

Keeping our neighborhoods and rivers clean doesn’t last just a week. If you are interested in becoming a permanent steward consider adopting your local storm drain through the Adopt-a-Drain program by the Lower Grand River Organization of Watersheds. Learn more about storm drain maintenance at lgrow.org/adopt-a-drain.

Too excited to wait?

You can do your part to help keep the Grand River clean by picking up trash where you live, work and play before it gets into the storm drain (or basin). When it rains it can take as little as 15 minutes for the debris and waste around storm drains to make it into the Grand River.

It only takes a little time to clear debris and waste from the storm basins in your neighborhood, but it makes a big difference when it comes to protecting the health of our community. WMEAC encourages you to extend the Mayors’ Grand River Cleanup into your neighborhood by picking up trash from around storm drains and keeping it out of the river! Gather your family, friends and neighbors and work together to keep your neighborhood and the river clean and healthy!

Check out the “15 to the River” video for more information!

Want to do even more? The Lower Grand River Organization of Watersheds has an Adopt-a-Drain program, where you can adopt a storm basin (or drain) throughout the year. You even get to name it!