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 17th 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 12th, through Saturday, September 19th, 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!
Online registration for the Mayors’ Grand River Cleanup opens Friday, July 17th, and will close Wednesday, September 16th. Registration is required to receive cleanup supplies.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frequently Asked Questions
How will I get my trash bags and disposable gloves?
After registering on Eventbrite, please fill out the Google Form 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 email@example.com for more information.
Where should I clean up trash?
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!
How do I keep track of what I pick up?
To measure the impact of the Cleanup, we are asking our volunteers to use the Clean Swell mobile app developed by the Ocean Conservancy. It is free, easy-to-use, and provides a simple interface to inventory items you find while cleaning up. After submitting your entry on Clean Swell, you will receive an email with your trash tally and estimated weight. We ask participants to forward their results to firstname.lastname@example.org or share their impact using the #MayorsCleanup2020 hashtag on social media!
What do I do with the trash when I am done?
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.
What can I do to protect our freshwater after 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.