Mayors’ Grand River Cleanup

September 7th - September 14th, 2024
All participants please register using the form below!
pounds of trash removed last year

register today for wmeac's 21st mayors' Grand River cleanup:


for more info contact mark fitzpatrick at:

thank you for 20 years of action!


Saturday, September 9, 2023
8:30am - 2pm


6th Street Park, Grand Rapids
(647 Monroe Ave NW)

On Saturday, September 9th, 2023, a few hundred stewards collected at Sixth Street Park in Grand Rapids for a misty morning of community action. Our volunteers brought their enthusiasm and camaraderie for cleaning up the banks of the Grand River. The WMEAC team is deeply thankful for those who were able to join us for the Mayors’ Kickoff and to the groups who participated in the week-long Grand River Cleanup Campaign. We are looking forward to seeing you all next year for another celebration of water, life, and the love that connects the two.

1 week

500+ volunteers

6 participating cities

7,200+ lbs of trash removed

35 sites and 12+ miles of river cleaned

... 1 lime scooter

All are welcome!

kickoff cleanup event

Saturday September 7th at Sixth Street Park

  • Join us to hear from representatives of participating West Michigan cities about what’s happening on the Grand River. 
  • Pick up free supplies and enjoy food & beverages on us.
  • Meet local organizations at their information tables!
  • Representatives from volunteering groups encouraged to attend.

clean up adopted sites

September 7th – 14th at registered spots

  • Individuals and groups (families, friends, businesses, etc.) adopt sites along the river to clean up together any day that week.
  • Registration runs July 1st through September 1st.
  • Check out our map of sites (color coded by age appropriateness)
  • Your group can clean up an unlisted site, even your own!

sponsor + vendor sign up

Become a Sponsor

To sponsor The Cleanup, contact WMEAC Director of Development, Sharlene Kipfer, at or (616) 451-3051, extension 124.

Become a vendor

If you’re interested in having an information table at our Kick Off Event on Saturday, September 7th, email Mark Fitzpatrick at



If you can’t join us on September 7th for our Kickoff, there are still plenty of ways to stay involved with Michigan’s largest river cleanup! You can:

  • Adopt one of our Cleanup Sites with a group of 5 of more volunteers.
  • Stop by the WMEAC office during our campaign to receive FREE trash bags and gloves to clean up your street, sidewalk, or storm drain at home.
  • Attend the Lower Grand River Organization of Watersheds’ Jamboree and sign up to receive a WMEAC rain barrel for your home.
  • Sponsor our Cleanup and receive the many benefits of becoming a WMEAC Business Member.
WMEAC will provide all volunteers with all cleanup supplies.


Do you have a group of friends, neighbors, or coworkers that you would like to volunteer with? Groups of 5 or more people are able to adopt a Cleanup Site from our curated Cleanup Site Map! These are locations where you can likely spend 1 – 2 hours with 5 – 10 people cleaning up trash. Some Cleanup Sites are along the Grand River itself, many sites are along a stream that connects to the Grand River in a public park or green space. Some sites are not family-friendly (red icons) and are located under bridges, train tracks, highway overpasses, or have other hazards such as steep banks or poison ivy present.

Site adoption for the 2024 Grand River Cleanup will open July 1st, 2024. For more information please contact Mark Fitzpatrick at

Stop by the WMEAC office or any other location with the glove icon to pick up FREE trash bags, disposable gloves, and other materials for your clean up.

Green sites are family friendly and are open to all ages and abilities. Most green sites are located in parks and other public access sites. Not all green sites have access to water but all are important locations in our watersheds to keep clean of trash and pollution.
Yellow sites are not recommended for children 12 and younger. Boots, pants, and closed-toed shoes are recommended at yellow sites. Poison ivy or steep banks may be present.

Red sites are not recommended for children 12 and younger. Boots, pants, and closed-toed shoes are required. Muck boots, hip boots, or waders are recommended. Hazards such as high-speed traffic, steep banks, or poison ivy are likely to be present.

Grey sites have been adopted by a group of volunteers are no longer eligible for your 1st-choice of site adoption.

WMEAC Cleanup Supply Hub

During our Cleanup Campaign, WMEAC will provide FREE supplies to all registered volunteers! Stop by our office and grab your disposable gloves, heavy-duty trash bags, containers for sharp objects, and a Cleanup t-shirt! Supplies for groups that adopt a sites will be available after Labor Day on September 3rd, 2024.

 You can pick up your supplies and souvenirs at our Grand Rapids office: 1007 Lake Drive SE, Grand Rapids MI 49506

If you need to arrange a supply pick up outside of business hours (10 am – 5 pm) please contact us at with details.

be a trash Scout

Do you know a spot in your community that is contaminated with trash? Recruit the help of our WMEAC volunteers and Cleanup Crew!! 

These locations do not have to be along a river. Many of our streets, sidewalks, and storm drains will bring pollution like trash, microplastics, salt, and oil directly into our rivers. This “first flush” of pollution can happen as quickly as 15 minutes after it begins to rain! Trash often collects near bridges, riverside trails, boat launches, overpasses, rail road crossings, and in industrial areas.

Reach out to Mark Fitzpatrick at to have the location highlighted on our Google Story Map. Or you can adopt the site with a group and WMEAC will provide you with free clean up supplies and try to arrange trash removal services with your City’s Department of Public Works.

join our 1st annual challenge

New this year – Join our 1st Annual WMEAC Cleanup Challenge by asking your workplace, civic group, or friends and family to donate $5, $10, $20, or more per bag of trash your volunteer group picks up. 

WMEAC has partnered with the Ocean Conservancy, whose free Clean Swell app enables you to log and share the number of trash bags your group collects as part of the Mayors’ Grand River Cleanup.  By sharing how much your group was able to clean up, you can inspire others and encourage additional support for WMEAC’s clean water work, like the Mayors’ Grand River Cleanup!

Each volunteer group and donor participating in the Cleanup Challenge will also receive a fun WMEAC schwag bag.

Check out how to use the free Clean Swell app for the Cleanup Challenge below!


Stop by Legacy Park on Saturday, September 16th, 2023 for family-friendly activities and live music. The Jamboree is a celebration that highlights water quality improvements and recognizes the watershed groups that are working to improve the Lower Grand River Watershed.  For more information about the Lower Grand River Organization of Watersheds you can visit their site at

WMEAC will be hosting a Rain Barrel Workshop at the Jamboree and spots are limited! If you have ever been interested in saving money on water while preventing flooding on your property- a rain barrel is an easy and efficient solution. WMEAC staff will lead you through how to construct a 55-gallon plastic drum into a container for rainwater that has been collected by your downspout.

Click here for more information about WMEAC’s Rain Barrel Workshop program and other ways to manage stormwater on your property. Workshop registration will open soon!


Grand River

Rotary Club of GR
GM Holdings
SMG/Devos Convention Center
City of GR - Office of Equity & Engagement
Mobile GR

Blue Bridge

Spectrum Health
Key Green Solutions


Foresight Management
Fusion Financial
GR Public Museum
Mark Huizenga Systems Consulting
Schrem’s Trout Unlimited 

River's Edge

WM Chapter Air & Waste Management Association 
Mika Meyer

Tag @wmeac in your cleanup images!
or use #mayorsgrandrivercleanup