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The original item was published from 4/9/2020 3:39:19 PM to 7/10/2020 12:00:04 AM.

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Posted on: April 9, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Volunteers Keep Tons of Trash, Tires, Out of River

Canoe with large tank during Great Texas River Cleanup 2020

About 600 volunteers from all walks of life picked up more than 16,000 pounds of trash during the 35th Annual Great Texas River Cleanup in March. 

“The Community Enhancement staff gives a special thank you to all the team leaders,” said Amy Kirwin, City of San Marcos Community Enhancement Initiatives Manager. “Without their help, managing that many volunteers would be a challenge.” 

Volunteers cleaned up trash and debris in and along the Upper San Marcos River to Stokes Park, along with river’s tributaries: Cottonwood, Purgatory, Sink, Sessom, and Willow Creeks, Blanco River and Plum Creek. 

  • Total Trash Collected: 14,370 lbs.
  • Total Recycling: 15,080 lbs.; 10 passenger tires; 2 truck tires

An estimated 112 canoers volunteered to pick up trash in the San Marcos River from Stokes Park to the City of Luling over the course of two Saturdays.

  • Total Trash Collected: 2,325 lbs.

Several of the volunteers were from the Keep Texas Beautiful (KTB) organization. The City of San Marcos recently won an award from KTB for its outreach efforts on environmental issues, including the river cleanup. 

“We were excited to have Keep Texas Beautiful at the cleanup,” Kirwin said. “KTB made March the official Keep Texas Waterways Clean month. The longevity of this event provided a wonderful platform to kick off the month.” 

To help minimize the amount of trash between the annual river clean ups, Keep San Marcos Beautiful, the Edwards Aquifer Habitat Conservation Program and the MS4 program host Hot Spot cleanups on the first Saturday of each month. 

“We’re beginning to see reduced amounts of litter in our watersheds; an exciting result after years and years of effort,” said Melani Howard, City of San Marcos Habitat Conservation Plan Manager.

These cleanups will resume following the expiration of the Governor Greg Abbott’s COVID-19 Stay-at-Home Order. With the Hot Spot events on hold, Howard and Kirwin encourage residents to pick up litter on their daily walks but stress the need to wear protective gloves while doing that.

If you would like to help with more efforts with the Habitat Conservation Plan, contact Howard at To receive notifications for cleanups, contact Kirwin at

About: The 35th Annual Great Texas River Cleanup was sponsored by Texas River Protection Association, City of San Marcos, City of Kyle and Texas State University.  Multiple donors helped make the event possible: Carson Properties, Edwards Aquifer Authority, Guadalupe Blanco River Authority, Gumby’s Pizza, HEB/Central Market, Honda San Marcos and David Cook, Jacob’s/CH2M, Keep Texas Beautiful, San Marcos Chamber of Commerce, San Marcos Lions Club, and Sur-Power Battery Supply.



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