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River Clean-Ups

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Thank you 2022 volunteers!

​2022 Season Totals:

17 river clean-up events

189 volunteers

382 volunteer hours

Over 1500 pounds of litter removed​​

2023 scheduling begins in March


​Each summer (June through September) we take groups of volunteers onto the Huron River to help clean up trash that accumulates in and along the river. The boat rentals for these trips are covered so volunteers do not have to pay. Groups​ can boat from Argo livery to Gallup livery (Argo-to-Gallup River Trip), which takes about 3 hours, or can spend 1 or 2 hours in the area of river surrounding Gallup livery. (Gallup River Clean-up) Volunteers pair up in canoes with trash pickers in hand to retrieve litter. All supplies are provided. It is as fun as it sounds! These clean ups can accommodate groups of 8 to 20 people, but we will also have two events for individual volunteers and small groups. We will have availability for river clean-up events in June, July, August, and September.

The City of Ann Arbor Canoe Livery is the largest livery in the state with over 100,000 people annually paddling boats from city liveries. This section of the Huron River has also become popular with people tubing the river, especially the Argo Cascades. With the increase in river recreation and being located in a busy urban environment, there is a constant need for on-going cleanup efforts. Thank you for wanting to volunteer!​

Email [email protected] or call 734-794-6445 ​to be put on an interest list. Scheduling for summer 2023 events begins in March 2023.​ Group leaders check out our Coordinator Guide​.

Clean-Up Event Types

​​Both clean-ups take place on the Huron River, and both accomodate groups of 8 to 20 people. During the busy summer months river clean up volunteer events are scheduled Monday through Friday and not available on the weekends. After Labor Day river events are Wednesday through Friday only.

Argo to Gallup River Trip

  • Typically takes about 3 hours in total
    • This can vary due to river conditions, weather, how actively participants paddle, how much trash is present, shuttle wait time ​
  • Volunteer groups (8-20 people) only
  • Meet and start at Argo Livery (unless your event is in the off-season--double check your meeting point) in Argo Park​
    • ​Parking may be hard to find during the summer, view this parking guide for parking locations and plan to arrive early
  • The clean up occurs mostly along shorelines as you paddle/float downriver to Gallup Livery
  • 4 mile trip down the Huron River through Ann Arbor
  • Ends at Gallup Livery, where a shuttle takes you back to Argo Livery where the event started (shuttles depart every 20 minutes or so)
  • Each boat (2 people per) must have at least 1 person with prior paddling experience​

Gallup River Clean-up

  • ​Shorter event, 1 - 1.5 hours
  • Open to volunteer groups + 2 events for individuals/smaller groups​​
  • Takes place in section of river with little-to-no current felt known as Gallup Pond
  • Ideal for first-time paddlers
  • Starts and ends at Gallup Livery in Gallup Park​


We will begin scheduling our summer 2023 river clean events in March! If you would like to be placed on an interest list, email [email protected]

Group Events:

2023 Scheduling Begins in March

"Love the River Day" Events for Individuals and Smaller Groups: 2023 Dates TBD

​Our Love the River Day events are river cleaning events at Gallup Park in the area of river around the Gallup Livery. These events are open to individual volunteers and small groups. You may end up in a boat ​​with someone you meet at the event. These events may be subject to cancellation or rescheduling due to weather. No prior paddling experience is required.

Important Information


​​Volunteers who participate in River Trip events must be able to paddle a boat, and each 2-person boat must have at least one person who has prior experience on the water. There is an inherent risk to being on the water, boats may tip over and injuries may happen. Volunteer groups that have little-to-no paddling experience but still want to participate should pick a Gallup River Clean-up instead of an Argo-to-Gallup River Trip. Life jackets must be worn.​ Volunteers should bring water, wear sunscreen, and be prepared to get wet. Water shoes and dry bags (sold at the liveries) are recommended. Volunteers are not required to collect any trash that cannot be safely reached.

Weather and Water Conditions

  • Forecasts of thunderstorms, heavy rain or other severe weather warnings will result in cancellation/rescheduling
  • High river flow can make a river clean up unsafe, river trips will not take place if the flow is too low or too high
    • Alternate options may be available in this circumstance (ie, kayaks only for low water conditions or Gallup area clean up only). GIVE 365 will monitor conditions.

What to Bring

We will provide the boats, life jackets, and the tools for collecting trash. Volunteers should bring water, wear sunscreen, wear weather-appropriate clothing that is okay to get wet. Water shoes are highly recommended, as are dry bags if volunteers plan on bringing a phone along. Both are sold at the liveries. Volunteers will need to bring a signed city volunteer waiver and a livery waiver. 

Boat & Paddling information

Canoes are recommended as two volunteers can sit comfortably and collect the most litter, especially larger items. Depending on weight limits, a third volunteer may be able to sit in the middle of the boat if needed. Kayaks are only available if the river is too low and there are experienced paddlers volunteering. 
  • For Argo-to-Gallup river trips, canoes do not go through the Argo cascades. Volunteers enter the canoes at the base of the cascades
  • A max of 10 canoes are allotted for each river event, additional boats will have to be paid for

Check out this video from the Ecology Center of Ann Arbor as they join us on a river clean, demonstrating waste that is commonly found in the river.​