The River Cleanup
For one week each summer, hundreds of kids and adults converge on a river to pick up trash during Iowa’s largest volunteer river cleanup event, Iowa Project AWARE. Join us for the entire week or just a few days. We’re happy to have you for whatever time works best with your schedule.
What’s Iowa Project AWARE?
During Iowa Project AWARE, volunteers have fun and get a little muddy as they explore an Iowa river, remove trash, and learn more about watersheds, geology, archaeology, recycling, and other natural resource topics.
The expedition not only showcases a part of Iowa, but it also offers opportunities for residents and visitors alike to connect with the river and enrich their sense of place.
Discover what to expect during a typical day of Iowa Project AWARE.
Who Can Participate?
Iowa Project AWARE is open to people of all ages who enjoy spending time outdoors. You don’t need to have previous experience doing a river cleanup, or to be an experienced paddler. Our volunteers include retirees, young adults, multi-generational families, youth groups, scout groups, and more.
Hear from some of our volunteers about why they participate in AWARE.
How Do I Get Involved?
Volunteers can officially join the event by paddling the river, but there are opportunities for others to experience Project AWARE as well. Educational programs are held each evening and are open to the public. These programs highlight local natural resources, history, and archaeology that make Iowa unique.
Registration is not required for the general public to attend evening programs, but it is required for those who wish to volunteer for the river cleanup itself. Tent camping is included with registration and a limited number of canoes are available.