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Join us at the annual River Gorge Earth Day cleanup

April 24, 2021 @ 9:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Volunteers at the 2019 Earth Day cleanup

Taking place just off of West River Parkway, this cleanup is an Earth Day tradition in the Minneapolis River Gorge. People come from throughout the local river corridor, neighborhoods and metro area to celebrate Earth Day and contribute to the health and vitality of the Mississippi River. We’ve returned to this site year after year and have noticed a dramatic improvement to the area thanks to dedicated volunteers like you!

After cancelling this cleanup in 2020, we’re excited to get back to one of our favorite events of the year in 2021. However, due to the pandemic, our cleanup will be much smaller than usual. This year we are requiring registration, and limiting our capacity to 50 individuals or households with staggered check-in times. Read more below about how to sign up and safely participate, or how to volunteer for Earth Day on your own.

This event is supported by the local neighborhood group, the Longfellow Community Council, and Longfellow area residents are encouraged to register. The event is also part of the Gorge Stewards program, which actively engages people throughout the Twin Cities in the stewardship of the national treasure that is the Mississippi River Gorge.

Sign me up!

Registration for this event is required. To carry out this event safely, we’ve scheduled different times throughout the morning for volunteers to check in and receive supplies from FMR staff. Once checked in, volunteers can spread out along the gorge to minimize contact with one another.

To register, fill out the form linked below and select one time slot to pick up your supplies. Individuals and households are welcome. Please limit your groups to four people or less. If you’re registering for a group of four or less, you only have to register once; we’ll make sure we have enough supplies available for each person in your household.

What about COVID-19?

We’ve modified all our events during the pandemic to be smaller, and to allow for individuals to work while safely six feet apart. All tools will be sanitized between events, and all gloves provided are unused in 2020 or 2021. Once registered, volunteers will receive a full list of safety precautions and guidelines. You can read more about our policies here.

We’re watching the CDC and Minnesota Department of Health guidelines closely. If plans change based on their recommendations, FMR Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator Sophie Downey will email registrants with event updates. (Be sure to add sdowney@fmr.org to your contacts so updates don’t land in spam.) And we’ll update this page if anything changes.

We will offer gloves and hand sanitizer at the event. Volunteers are required to bring and wear their own masks.

Can’t make it? Volunteer on your own!

Not everyone will be able to join us at the gorge, but if you’re picking up trash this spring, we want to celebrate your impact and credit you with volunteer hours! Even if you can’t participate on Earth Day, you can pick up trash on your own for Earth Month — we’re celebrating all April long.

To receive the most up-to-date notices of all of our volunteer opportunities and events, sign up for our twice-monthly e-newsletter, Mississippi Messages. To receive notice of upcoming Gorge Stewards events, contact Volunteer & Outreach Coordinator Sophie Downey, sdowney@fmr.org or 651.222.2193 x27.


Thanks to our Gorge Stewards Program partners and funders: BNSF Foundation, Hennepin County, Longfellow Community Council, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, RBC Wealth Management, Seagate and Xcel Energy.


April 24, 2021
9:30 AM - 12:00 PM


Friends of the Mississippi River


West River Parkway and 36th Street