(COLLAB) WHITE RIVER CLEANUP
This annual Delaware County conservation event takes our whole community! In 14 years, more than 4,618 local volunteers have removed over 800 tires and 65 TONS of trash from West Fork White River. Cleaning our local waterways creates a healthier habitat for the fish, mussels, macroinvertebrates, reptiles, birds, amphibians, & mammals (including us humans!) that call our river home!
Interested in volunteering but not sure what to expect?
Scroll through the info below to get a step-by-step feel of what your day volunteering at the White River Cleanup may be like. And, check out tips on what to wear & bring to make your day in the water safe, comfortable, & fun!
First, a huge thank you to the event hosts:
Muncie-Delaware Clean & Beautiful
Muncie Sanitary District's Stormwater Management Department
& their many partners who help make it happen!
look for the event every
WHITE RIVER CLEANUP
IN 10 STEPS:
The site to pre-register as a White River Cleanup volunteer usually opens around July/August. Check the event hosts' websites & social media for updates. Registration includes signing a liability waiver. Volunteers under 18 will need a parent or designated supervisor present, and their parent/guardian must sign the waiver.
2) KICKOFF AT WESTSIDE PARK
White River Cleanup volunteers should meet at Westside Park in Muncie by 8am. When you arrive at the park, meet in the shelter furthest west & look for a big "White River Cleanup" banner. There will be additional parking in a nearby grassy area, also on the west side of the park.
If you need assistance at any time, look for a "Crew Leader" – we'll have neon shirts!
3) GATHER SUPPLIES
Near the check-in shelter, you'll see a trailer with cleanup supplies.
Pick up the following:
recycling bag (1)
trash bag (1)
trash tongs/pickers (1*)
*there may not be enough tongs for each volunteer; if you're with a buddy, have 1 person use trash tongs & 1 person hold the bag open. Or, feel free to bring your own trash pickers (and gloves)!
4) PICK A CLEANUP ROUTE
In the nearby greenspace, you'll see signs with a group #, route name, & type – walking or canoe.
Use your best judgement to pick a group that's right for you. If you're not comfortable in water above your waist, walking is for you. Hang out here until a shuttle picks you up.
TIP: canoe groups fill up fast & leave first, so arrive early (with buddies) if you want a canoe!
5) SHUTTLE TO CLEANUP SITE
6) CLEAN OUR RIVER
Here we go! Volunteers spend the next 2-3 hours removing debris from in & around our White River – explore the river, banks, brush, and trees to pick up trash.
The general rule is if it's not naturally found in the wild, we remove it. There are a few exceptions:
some items are too large/heavy to remove (a crew leader can help call dispatch for assistance)
some items are not safe to retrieve – stay off train trestles & avoid log jams or downed trees
some items are not retrievable because it would disturb endangered wildlife (native mussels)
some items may belong to our unhoused community (don't disturb personal items under bridges)