Celebrate Earth Day with FMR

A family with their haul of litter and recyclables at the Earth Day cleanup

Volunteers collect litter and recyclables along the Mississippi River Gorge in celebration of Earth Day at the annual cleanup event.

Spring is coming up quick! Join us as we clean up the Mississippi River Gorge to celebrate Earth Day. Or sign up to get your hands dirty at one of our many other spring restoration events!

On Earth Day

Taking place on Saturday, April 20 as part of the larger citywide Minneapolis Earth Day cleanup, the river gorge cleanup has become an annual tradition. Hundreds of folks from nearby neighborhoods and community groups come together to celebrate Earth Day and contribute to the health and vitality of the Mississippi River.

"One of my favorite times to be at the river is Earth Day," says Bea Schneider, longtime FMR volunteer and gorge steward. "There is always an amazing group of volunteers to help clean the area and keep the river clean as it makes its long journey south. I have enjoyed their many wonderful stories about why they’re here to help and at the end what they found or saw as they walked the trails."

All are welcome! This is a family-friendly event providing an excellent opportunity to get outside and work together to help improve this treasured area. Schneider says, "The age range of the volunteers is broad but we all share a delight in the beauty and secrets the river and hills have to share."

Earth Day Cleanup details

To join the cleanup and experience the beauty of the river gorge, simply show up between 9:30 a.m. and noon at either location (36th St & W River Parkway or E 44th St & W River Parkway in Minneapolis) to sign in with FMR staff. We'll provide all the supplies you'll need. However, if you have your own work gloves, feel free to bring them (they may fit better). We strongly suggest wearing sturdy shoes and dressing in layers for the weather.

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

Beyond Earth Day

Can't make the river gorge cleanup? No problem! We've got a busy spring planned and could use your help. (See our full calendar of events here.)

Consider joining us May 9 for a volunteer work night removing weedy invasive plants at St. Paul Park's Riverside Park. Consisting of 14 acres of floodplain forest near the backwaters of the Mississippi River, Riverside Park is an important nature study area. Your volunteer work helps the park provide much-needed habitat and resources for local critters of all kinds as it serves as an oasis along the Mississippi River flyway for migratory birds.

Looking for other ways to celebrate Earth Day? Here are 25 ways you can help our river.