This year, we held the event on Saturday, April 20, arguably the first day that really felt like spring. Volunteers enjoyed full sun, a sparkling river, and the first leaves in the forest.
We almost worried the weather was too nice, that people might opt to go for a bike ride instead. But our turnout broke records.
“I just moved here, and I’m impressed with Minnesota’s parks and trails. They’re so accessible from the neighborhoods.”
— Kelsey King
“We’re here because we want to help the earth!”
“It’s nice to reduce the footprint a little. So many people use this area, and it’s so beautiful here.”
"My daughter and I come together. We enjoy it. We feel like we’re making a difference and it’s a nice way to spend a Saturday morning. I’m taking another yellow bag and going back. My daughter’s still down there."
—Shawn Willy (FMR supporter for 10 years)
We asked Shawn what he'd lugged up the hill: "A saw, white fluff, carpet samples, clothing…"
What did we clean up?
Volunteers cleaned up plenty of cigarette butts and other small trash, but here's a short (and incomplete) list of some other finds we rescued from the river: part of a bed frame, a football, pieces of pipe, a sign post, old DVDs... even an agate!
And thanks to our Gorge Stewards Program partners and funders:
Longfellow Community Council, Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board, Andeavor Foundation, RBC Wealth Management, The Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, Xcel Energy, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, US Forest Service, Great Lakes Brewing Company, and Sitka Salmon Shares.