Print Friendly, PDF & Email

This year, the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area (AHRA) and the Greater Arkansas River Nature Association (GARNA) will host the 31st Annual Clean Up Green Up on Saturday, May 21, in tandem with Colorado Public Lands Day.

The mighty Arkansas roaring at sunset from the F street bridge. Photo credit-Sandy Hobbs

More than 200 volunteers will work along the banks of the Arkansas River, spanning from Leadville to Cañon City and beyond, clearing trash and debris from the river corridor ahead of the busy summer boating and angling season. The clean-up day also coincides with the start of the spring snowmelt and runoff. 

Volunteers should register online and can check in from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. at the AHRA Visitor Center (307 W. Sackett Ave. in Salida) or at the Buena Vista Public Works shop (755 Gregg Dr. in Buena Vista) on May 21 in order to pick up supplies and a lunch voucher for the post-clean-up volunteer picnic. Volunteers can either pre-select their desired clean-up location online or can be assigned a spot in the Arkansas River drainage somewhere between Granite and Cañon City.

Bagged trash can be dropped off between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. at either the Vandaveer Ranch on the southeast edge of Salida or at Buena Vista Public Works. Volunteers can also leave trash behind the entrance signs at any AHRA-managed site. Dumpsters are provided by Waste Management, and trash bags for volunteers are provided by American Rivers. 

The volunteer picnic(s) will be held from 12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m. at the Vandaveer Ranch and Buena Vista Public Works, with prizes for the Largest Piece of Trash and other categories. The City of Salida will also host the annual Touch-a-Truck event at Vandaveer Ranch from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. 

Clean Up Green Up is held in partnership with the AHRA, GARNA, the Bureau of Land Management, the City of Salida, the Town of Buena Vista, Salida Parks Open Space & Trails (SPOT), and Trout Unlimited. For more information, contact the AHRA at 719-539-7289 or GARNA at 719-539-5106 or by email at