Keeping the Iowa Beautiful: 2015 Riverwalk Clean-Up

Along with the Old Capitol and Herky, the Iowa River is undoubtedly one of the hallmarks of the University of Iowa. Thousands of students and faculty walk across its bridges every day to get to class, work, dining halls, recreation facilities, and more. The Iowa adds beauty and wildlife to an otherwise urban campus.

If you appreciate its beauty, you can help preserve it. Join volunteers, students, faculty and staff for the Great Annual Iowa a.m. Volunteers will help clean up sidewalks and accessible riverbanks.

Volunteers will not get in the water, but volunteers at the 4th Annual Iowa River Clean-Up (IARVCP) removed 8.2 tons of material from the water in September. This includes 6.2 tons of trash, 1 ton of metal, and 72 tires!

“I still can’t believe how much trash we pick up each year,” says Jackie Hartling Stolze, lead communication specialist at IIHR. Stolze has participated in the Riverwalk Clean-Up every year since 2012. “It makes you think about how it’s getting there and what else you can do keep trash out of the river,” she adds.

An old, rusted bike collected during the 2013 clean-up.

Stolze asks volunteers to please plan accordingly by wearing proper attire: sturdy closed-toe shoes, bug spray, sunscreen, etc. If you have a pair of work gloves, they are recommended. Bags and some gloves will be provided. Volunteers have removed various objects in the past—including a riding lawnmower, bicycles, and tires. Be prepared!

Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. near the UI Water Plant, 208 West Burlington St., on the northeast side of the bridge. Volunteers can plan on two hours of picking up trash, and refreshments will be provided.

“It’s worth the two hours, and you feel great afterwards,” Stolze says. “While we can’t easily clean up the entire river, we can make a difference here by picking up what we can see.”

Sponsors of the Great Annual Riverwalk Clean-Up include IIHR, the City of Iowa City, UI Facilities Management, the Engineering Staff Advisory Council, the Iowa Geological Survey, and the UI Office of Sustainability.

For more information, contact Jackie Hartling Stolze (jackie-stolze@uiowa.edu)