Volunteer FAQs

  • How can I get involved in a Rivers Alive cleanup?

    Check out our Locate a Cleanup page to find a cleanup in your area! Select "Zoom map to" and click the dropdown to find your city. You can then click on the points on the map to reveal information about the event in the sidebar, including organizer contact information, websites, driving directions, and more.

    Note: Red markers are private events, so you will not be able to join these events unless you are invited or part of the group

  • What should I bring to a cleanup?

    It is recommended that volunteers bring a water bottle, especially if it is warm outside. Sunscreen and insect repellant should be applied before going into the field during certain times of the year. Also, we suggest that volunteers have emergency contact(s) information on hand. If needed, also pack snacks/meals.

    Depending on what organizers are able to provide, volunteers may also need to bring heavy duty gloves, trash pokers/grabbers, brightly colored safety vests, and/or rubber boots (see other clothing suggestions below). Contact the event organizer prior to the event for more information about what will be provided the day-of.

  • What should I wear at a cleanup?
    • Long pants
    • Long-sleeved shirt for extra protection against the sun, poison ivy, and ticks
    • Closed-toed shoes such as waterproof rubber boots or high-topped work boots with non-skid soles. Tennis shoes are not recommended for slippery surfaces and can get uncomfortable when wet
    • A hat or scarf to protect against the sun
    • Heavy-duty work gloves or gardening gloves 
    • Brightly colored clothing/safety vests if the event is taking place near a road or during hunting season
  • There are no Rivers Alive events in my area. How can I participate?

    If you cannot find an event in your area, organize one! If you feel intimidated by the idea, remember that not all Rivers Alive events are massive- many are small, community-based cleanups led by passionate citizens who simply want their local streams to be cleaner and healthier.

    For more information on planning your own Rivers Alive cleanup, check out the organizer's page or email us at [email protected]

  • What are some other ways I can help out at a cleanup?

    Whether you are unable to participate in the cleanup itself, or you simply want to do more to help, consider volunteering to help coordinate the event! Contact the event organizer to see where you might be needed most.

    Here are some examples of administrative tasks that volunteers can assist with:

    • Sign In: Sign participants in and distribute T-shirts.
    • Refreshments: Keep the refreshment table in order and hand out food and drinks.
    • Transportation: Transport other volunteers from site to site as needed.
    • Equipment Distribution: Distribute trash bags, gloves, maps, trash pokers/grabbers, etc. to volunteers.
    • Recycling: Sort through the collected trash after the event and consolidate all recyclable items.
    • Safety: Be in charge of the first aid kit and manage volunteer emergency contact information.
  • What should I expect at a cleanup?

    Every Rivers Alive event is different- they can be big or small, organized by an organization or by a community, single or multi-day, or even include a paddling component! However, there are a few things you can expect from just about every cleanup:

    • You will be outside for a large part of the day with a possibility of getting wet. Always check the weather before the event to ensure you are properly clothed.
    • You will be asked to fill out a sign up sheet and waiver before participating.
    • Feeling a sense of satisfaction and job well-done for giving back to the environment and your community!