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Clean Up Green Up Month

April 22 - May 16

Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area (AHRA) and Greater Arkansas River Nature Association (GARNA) will co-host an honorary 29th Annual Arkansas River Cleanup-Greenup #CUGU2020 in conjunction with Earth Day and Colorado Public Lands Day between April 22 and May 16.

As in previous years, we encourage individuals to clean up trash and debris from the river corridor along the banks of the Arkansas River in preparation for run-off.  This year, due to concerns related to COVID-19, we ask that you do not work together in groups outside of your family unit and that you maintain a minimum 6-foot distance from any other individuals that you may encounter.

Between Earth Day, April 22, and Colorado Public Lands Day, May 16, individuals may pick up trash bags (provided by American Rivers) outside of the AHRA Visitor Center, located at 307 W Sackett Ave, Salida, or outside of the GARNA office, located at 209 E 3rd St, Salida, and stay tuned for a Buena Vista location to pick up bags. To schedule trash drop-off, call the AHRA at 719-539-7289, or bring your bags and other large items to AHRA on May 16th when a dumpster will be placed outside of the Visitor Center. The northern end of Chaffee County is excited to join the effort with a simple process. Contact BV Parks and Recreation at 719–395-2408 or email (or PM us) to schedule a time to pick up bags. Then you can dispose of the bags yourself or bring them back to BV Parks and Rec to dispose of them.

We’d love to see what you find!  Prizes will still be awarded for “Largest Piece of Trash” #CUGU2020Largest, “Strangest Piece of Trash” #CUGU2020Strangest, “Most Upcycle-Worthy Piece of Trash” #CUGU2020Upcycle, and “People’s Choice” #CUGU2020PeoplesChoice.  Be sure to share and tag your photos, or email your submissions to  

Remember, don’t pick up hazardous trash.  Please notify the AHRA if you come across any item or material that may be dangerous, including but not limited to leaky batteries, chemical containers, sharp items (including needles or other biohazard waste), or live ammunition or explosives.  Immediately alert the AHRA at 719-539-7289 if these items are discovered during your cleanup. Please handle items such as broken glass, aerosol and gas cans, or other containers with traces of volatile materials with caution.  

The  AHRA launched its annual river cleanup program in 1992 in cooperation with American Rivers and National River Cleanup. In fact, that first river Cleanup-Greenup on May 9, 1992, earned an Honorary Proclamation by then-Gov. Roy Romer as “Arkansas River Cleanup Day.”

Any individual who completes at least 48 hours of logged CPW volunteer work within a 12-month period is eligible to earn a free volunteer pass.  To create a volunteer profile and log hours for this opportunity, visit the CPW CUGU Volunteer site at  This form is not mandatory! In order to keep our efforts spread out, please select a cleanup site at

For more information, contact AHRA at 719-539-7289 or email


  1. Hello! Just filled out the lengthy CPW form at the link you provided above for volunteer work. I would like to participate in the clean-up tomorrow (Earth Day!), and am leaning toward the Salida East North Side of River. However, not sure exactly where that entails. Is it right along the edge of the water or does it also include the bank shelf above it? And starting from and going to what point? From east parking lot off F Street? I will put my name in that slot in the meantime. Thanks!

    • Hi Amelia, thanks for filling out the form and for participating! The form is optional, and I’ve added wording to emphasize that. It is long! Salida East is the CPW managed camping area downstream of town. The side of the river opposite the campground gets pretty trashed, as do the sections along the river by the F Street Parking lot, so I’m sure wherever you cleaned up, it was needed. Thank you!

  2. Lengthy CPW volunteer form might deter some from participating. It almost did me. Especially in these times, Hwy. 50 REALLY needs cleaning up on the shoulders within AHRA in addition to the river banks themselves.. I was fishing yesterday and picked up what I could fit in the plastic bag I found. Just put a bag in my vest for future use. I hadn’t even signed up yet.

    • Hi Karen,
      Yes the form is lengthy, I’ve added to our page that it is optional. We’ll spread the word about Hwy 50.


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April 22
May 16
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CO United States

Many GARNA programs require a liability release form be filled out each calendar year.

Your registration is secured upon receipt of payment. If you prefer not to register online (recommended), you may mail a check, made out to “GARNA” to the address below. Please include a note with the program you are registering for.

PO Box 1522
Salida CO 81201

Cancellation policy:

If we are notified of your need to cancel within 24 hours of program date, your program fee will be refunded except for a $3.00 administrative fee. If minimum enrollment has not been met by program date, programs will be cancelled 2 days prior to the date and we will refund the full amount.