The Iowa River Clean Up is an annual event to beautify the Iowa River by removing trash large and small. This event was started in 2011 and has been held 8 times since. In that time, volunteers have removed over 60 tons of trash (including 1021 tires) from the river! This event is free to participate in, and no experience is necessary. Canoes will be provided to volunteers on a first-come first-served basis.
The Iowa River Clean Up is a collaborative event hosted by Johnson County Conservation, the City of Iowa City, City of Coralville, and City of North Liberty.
UPDATE: The 2022 Iowa River Clean Up has been cancelled due to low flow on the Iowa River, and the registration button deactivated.
Saturday, October 8th, 2022, 7:00 AM - afternoon (times variable by conditions)
Iowa River, Old Izaak Walton League Boat Access to Hills Campground and Access (7.5 miles)
2022 Event Schedule
Past Event Stats & Photos
- Saturday, Oct 2, 2021
- USGS 05454500, Iowa City: 200 cfs
- 58 land and water volunteers
- 27 canoes on the water
- 3.35 tons of general trash
- 0.4 tons of scrap metal
- 0.7 tons of tires (54 tires)
2021 TOTAL: 4.44 tons of trash removed from the Iowa River!
- September 14, 2019
- USGS 05454500, Iowa City:420 cfs
- 72 land & water volunteers
- 27 canoes on the water
- 2.27 tons of trash
- 2.23 ton of metal
- 1.06 tons, 61 tires
2019 TOTAL: 5.56 tons removed from the Iowa River!
- September, 16 2017
- USGS 05454500, Iowa City: 228 cfs
- 96 land & water volunteers
- 29 canoes, 1 kayak on the water
- 7.7 tons of trash
- 2.5 ton of metal
- 3.6 tons, 195 tires
2017 TOTAL: 13.8 tons removed from the Iowa River!
- September 12, 2015
- USGS 05454500, Iowa City: 804 cfs
- 70 land & water volunteers
- 30 canoes on the water
- 6.2 tons of trash
- 1 ton of metal
- 72 tires (~ 1 ton of tires)
2015 TOTAL: 8.2 tons removed from the Iowa River!
- September 14, 2013
- USGS 05454500, Iowa City:142 cfs
- 2.53 tons of trash
- 1.38 tons of metal
- 200 tires (~ 2.47 tons of tires)
2013 TOTAL: 6.38 tons removed from the Iowa River!
- October 6, 2012
- USGS 05454500, Iowa City:145 cfs
- 10840 lbs (5.42 tons) garbage
- 1850 lbs (0.93 tons) mixed metal
- 4488 lbs (2.24 tons) 188 tires
2012 total: 8.6 tons removed from the Iowa River!
- October 9, 2011
- USGS 05454500, Iowa City: 281 cfs
- 5.07 tons, (10140 lbs) Tires, 160 +
- 5.6 tons, (11200 lbs) Garbage
- 4.52 tons (9040 lbs) Scrap metal
Total = 15.19 tons removed from the Iowa River!
- October 16, 2011
- USGS 05454500, Iowa City: 191 cfs
- 1.47 tons, (2940 lbs) 79 car/pickup, 8 truck, 4 tractor = 91 Tires
- 0.19 tons, (380 lbs) Garbage
- 0.15 tons (300 lbs, est.) Scrap metal
TOTAL = 1.81 tons removed from the Iowa River!
- 6.54 tons, (13080 lbs) Tires, 251+
- 5.79 tons, (11580 lbs) Garbage
- 4.67 tons (9340 lbs) Scrap metal
17 tons removed from the Iowa River!
The idea for the Iowa River Clean Up stems from the observations/discussions of many paddlers who participated in the early August 2011 Iowa River Water Trail dedication float. During this float, copious amounts of trash of all shapes and sizes were noted and the talk quickly turned to doing something about it. Later that year, two river clean ups were held, and 17 tons of trash were removed from the river that fall.
River Clean-ups have become fairly common across the state and are a great way to make positive changes within our natural landscape.
This event takes place on the Iowa River along a section of the Iowa River Water Trail. Learn more here: Iowa River Water Trail Map