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Clean Ups


Groups are needed to either adopt a reach or do a one time clean up of trails along the Red River.

We also need your help to clean up trash in Snakey Creek in Moorhead and the drains in Fargo. Any help will make a huge difference. These are NOT a Red River Trail Clean Up and additional safety precautions apply to participate. Only adults can participate at these locations:

Snakey Creek Clean Up: Snakey Creek flows nearly ½ mile through M. B. Johnson Park in Moorhead and eventually dumps into the Red River.   This terrain is difficult to navigate. Volunteers must be capable adults who can bring a pair of rubber boots and work gloves. This will require going up and down steep and slippery banks and navigating around tree snags that are in the creek. Volunteer groups of 2-5 will schedule a date and two-hour time slot to go out with a member of River Keepers staff.

Fargo Drain Clean Ups: The drainage ditches in Fargo lead to the Red River. We need adult volunteers who can clean up around these drains. This will require getting close to the water in the ditch and using pickers to grab the trash which is mostly food and beverage containers and plastic.

After over 30 years of coordinating clean ups, we know, and our supporters know the importance of picking up trash. Trash in and near the Red River is not only unsightly, but it has environmental consequences that harm our drinking water, wildlife, and recreational use of the river and nearby trails. We thank everyone for their hard work to get these areas cleaned.

In order to participate, registration is required. Fill out our volunteer form at riverkeepers.org/volunteer and specify what you are interested in. Volunteers will work with staff to schedule a date and time and get an agreement form signed.

Project Partners: City of Moorhead, Southeast Cass Water Resource District, Fargo Park District, River Keepers

Groups adopt a reach of the river and agree to clean-up trash twice a year.

What is Adopt-the Red/Park?

  • Groups pick up trash and enjoy a reach of the Red River or a local park. With individual actions, through Adopt-a-River/Park programs, many rivers that were once blemished have again become valued local resources. Cleanup crews may consist of a few friends or a large network of volunteers.

Why Adopt-the-Red/Park?

  • The greatest threat to the Red River today is from non-point source pollution. Keeping the banks of the Red River litter-free is one way to reduce non-point source pollution. The Adopt-the-Red program stresses prevention of litter accumulation and rubbish removal by recruiting people to “adopt” reaches of the river.
  • Rubbish accumulation is one of the single greatest factors that degrades the recreational value of the rivers. Nearly 90% of the items collected during a river cleanup are nondegradeable trash such as metal and plastic, with many pieces containing rotting food and chemical residues.
  • Cleanups remove trash and litter while increasing community pride.
  • Cleanups educate participants about the values of watersheds for recreation, and fish and wildlife habitat.

Group Responsibilities

  • Conduct 2 clean-ups each year, following the “Adopt-the-Red Procedures” as written.
  • Notify appropriate agency two weeks prior to the cleanup date.
  • Cover “Information for a Safe and Enjoyable Cleanup” before participating in clean-up.
  • Provide gloves and trash bags.
  • Notify appropriate agency of the location of objects to big to handle.
  • Notify appropriate agency of hazardous substances, such as car batteries or partially filled farm or garden chemical containers.

Moorhead Parks and Recreation/Fargo Park District Responsibilities

  • Provide removal of filled trash bags.
  • Provide removal of large, heavy, or hazardous items discovered by the group.
  • Provide information about the Adopt-theRed program and the adopted reach.
  • Provide an information sheet on how to conduct a safe clean up.

After the Clean-Up

Contact River Keepers if you are interested in becoming involved with other river service projects such as:

  • Storm Drain Marking Program – Protecting the Red River by linking human actions to pollution problems.
  • Planting native vegetation.
  • On-the water cleanups.

After a clean-up, you gain satisfaction from a job well done!

Red River Bank Clean Up Information Packet

Clean Up Volunteer Training Video

Moorhead Clean Up Maps

Fargo Clean Up Maps

Project Partners: