970-926-ROCK (7625) garys@kzyr.com

As Vail celebrates many milestones this year, the Eagle River Watershed Council is celebrating the 19th year of the Eagle River Cleanup.  The inaugural clean up in 1994 was organized by the first Trout Unlimited chapter before the Watershed Council was ever established.  There were two tents and 24 volunteers, half of which were Vail Resorts ski patrollers with radios and trucks.  There was a silent auction, which included a season ski pass and raised a total of $400.

Since then, the Eagle River Cleanup has become a fall tradition for many environmentally- and community-minded families, groups and companies.  This year nearly 500 volunteers are expected to help in caring for our beautiful rivers in the 19th Annual Eagle River Cleanup on Saturday, September 14th.  This popular, county-wide event is organized by the Eagle River Watershed Council, presented by Vail Resorts Echo, sponsored by many local businesses, and supported by volunteers from Red Cliff to Dotsero to East Vail.

We are joining forces with all of our local partners to clean the Upper Colorado River as well as the Eagle and, of course, Gore Creek, too.  Teams will be going at it from 9 am to noon and cleaning over 60 miles of river!  This year, we are proud to team up with the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup.    Throughout the month of September, ICC volunteers cleanup oceans and waterways around the world and record their findings.  According to the Ocean Conservancy, this information ‘provides the only global snapshot of the marine debris littering coasts and waterways around the world,’ and will hopefully aid policy makers in the attempt to clean up these precious resources.  Kate Burchenal, Education & Outreach Coordinator at ERWC said, “We are thrilled to add our manpower and statistics to this very worthy project! And we are particularly interested to see the data on what kind of trash is in our waterways.”

Following the cleanup, volunteers and their families are invited to the Broken Arrow at Arrowhead from noon to 2 pm for a lively BBQ provided by the Arrowhead Alpine Club, with music from local Minturn favorites, the Turntable Revue, beer from Crazy Mountain Brewing, and a raffle for the entire family.

More volunteers are always needed!  Please call the ERWC office at (970)827-5406 or email us at outreach@erwc.org to confirm your usual segment, sign up for a new one, or join an existing team. Volunteers meet on the river at assigned locations on the day of the event, so you must pre-register in order to know where you’re needed most!


The Eagle River Watershed Council has a mission to advocate for the health and conservation of the Upper Colorado and Eagle River basins through research, education, and projects. The Council strives to protect and enhance the high-quality natural, scenic and economic values that our rivers and tributaries provide to the citizens, visitors and wildlife of the Eagle River and Colorado River watersheds located in Eagle County.