Cleaning Up IIHR’s Backyard, the Iowa River

More than 80 people volunteered to clean up the Iowa River on Saturday, April 21, as part of Earth Day weekend. The event was also part of the UI Theme Semester, “Climate for Change,” focused on sustainability.

A big group of people poses with an impressive pile of trash.

Originally Posted on: April 23rd, 2018

Almost 100 participants turned out for the Earth Day Weekend River Clean-Up on Saturday, April 21, along the Iowa River in Iowa City — a new record for this event! This river clean-up was part of the University of Iowa Theme Semester, “Climate for Change,” focusing on sustainability. Volunteers walked the banks of the river from the Hancher Bridge to the railroad trestle near Dairy Queen. Along the way, they collected three pickup loads of trash, including a bicycle, tires, a lawn chair, and lots of plastic and paper trash.

“It was totally worth two hours of work, and you feel great afterwards,” says Chad Drake, an IIHR graduate student and one of the event’s organizers. “It feels like we really made a difference here in our own community.”

Refreshments were provided by generous support from the UI Graduate Student Senate. Sponsors of the event include the Theme Semester, IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering, the UI Graduate Student Senate, the City of Iowa City, UI Facilities Management, the Engineering Staff Advisory Council, and the UI Office of Sustainability. This event was also part of UI Earth Month 2018.

A woman holds up a big plastic bottle.

IIHR’s Jackie Stolze shows off some “trophy trash.”

A crowd of people gets ready to participate in the river clean-up. In the foreground, a woman in a green jacket puts on green rubber gloves.

Julie Kearney puts on her gloves before heading out to pick up trash.