Missouri River Cleanup, Washington River Festival
Missouri River Cleanup, Washington River Festival

Missouri River Relief, a nonprofit organization that cleans up the Missouri River, will be in Washington Oct. 10-16 for “The Big Muddy Clean Sweep.”

Following the Missouri River Flood of 2011, Missouri River Relief is holding a cross-state cleanup of the Missouri River from Kansas City to St. Louis. The crew will travel on a trash barge pushed by a towboat, stopping in communities along the Missouri River to organize river cleanups and river education events.

This is the 10th anniversary of Missouri River Relief’s efforts.

Locally, volunteers have organized many events which will bring the community together in meaningful and fun ways to celebrate and clean up the river. Following is a list of activities:

Tuesday, Oct. 11 — Welcoming party for the crew at MannWell’s Coffee Alley on Main Street. There will be music, appetizers, snacks and drinks available for purchase. Washington Mayor Sandy Lucy will give a proclamation, and people can meet the Missouri River Relief and barge crew.

Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 12-13 — The Missouri River Educational Experience will lead this activity for fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders. Students will visit three learning stations and visit the Big Muddy Clean Sweep trash barge. Topics include:

• “Big Muddy Where Have You Been?” — Students will imagine what the Missouri River looked like when Washington was first founded. They’ll learn place names for historic river landmarks, some that can be seen today.

• Big River Fish — Learn about the strange fish that live in the Missouri River.

• “We All Live Downstream” — Students are physically shown the connection between the street they live on and the Missouri River. They tour the trash barge and see firsthand some of the common trash items found in the Missouri River.

This activity, sponsored by the Bank of Washington and the Washington Boat Club, is offered to the first 225 students (approximately nine classrooms) who register. The deadline is Friday, Sept. 16.

Call Gloria Attoun Bauermeister, 314-808-2303, gloria@bauermeister.com; or Steve Schnarr, 573-289-2077, 573-443-0292.

Thursday evening, Oct. 13 — A gourmet fundraising dinner on the barge will include a silent auction, presentation, live music and drinks for $100 per person. This event is limited to 24 people.

Saturday, Oct. 15 — The Washington River Festival will feature music, food, activities, Earth’s Classroom presentation, old-time music, trash-to-art demos and auction, build a straw bale wall, sun painting, face painting, old-time dance and more. Hours are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.