Mark Your Calendars: The Earth Day Charles River Cleanup Is Back!

Registration is now open for the 24th Annual Earth Day Charles River Cleanup on Saturday, April 22. Each year, the Charles River Cleanup brings together over 3,500 volunteers to improve the parks, forests, playgrounds, and paths and keep the Charles River clean, safe, and beautiful for all.

The Charles River Cleanup builds on a national effort as part of American Rivers’ National River Cleanup, which, to date, has removed over 32.5 million pounds of trash from America’s waterways. Since 1999, Charles River Cleanup volunteers have gathered each Earth Day to pick up litter, remove invasive species, and assist with park maintenance along all 80 miles of the Charles River and the 1,100 acres of Emerald Necklace parkland surrounding the Muddy River, a tributary of the Charles.

Volunteers have a long-lasting impact––the Charles River Cleanup empowers ordinary river lovers to give back to their communities in a tangible way, forge new connections with nature and each other, and become life-long stewards of our river.

“Each year, we are so humbled by the extraordinary efforts of our community to care for our beloved Charles River,” says Emily Norton, Executive Director of Charles River Watershed Association. “Thanks to the generosity of time and effort of our volunteers, we are able to transform our parks and forests, restoring our river’s ecosystem for people and wildlife alike.”

“Litter not only poses a threat to the environment but also makes the parks less welcoming. Through this important annual event, thousands of pounds of trash are removed from the parks and shoreline. Volunteers are able to see first-hand their impact upon the environment, all while fostering a connection to their community and urban parks,” says Charles River Conservancy Executive Director Laura Jasinski.

“The Muddy River, which runs through the Emerald Necklace, carries Boston and Brookline’s stormwater to the Charles River, critically linking the Necklace’s park health to that of the Charles River watershed,” says Karen Mauney-Brodek, President of the Emerald Necklace Conservancy. “We are thrilled to be celebrating our 15th annual Muddy River Cleanup in partnership with the Charles River Cleanup. These much-anticipated Earth Day cleanups remind us how interconnected our urban ecosystems are. Please come join us, take care of and celebrate our green and blue spaces!”

“We are thrilled to once again participate in the Annual Earth Day Charles River Cleanup. It is a day that reminds us of how important it is to maintain our parks and public spaces while also bringing the community together. This volunteer effort is vital to the management of litter and debris in the Esplanade” said Samuel Englert, Programs & Partnerships Manager at the Esplanade Association.

“The Waltham Land Trust is proud to have been participating in this amazing watershed-wide effort for over a decade. To see so many people removing litter and invasive plants from along the Watch City’s riverbanks makes my heart swell with happiness!” said Sonja Wadman, Executive Director of Waltham Land Trust.

Learn more and register for the Charles River Earth Day Cleanup at

The Charles River Cleanup is organized by the Charles River Conservancy, the Charles River Watershed Association, the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, the Esplanade Association, and Waltham Land Trust in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation and Sen. Will Brownsberger.

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