Cleanup Volunteer Info

This is where you'll find resources to help out at a Roadside or River Cleanup. Scroll down for more information, including upcoming events, a wavier, FAQ, and more!


Mountain Watershed Association hosts river and roadside cleanups throughout the Youghiogheny River watershed from May - September. We need volunteers to join our cleanups, because more hands make the work light and the day fun!



Everyone is welcome to join a roadside or river cleanup! These are very physically active, outdoor days. Please read our FAQ below for a detailed description so you can be prepared!

Check out our events page for current opportunities.



How does a river cleanup work?
Most volunteers work in teams of two, paddling two canoes that are tied together with webbing. We then paddle at a relaxed pace downstream, looking for large pieces of trash like tires or appliances. Pile those items into your boats, and paddle to a designated take-out point, where a dumpster is stationed. Be mindful of your boat's weight. The more trash you get, the harder it is to paddle 😉
What if I don't have a boat?
Canoes, paddles, and life vests are available to borrow for the event.
What should I wear?
Wear durable clothing and shoes that you don't mind getting wet and muddy (you WILL get wet and muddy). This clothing should be comfortable for moving around - try synthetic/poly-blend materials and avoid cotton, because it doesn't dry quickly. Wear closed toe shoes - some sharp garbage is lurking in the river. 
What should I bring?
MWA will provide gloves and garbage bags for participants. We'll also have some light snacks in the morning for volunteers. Please bring the following items for your personal comfort.
  • A set of dry clothes for after the cleanup
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Water
  • Extra snacks
  • Leave watches and jewelry at home or in your vehicle
Are kids and families allowed?
Absolutely! Just make sure minors have a waiver signed by their guardian.
Shuttle logistics: 
  • Park at the point where we exit the river.
    • Leave everything you need for the end of the day in your vehicle.
    • Don't forget your keys!
  • MWA staff will shuttle everyone to the put-in.
  • Once we reach the take-out, your car will be there!
If you are bringing your own boat, drop it off at our launch point and head to the take-out to park your vehicle and meet our staff. 
Important things to note:
  • This day is as hard or easy as you'd like it to be! We don't expect volunteers to remove every single piece of garbage from the river in just a couple hours.
  • Stay on top of nutrition and hydration - cleanups are hard work!
  • All staff boats will have a first aid kit for general bumps and bruises.
  • In the event of an emergency, call 911 first.

Is there a waiver?

Yes! All participants must sign the MWA Liability Waiver



Our cleanup crews typically work on MWA's "adopted" section of Indian Creek Valley Road in Melcroft.

This section is roughly 2 miles long, and we'll walk along it, picking up litter on the way.

MWA will supply trash grabbers, trash bags, and reflective vests for safety.