River Cleanup

Join us for the 2019 Haw River Clean-Up-A-Thon!

Saturday, March 16th

The Haw River Clean-Up-A-Thon is watershed-wide effort to remove trash from the banks of the Haw River and the creeks and streams that feed into it! Each year over 300 volunteers head out by boat and by foot to clean up at locations in Guilford, Alamance, Orange, Durham, and Chatham County!

Alamance County Girl Scouts Clean Up near Alamance Community College in 2018

Here’s how you can get involved:

  • Lead a Cleanup Team: We can provide gloves and bags; you provide the crew of volunteers! If you don’t have a cleanup site in mind, we can help you find one.
  • Join an Existing Cleanup Team: We have several teams already established that individuals can join! More info coming soon!
  • Become a Sponsor: More details coming soon.

Interested in getting involved? Email Erin Jobe at erin@hawriver.org.


2018 Cleanup Recap:

Over 397 Volunteers Join Forces for the 28th Annual Clean-Up-A-Thon!

On March 17th we hosted our 28th annual Clean-Up-A-Thon!  The mild weather and positive energy of our eager volunteer teams made for a day full of smiles, hard work, fun, and even festive St. Patrick’s Day attire! The Haw River Assembly’s Clean-Up-A-Thon is an annual watershed-wide effort to remove trash from creeks, streams, and the Haw River. The event also raises awareness about the impacts of our consumption habits, and it brings people together to experience and appreciate the Haw River and their local creeks.

During the cleanup, 30 teams set out to sites along the Haw River and the creeks and streams of the watershed for a massive trash cleanup effort! In all, over 397 volunteers collected more than 520 bags of trash and recycling! Thanks to all that supported this effort, including our Clean Up A Thon sponsors listed below! Here are a few photos, but check out our album on Facebook too!


Mike Reed’s dedicated team of paddlers took out 25 bags of trash from Reedy Fork, along with two car seat frames.

Alamance Co. Girl Scout Troop #02517 removed 13 bags of trash, 4 tires, 2 TV’s and a very heavy mattress from Jimmie Kerr Road near Alamance Community College.

Boy Scout Troop #41 tackled the HWY 54 Paddle Access in Graham again this year, and they removed 9 bags of trash, 3 tires, an old tv set, a tent, sleeping bag and much more.

Eastern Alamance High School Environmental Club cleaned up 8 bags of trash, a truck bed and 2 coolers at Red Slide Park along the Haw River.

The Alamance 4-H Environmental Science Club and the Anglers Outdoor Club joined forces at Town and Country Park in Burlington. They removed 9 bags of trash, a Wal-Mart shopping cart, a basketball goal, and several car parts!

Glencoe Paddle Access and Great Bend Park on the Haw River turned out to be the biggest cleanup this year. A rugged team of 5 paddlers removed a massive 45 bags of trash trapped above the dam. They found mainly plastic bottles, sports balls, and styrofoam, plus a gun holster! Meanwhile, a team of 40 Cub Scouts took on the land cleanup, and they removed over 15 bags of garbage and several tires.

The Mebane Women’s Club brought together a large team of volunteers that removed 9 bags of trash and 7 bags of recycling from Lake Michael Park in Mebane.

In Saxapahaw, Haw Riverkeeper Emily Sutton and over 20 volunteers took on areas above and below the dam on both sides of the bridge. Their hard work resulted in 51 bags of trash, 6 tires, and a very ironic “no dumping” sign.

Haw River Canoe and Kayak staff and volunteers took paddlers out on Saxapahaw Lake and collected 12 bags of trash in canoes, and they also sponsored the event!

Tracy Jenkins cleaned the Union Bridge Paddle Access, and she collected 5 bags of trash, 2 bags of recycling, a DOT grade sign post, and a coconut with a tag still on it.

Chicken Bridge in Pittsboro was cleaned up by Jeff Pettus and neighbors from the Rock Rest Neighborhood. They collected 8 bags of trash and several large objects including a patio chair seat cushion and toy bike parks.

Rock Rest neighbors in Chatham led by Cynthia Crossen and Cathy Markatos cleaned up along Dry Creek the Haw River. Their team found 8 bags of trash, including a metal hat and an Etch-A-Sketch.

HRA Executive Director Elaine Chiosso organized cleanups around the Bynum area. Lucille Purser brought a UNC Nursing Team, and Girl Scout Troop 1006 joined in, as well as families and individuals. There were 39 volunteers that filled 42 bags of trash, 2 bags of recycling, 2 tires, and 2 undelivered packages that included brake rotors, and mail order meals. They also found laundry detergent and pods, a “don’t litta” painted rock, a full marmalade jar, and more.

Simon Maarten Thomas led the Fearrington Green Scene’s cleanup efforts at 15-501 North Bridge, with the help of a paddle team led by Ed Pickens. Together their teams collected 23 bags of trash, 1 tire, a car battery, a deer skull, a pair of glasses, and a hub cap.

Anne Geer led a team at Brooks Branch in Pittsboro, and they collected 7 bags of trash, including a large road cone.

Sarah Goddin and neighbors cleaned up at Redbud Neighborhood along the Lower Haw River State Natural Area. They clean this area regularly, and they collected 3 bags of trash during the Clean-Up-A-Thon.

Nancy Strong organized a team from Friends of the Lower Haw River State Natural Area, and they cleaned both sides of the 64 bridge, and even sent a few volunteers to assist teams at 15-501. They removed 5 bags of trash, 3 tires, and 2 bathing suit tops!

Bob Brueckner and Larry Ausley led paddle teams from the Carolina Canoe Club that removed trash from several areas in the Lower Haw River State Natural Area from Bynum to 64.  They removed 11 bags of trash, 5 tires, a chair, and a traffic cone!

Gary Simpson led a team in Pittsboro along Robeson Creek. Their hard-working crew of volunteers removed 16 bags of trash, 18 bags of recycling, 2 tires, several paint cans, a Skoal sign, and a metal chair from the creek.

HRA intern Caroline Choudhury and a few others were at Robeson Creek Paddle Access, removing 3 bags of trash from the shoreline and parking lot. She is also leading a large cleanup with a team of fellow UNC students along Booker Creek at the Eastgate Shopping Center in Chapel Hill the following weekend!

Bolin Creek in Chapel Hill got lots of love during the cleanup! Townsend Bertram & Company led volunteers along Bolin Creek at the Chapel Hill Community Center. In a separate area, students and parents from the Morningside School cleaned up a part of Bolin Creek that they love to visit each week. The Town of Chapel Hill also organized a cleanup along a section with 36 parents and girls from a local Brownie troop.  In all, over 36 bags of trash and one bag of recycling were removed.

Johnny Randall and the Morgan Creek Valley Alliance cleaned up Morgan Creek in Chapel Hill, and they collected 35 bags of trash!

In addition to these cleanup efforts, several other organizations that regularly host water cleanup events had cleanups coinciding with local Creek Week activities and our March 17th Haw River Clean-Up- A-Thon. GetOutdoors Paddlesports in Greensboro hosted a cleanup along the banks of a stream in Starmount Park and removed 8 bags of trash.  Clean Jordan Lake organized a team of 25 volunteers that removed 58 bags of trash and 2 tires at the New Hope River Waterfowl Impoundment in Durham.

Special thanks to the following partners and supporters for helping us with trash collection, supplies, and organizational support:

Haw River Trail and Alamance County Parks and Recreation * Chatham County Solid Waste Department * Saxapahaw Rivermill * Town of Pittsboro * City of Burlington * Town of Graham * City of Mebane * Town of Chapel Hill * Haw River Canoe and Kayak Company * Trash hauling from Lynn and Brenda Featherstone and Efrain Ramirez and Mark Barroso


This mighty team of 5 volunteers removes 40+ bags of trash from a buildup above the Glencoe Dam during the 2018 Clean Up A Thon!

Did you miss this cleanup but want to get involved in future cleanup events? Contact us for recommendations on other areas in our watershed that your group could clean up!  Email erin@hawriver.org for more information on getting involved.

  Thanks to these LOCAL BUSINESSES who sponsored the 2018 Haw River Clean Up A Thon!

Financial support from local businesses and individual sponsors pays for clean-up supplies and helps the Haw River Assembly continue our work all year to protect the river & Jordan Lake.