San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas


The 32nd Annual Great Texas River Clean Up was a rainy day, but that didn’t stop volunteers from coming out March 4 to pick up almost 15,000 pounds of trash and recyclable litter from the San Marcos River watershed, and 20 cubic yards of trash and recyclables out of the river itself.

More than 725 volunteers picked up trash and debris in and along the Upper San Marcos River to Stokes Park and in the river’s tributaries Cottonwood, Purgatory, Sink, Sessom and Willow creeks. Volunteers picked up a total of 11,500 pounds of trash, 3,430 pounds of recyclables and 37 passenger tires.

An estimated 100 canoers volunteered to pick up trash in the San Marcos River from Stokes Park to the city of Luling. Volunteers picked up a total of 16 cubic yards of trash and four cubic yards of recyclables.

“We want to give a special thank you to all the team leaders who assisted with the cleanup. Without their help, managing that many volunteers would be a challenge,” city community enhancement initiatives manager Amy Kirwin said.

To help minimize the amount of trash that accumulates between the annual river clean ups, Keep San Marcos Beautiful, the Edwards Aquifer Habitat Conservation Plan and the MS4 program host hot spot cleanups on the first Saturday of each month. 

“We need all the help we can get. Once a year is not enough to control the amount of litter left on the ground,” Kirwin said. 

“Because the city is rapidly growing and the buffers between development and creeks are disappearing, it is ever more important to pick up litter and put it in either recycling or trash receptacles.  It takes the whole community to make great changes,” said Melani Howard, the city’s habitat conservation plan manager.

The 32nd Annual Great Texas River Cleanup was sponsored by Texas River Protection Association, the City of San Marcos and Texas State University.

Multiple donors helped make the event possible: Abatix, Carson Properties, CH2M, Clean Earth, Color Mix, Edwards Aquifer Authority, Greater San Marcos Partnership, Gruene Environmental, Guadalupe Blanco River Authority, Hays County Constable David Peterson, HEB, Honda San Marcos, Keep Texas Beautiful, The Local, RDO Equipment, San Marcos Chamber of Commerce, San Marcos Lions Club, Stericycle, Sur-Power Battery Supply, Tymco and Westward Environmental.

To be notified about future cleanups, contact Kirwin by email here. For information about the habitat conservation plan, contact Howard by email here.

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