Tubers will have an opportunity to give back Saturday with annual Yampa River cleanup day |

Tubers will have an opportunity to give back Saturday with annual Yampa River cleanup day

Merritt Flanigan kayaks down the Yampa River on Tuesday afternoon as part of a five-day camp put on by Mountain Sports Kayak School in Steamboat Springs. The young participants will spend the week kayaking and paddleboarding on the waters around Steamboat.
John F. Russell

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — Planning on using the Yampa River this weekend?

Give back to the river that’s gifted numerous memories and adventures with the annual Yampa River Clean up.

River advocates, Friends of the Yampa and local partners are coordinating the cleanup at three locations, spanning from the Steamboat area downstream to Craig.

The Friends of the Yampa, the city of Steamboat Springs, Yampatika, Yampa River State Park and Northwest Colorado Chapter of the Parrotheads are organizing their annual river cleanup for 9 a.m. Saturday.

“River cleanups are a great way to give back to our communities, to instill ownership in our natural resources and to do something good. We applaud everyone who makes this river-wide cleanup effort a reality, our partners, the volunteers and organizations that support this now annual event. This is the fourth year we have organized a river-wide cleanup event and we are encouraged by how it continues to grow,” said Kent Vertrees, Friends of the Yampa board president and organizer.

Last year, by the end of the day, volunteers had removed 324 aluminum cans, 246 cigarette butts, 231 disposable water bottles, 115 flip flops, 54 unopened beers, 39 T-shirts, 18 sandbags, 13 large liquor bottles and several shotgun shells from the waterway and its banks.

There will be three locations for participants to volunteer this year. Volunteers can meet at 9 a.m. to noon Saturday in Steamboat Springs at Little Toots Park on 12th Street downtown.

After arrival, Vertrees said volunteers will be matched with a location that they can either walk, bike or drive to. They may be matched with others depending on location they will 

Volunteers are advised to wear adequate footwear for walking along the riverbank, bring gloves and other clothes that are weather appropriate. Expect mosquitoes, so long sleeve shirts and bug spray is suggested. Trash bags will be provided

The Yampa River State Park clean up will start at 9 a.m. at the main Yampa River State Park office downstream of Hayden, 6185 U.S. Highway 40.

“This year, the clean up will be a bit different for us in Hayden as we can’t float the river anymore due to low flows,” said Jacob Brey, Yampa River State Park manager and the contact for the Yampa River cleanup. “We will be sending our volunteers to different access points along the river and will look to fine clean all these areas. This event has been something we annually look forward to as it helps unite our communities along the Yampa River.”

The Craig-based cleanup will be from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will also be a land-based cleanup this season due to low flows. Meet at Pebble Beach behind Yampa Valley Golf Course. A post cleanup barbecue will be held after. Email for more information about the Craig cleanup.

To reach Audrey Dwyer, call 970-871-4229, email or follow her on Twitter @Audrey_Dwyer1.

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