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Pathway and River Cleanup


The Pathway and River Cleanup is an annual event held on the first Sunday in May. During the cleanup, thousands of registered volunteers help remove litter in Calgary’s parks and along our city’s pathways and river banks.

In 2017, over 2,900 volunteers collected garbage in every quadrant of the city, including parks, green spaces and nearly 200 kilometres of pathways and river banks. To see photos from the events, search #yyccleans.

Registration is now closed, however you can join the conversation on cleanup day by searching #yyccleans.
Pathway and River cleanup volunteers

Event information

The Pathway and River Cleanup takes place in May each year with the help of thousands of registered volunteers.

Prior to the event, volunteers are divided into groups, each with its own leader and designated area. During the cleanup, volunteers remove the litter within their group’s assigned location. The litter is collected in bags and placed beside pathways or City park garbage bins. City staff pick up the bags and transport them to a designated dump site where they are properly disposed of by Waste & Recycling Services.

Second anuual Pathway and River Cleanup, 1968.
Second anuual Pathway and River Cleanup, 1968. Photo credit: Glenbow Archives NA-2864-621h-10

Any garbage remaining bags after the event day will be picked up the following week. If you notice any garbage bags that have not been picked up, please contact 311.

Stay connected

For Pathway and River Cleanup updates or to see event photos shared by our volunteers, follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook or search #yyccleans.

Pathway and River Cleanup History

The Pathway and River Cleanup began in 1967 when a 12-year-old girl named Sandra Crawford was walking alongside the Elbow River. During her stroll, she noticed a mattress lying in the water. She tried to remove it, but was not able to pull it out on her own. Instead of leaving the mattress for someone else to remove, she saw it as an opportunity to take action. She wrote a letter to the Calgary Herald about the debris which led to what has since been declared as the first Pathway and River Cleanup.

If you have any questions about the Pathway and River Cleanup, please contact 311.

Presenting sponsor:

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