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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.

Thank you to our event sponsor, TD Bank Group, and all the volunteers who participated in the 49th annual Pathway and River Cleanup on May 1, 2016!

Over 2,500 volunteers collected more than 5,000 kilograms of garbage. Check out photos from the cleanup to see some of the strange items found and the amazing volunteers who helped make the event possible.

Pathway and River cleanup volunteers

Get involved

Keeping Calgary clean is everyone's responsibility. Here's what you can do to help keep our city litter-free year round:

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 volunteers pick up the bags and transport them to a designated dump site where they are properly disposed of by Waste & Recycling Services.

The majority of the garbage bags are collected on the day of the event. Any remaining bags are picked up the following week. If you notice any garbage bags that have not been picked up, please contact 311.

Pathway and River Cleanup volunteers

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.