The City of San Marcos and Texas State University are seeking volunteers for Saturday’s 6th Annual Fall River Clean Up, which takes place between 8:30 a.m. and 12 p.m. Above, city neighborhood enhancement staff, including code compliance, environmental health, resource recovery, Keep San Marcos Beautiful, along with former Mayor John Thomaides participated in the fall river clean up in 2020. File photo courtesy of the City of San Marcos.
City, Texas State seek volunteers for 6th Annual Fall River Clean Up
The 6th Annual Fall River Clean Up takes place Saturday, and the City of San Marcos and Texas State University are seeking volunteers.
The event takes place between 8:30 a.m.-12 p.m. on Oct. 1 with the clean up covering the Upper San Marcos River Watershed. Amy Thomaides, City of San Marcos Community Enhancement Initiatives manager, said the event will return to normalcy after adaptations were made during the fall river clean ups amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The last two years we’ve been in COVID mode where we weren’t really in person and we were [advising] people to come in groups of 10 or less and picking up the supplies from us,” Thomaides said. “We’re going to go back to the way we used to do it and the way we did the spring river clean up, which is in person … It’s easier for us in person to actually make sure we’re getting and collecting from the whole upper watershed area.”
The fall river clean up is one of two annual events that focus on cleaning the Upper San Marcos River Watershed. The Annual Great Texas River Clean Up takes place in the spring and includes the full span of the river.
Thomaides said the river clean up events allow litter from microliter to tires and furniture to be removed. She added that the Annual Fall River Clean Up provides an opportunity for residents to learn how the community can impact the river.
“The watershed leader [at the clean up] talks about that watershed that they’re in and how anything can affect the San Marcos River,” Thomaides said. “So, really, what the community is getting is being able to see how it doesn’t matter where you are in San Marcos. Even if you’re not on San Marcos River proper, you are affecting what happens in that river. It doesn’t matter where you are in San Marcos. So, they really talk about that, they talk about stormwater runoff and how everything flows to the river.”
Those interested in taking part in the 6th Annual Fall River Clean Up can select an available location in a watershed at https://bit.ly/FallRiverCleanUpMap2022. Interested participants can also contact Keep San Marcos Beautiful at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upper San Marcos Watershed locations include:
- Purgatory Creek 1 — Gravel St and Mitchell St.
- Purgatory Creek 2 — 1808 Hunter Road
- Cottonwood Creek — Far N.W. Corner of Premium outlets behind Zegna Outlet
- Sessom Creek — 151-2 E. Sessom Dr.
- Sink Creek — 1600 N. LBJ Dr.
- Willow Creek — 320 Mariposa St.
- San Marcos River 1 — 170 Charles Austin Dr.
- San Marcos River 2 — 520 North Interstate 35 Frontage Road
- Blanco River Village — Morning Shadow and Newberry Trail
- Five Mile Dam — 4440 S. Old Stagecoach Road
- Blanco River and Highway 80: Bobcat Golf Range
Those who are unable to participate in Saturday’s clean up event can help keep the river clean through monthly hotspot clean ups that take place on the first Saturday of each month.
“Outside of these two events, the first Saturday of every month, the Habitat Conservation Plan and Keep San Marcos Beautiful do a hotspot cleanup,” Thomaides said. “So, we’ll kind of drive around or we’ll notice or we’ll be notified of some areas that have a lot of litter that we should get before the next river clean up. Because, you never know, even though we’ve been in a drought, any major rain event is going to just wash everything into the river.”
On Saturday, participants in the Annual Fall River Clean Up will need to check in at the watershed headquarters at 8:30 a.m., sign in, meet up with their team leaders and receive supplies and instructions. Volunteers will receive a breakfast taco and pizza will be provided for lunch. Shirts are on a first come, first served basis.
With Texas State and the city coming together to plan the annual clean up, Thomaides said both entities love that this event brings both communities together.
“You have your long-term residents and you’ve got your Texas State students, some who have just moved here, some have been here for a few years,” Thomaides said. “It’s really inspiring to see both communities and come together and work on something that everybody loves.”