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The City of San Marcos and Texas State University are seeking volunteers for the 36th Great Texas River Clean Up on March 6. Above, volunteers Shaun Auckland and Andre Sembera work to remove a fishing line and bob caught in a branch during the 35th river clean up in 2020. Below, volunteer Adrian Gomez uses a grabber to fish trash out of the river. Daily Record file photos

City, TXST seeking volunteers for Great Texas River Clean Up

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

With the annual Great Texas River Clean Up just weeks away, the City of San Marcos and Texas State University are seeking volunteers to participate in the event. 

The 36th river clean up in San Marcos takes place Saturday, March 6 between 9 a.m.-12 p.m. The event, which was created by the Texas Rivers Protection Association, aims to clean all 90 miles of the San Marcos River, including tributaries and creeks that flow into the San Marcos and Blanco rivers. 

“The event benefits the (City of San Marcos) by fostering a sense of community and encouraging everyone to take an active role in caring for one of our most beloved natural areas,” said  city Community Enhancement Initiatives Manager Amy Thomaides. “Another benefit to the event is that it captures litter before it reaches the river because it expands outside the river’s boundaries and includes sub-watersheds.”

This year’s event will feature changes in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Thomaides said participants are encouraged to limit their teams to a maximum of 10 people, wear masks and practice social distancing. 

“The health and safety of cleanup volunteers is very important to us,” Thomaides said. “We’ve created sections that are smaller and more concise to decrease COVID-19 transmission risks … Luckily, to be effective and efficient with litter cleanup, people must be socially distant anyway.”

Those interested in taking part in the March 6 event in the upper San Marcos River portion of the clean up between Sewell Park and Stokes Park can select an available location from an online map at  Participants can also contact Keep San Marcos Beautiful at 512-393-8419 or

Upper San Marcos Watershed locations:

  • Purgatory Creek 1
  • Purgatory Creek 2
  • Cottonwood Creek
  • Sessom Creek
  • Sink Creek
  • Willow Creek
  • San Marcos River 1
  • San Marcos River 2
  • Blanco River

Anyone interested in participating in the Lower San Marcos Clean-Up, which will take place on Feb. 27, should contact Tom Goynes at for more information.

The city said the 36th Annual Great Texas River Clean Up is made possible by donations from H-E-B/Central Market, Keep Texas Beautiful and the San Marcos Lions Club. Additionally, the event is sponsored by the Texas Rivers Protection Association, the City of San Marcos, Keep San Marcos Beautiful, Habitat Conservation Plan and Texas State.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Thomaides said they expect a lower turnout than usual but are encouraged by the current sign-up rate. 

“Based on numbers from the fall, we expect fewer volunteers than in past years,” Thomaides said. “In general, though, we’re seeing an increase in people wanting to give back to their communities in a safe way, so we’re encouraged that the sign up remains very active and could lead to a good turnout in March.”

San Marcos Record

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P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666