If you enjoy the Missouri River and all the benefits this amazing resource provides, this summer is your chance to give back! A group of local organizations is orchestrating a river clean up on August 21 that will include reaches of the Missouri River from Helena to Great Falls and a section near the Missouri Breaks Monument – that’s over 140 river miles. Help is needed on the water and along the shore, so plan to bring your family and your boat, if you have one, and help “bash trash” on the Mo.
“So many groups have held clean-ups in the past and were talking about cleaning up the river again this year, it just seemed smart to band together and make one big, fun day of it,” said Tracy Wendt, Sun River Watershed Group Coordinator. “The Sun meets the Missouri at Great Falls, so our group will be cleaning up around the mouth of the Sun, too.”
Organizations or individuals can volunteer as Reach Captains, adopting a section of the river and taking on responsibility for cleaning that reach. So far, reaches between Holter Dam and Cascade, Fort Benton to Wood Bottom Campground, and at the mouth of the Sun river have been adopted. Volunteers can also sign up to clean up from shore or to help with a reach that has already been adopted. “People who have boats or kayaks can help clean up from the river, but there are also fishing access sites, camping areas, and all the parks and trails along the river, especially in town in Great Falls, that we’re hoping people will volunteer to clean up,” adds Wendt. More information about reaches and signing up can be found at www.sunriverwatershed.org/bashin-trash.
Bashin’ Trash has been a Missouri River cleanup organized in recent years by the Cascade Conservation District. Bashin’ Trash is an integral part of the conservation district’s annual River Campaign. This year, the event is also part of the year-long 75th Anniversary Diamond Jubilee Celebration. Look for fun events such as Heart of the Big Sky Vision Quest on Cascade Conservation District’s Facebook page.
Planning this event is no small effort. Eight local groups have representatives on the planning committee: Cascade Conservation District, Friends of the Missouri River Breaks Monument, Lewis & Clark Conservation District, Missouri River Flyfishers, Pat Barnes Chapter of Trout Unlimited, Sun River Watershed Group, Upper Missouri Watershed Alliance, and Walleyes Unlimited. In April, the planning committee will begin reaching out to potential event sponsors, additional planning committee supporters, reach captains, and other volunteers. The committee plans to have a post-event celebration with food and prizes, details are still being finalized for this.
Bashin’ Trash will be held August 21, 2021. If you or your organization would like to participate in this event, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org, sign up at www.sunriverwatershed.org/bashin-trash or call (406) 214 2868.