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National River Cleanup

Join the City of Albuquerque Open Space Division and other local organizations for the annual National River Cleanup event.

National River Cleanup takes place on the 3rd Saturday of May each year.

National River Cleanup Activities:

  • Community Bosque Cleanup at the Central Avenue Bridge: Cleanup activities for all ages in the bosque along the Central Avenue Bridge.
  • Organize your own Bosque Cleanup: Have a favorite area of the bosque? Consider hosting a River Cleanup of your own! The Open Space Division will supply trash bags and dispose of the collected trash. Those wishing to organize a cleanup must contact the Open Space Division at 505-452-5213 or email [email protected].
  • Clean the River in Your Own Kayak, Canoe, or Raft: Experienced boaters may sign up to clean trash in the river with your own raft, kayak, or canoe. You must provide your own transportation and shuttle for your boat. The Open Space Division will provide you with trash bags and will dispose of the collected trash. Also, be aware that due to unseasonably low flows in the river some years, it may be challenging to float the river. Call the Open Space Division at 505-452-5213 or email [email protected] for more information and to sign up to clean the river in your own boat. Boaters must follow all NM State Parks boating regulations to participate. See or call 505-476-3200 for more information on boating regulations.
  • Quiet Water Paddling hosts a River Cleanup for experienced boaters. See for details.

A Note About Boating Safety

It is legal to float down the Rio Grande in kayaks, canoes, rafts and other non-motorized water craft. Home-made craft do not qualify as legal water craft. Volunteers who bring their own canoe, kayak or raft must also follow all New Mexico State Parks boating regulations, which include the following:

  • Worn Wearable life jacket for each person on board
  • One throwable device for each vessel. (0n a self bailer a throw line is acceptable)
  • Bow Painter (stout line) the length of the boat
  • Spare paddle
  • Bailing bucket one gallon in size or hand operated bilge pump
  • Whistle or horn
  • No alcohol!

Please call the State Parks Boating Safety Officer at 1-888-NMPARKS or see for more information.

Boating Safety:

The National Safe Boating Council, in partnership with the Canadian Safe Boating Council, invite boating safety professionals, the boating community and the media to participate in the fifth-annual “Ready, Set, Wear It!” Life Jacket World Record Day on Saturday, May 17, 2014. Participants in cities around the globe will gather to set a world record for the most life jackets worn and inflatable life jackets inflated. Find out more on the Ready, Set, Wear It website.

Thanks to our sponsors and partners:


  • State Parks Boating Safety
  • Kirtland Air force base Outdoor Recreation (breakfast food and rafting guides)
  • APD (Lt. Gilhooly and Deputy Chief Paul Feist)
  • The Crisis Outreach and Support Team and the Crisis Intervention Team of APD
  • Albuquerque Fire Department
  • City of Rio Rancho and the Village of Corrales
  • Quiet Waters Paddling Adventures
  • Ciudad Soil and Water
  • Thanks to Open Space volunteers who came out to help with parking!


  • Bruce Davis and the Rotary Club of Albuquerque
  • Pat and Barbara Baca of the West Central Alliance of Neighbors
  • The Open Space Alliance
  • REI
  • Weston Corporation
  • Stone Age Climbing Gym
  • The Kickstand
  • General Mills
  • I Scream Ice Cream
  • Nicodemus Wilderness Project
  • 2 Wheel Drive

About National River Cleanup: National River Cleanup was started in 1991 by America Outdoors, a national association of outfitters and guides, and American Rivers, a North American conservation organization, as a way to assist local communities to keep their rivers, watersheds and shorelines clean.

THANK YOU TO OUR SPONSORS! National River Cleanup is sponsored in part by the City of Albuquerque Open Space Division, American Rivers, the West Central Alliance of Neighborhoods (WeCAN), the Rotary Club of Albuquerque, Kirtland Air Force Base Outdoor Recreation, and the Open Space Alliance.