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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.

Check back soon for details!

National River Cleanup Activities:

1. Community Bosque Cleanup at the Central Avenue Bridge: Cleanup activities for all ages in the bosque along the Central Avenue Bridge.

2. 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].

3. 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 this spring, it may be challenging to float the river. Call the Open Space Division at 505-452-5216 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.

4. 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

Event Highlights

On behalf of the Open Space Division, we would like to thank all our volunteers and sponsors for contributing to the success of National River Cleanup 2011! We couldn’t have done it without your help!

159 volunteers came out for the day, with an estimated total of 124 bags of trash collected, weighing about 2,640 lbs, plus many large items including tires, plastic tarps, 5 shopping carts and car parts, to name a few. About 20 illegal camp sites were cleaned up with the help of APD officers. The active and motivated recycling crew separated-outitems including

  • 5 full recycling bags of smashed #1 and #2 plastic were culled
  • 1 x full recycling bag of smashed-flat aluminum cans were set aside and were to be conveyed to the Open Space Alliance to cash in on (#30+/-);
  • Two large boxes of un-broken and un-contaminated glass bottles were collected for proper, non-landfill disposal
  • One large bundle of broken-down and uncontaminated corrugated cardboard was bound together.

Additionally, Quiet Waters Paddling led three groups on different sections of the river, collecting an estimated ton of debris - numerous tires, including a tractor tire, several chairs, two huge swimming pool covers, plus lots of assorted trash. The City of Rio Rancho, the Village of Corrales, and Therese Dorwart's Discovery class of 12 students from East Mountain High School also pitched in.

Thanks to the Bosque Meadows Homeowners Association, the National Hispanic Cultural Center volunteer program, the City of Rio Rancho "Keep Rio Rancho Beautiful" Project, and Quiet Waters Paddling Adventures for organizing cleanups along several sections of the river.

Events like the River Cleanup bring the entire community together to help protect our City’s precious natural resources. Thank you again for your continued support!

About National River Cleanup: National River Cleanup was started in 1992 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.

For more information about this or other volunteer opportunities in Open Space, please contact Jim Sattler or Kent Swanson at 505-452-5200 or email [email protected].

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), REI the Rotary Club of Albuquerque, Kirtland Air Force Base Outdoor Recreation, and the Open Space Alliance.

National River Sponsors