River Clean-Up Days

What is it?

Krazy for the Kazoo is the name of our annual effort to cleanup streams and rivers in the Kalamazoo River Watershed where illegal dumping and litter are big problems.  The cleanups take place throughout the year and are hosted by many different partners.  We hope community volunteers will pick a date and location that work for you.  Our list of cleanup events is always growing, so check back soon for other cleanups.

This watershed-wide event grew out of a successful cleanup program conducted in the Battle Creek, Charlotte, and Marshall areas for more than 15 years.  The event has spread to many other locations including Otsego, Kalamazoo, Albion, and others.  Powered entirely by volunteers, each year we clean up many miles of the river, take care of places with illegal dumping problems, plant new trees, remove problematic invasive plants, and much more.

How do I get involved?

Pick an event below, contact the event host to RSVP (optional), and show up ready to get to work!  Wear appropriate clothing and footwear for the weather and work conditions.  Each event is unique, so contact the host directly if you need more information.  RSVP is optional, but we ask those bringing large groups to contact your event host.  Any supplies or tools needed for the cleanup will be provided.

Volunteers needed!  Pick an event

What:  Pick up trash and debris from creek located near Schippers Lane in the City of Kalamazoo (east side)
Time:  10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Location:  Corner of Schippers Lane and Darling Street (get directions); City employees will be there to direct parking
Host:  City of Kalamazoo Public Services and Office of the Kalamazoo County Drain Commissioner
Contact:  Jim Cornell, City of Kalamazoo Public Services, (269) 337-8644 or cornellj@kalamazoocity.org
Other Info:  Gloves, bags, and all equipment provided; refreshments and appreciation gift for all volunteers

What:  Pick up litter and debris from the Kalamazoo River by boat
Start:  10:00 AM (breakfast starts at 9:00 AM)
Location:  Brite Eyes Brewing company (get directions)
Host:  Kalamazoo Paddle Club, Brite Eyes Brewing Company
Contact:  Danielle with Kalamazoo Paddle Club, email
More Info:  Event pre-registration is required and fee includes custom T-shirt and other merch, small donation to the KRWC, and breakfast/boxed lunch available for purchase; ONLINE REGISTRATION

What:  Pick up litter and debris from the Kalamazoo River
Start:  10:00 AM check-in
Location: Marshall Services Building parking lot (900 S Marshall Ave)
Host:  Calhoun Conservation District
Contact:  Reservations are REQUIRED for this event and can be made by calling Tracy at (269) 781-4867, x5 by noon on June 1, 2017
More Info: Canoes, kayaks, trash bags, waders, t-shirts, etc. provided to all volunteers participating in our River Clean-up event; end 2.5 miles later at Saylor’s Landing (12669 15 Mile Rd) to collect canoes & kayaks, sort trash collected according to recyclable and non-recyclable items, enjoy a FREE lunch, and learn about the many activities, services, and programs that CCD provides.

What:  Pick up litter and debris from Interfaith Creek near Dickinson-Versluis Park
Start:  9:30 AM check-in
Location:  Interfaith Homes (1037 Interfaith Blvd, Kalamazoo, MI 49007 | get map)
Host:  Office of the Kalamazoo County Drain Commissioner, Kalamazoo River Watershed Council, Interfaith Homes, LIFT Foundation, City of Kalamazoo, and other sponsors
Contact:  County Drain Office at (269) 384-8117
More Info:  Free BBQ lunch for all participants; join us for the unveiling of the new creek sign and announcement of the creek naming contest!

What:  Pick up trash and debris on foot along river banks, remove invasive species, tree trimming, and park cleanup at multiple locations throughout Battle Creek
Start:  8:30 AM (registration) – Noon
Location:  Bailey Park
Host:  City of Battle Creek and Battle Creek Area Clean Water Partners
Contact:  Tiffany Welsh, Environmental Programs Coordinator, (269) 966-0712 or tawelsh@battlecreekmi.gov
More Info:  BCwater.org

What:  Pick up trash and debris on foot along banks of Battle Creek River and Butternut Creek, trail clearing, park beautification
Start:  9:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Location:  Bennett Park Pavilion
Host:  Frontier Flycasters, Charlotte Public Schools, City of Charlotte, Eaton Conservation District, Charlotte Campus Life
Contact:  Sue Spaguolo at Eaton Conservation District, (517) 543-1512 x5 or Matt Griffith at City of Charlotte, (517) 231-2324, mgriffith@charlottemi.org
More Info:  CharlotteMI.org

What:  Riverbank and park clean-up, tree planting, and tree maintenance
Start:  9:00 AM – Noon
Location:  Marshall Public Services Building (900 S. Marshall Ave., Marshall, MI 49068)
Host:  Marshall Area Conservation Committee
Contact:  Cheryl Vosburg, (269) 558-0328, cvosburg@cityofmarshall.com
More Info:  MACC facebook page

More information to be announced


We are always looking for new stream cleanup locations

Please contact us if your organization would like to become a host or if you would like to report a stretch of river where dumping is a problem.

Why clean?

_0D44977The Kalamazoo River has a long history of pollution from many different human activities on land and in the water over the past 100 years or more.  A group of dedicated municipalities, industries, and conservation organizations have been working together for over 15 years to solve pollution problems in the watershed.  The Kalamazoo River Watershed Council works with this group on initiatives like Krazy for the Kazoo to curb pollution in our watershed and raise awareness about current issues.  Together we seek to change the history of the river and we invite you to join us in creating a vibrant and healthy river system into the future.

We are particularly focused on stormwater from cities and runoff from agriculture that washes nutrients, sediments, and trash into our local streams, lakes, and rivers. This can lead to unsightly algae, poor fishing, and unpleasant beaches.  When it comes to clean water, you make the difference!

Explore the various ways to support the Kalamazoo River Watershed Council today!


Thank you partners!

City of Battle Creek, City of Charlotte, City of Kalamazoo, City of Marshall, Marshall Area Conservation Committee, Battle Creek Area Clean Water Partners, Office of the Kalamazoo County Drain Commissioner, Kalamazoo River Watershed Council, LIFT Foundation, Interfaith Homes, Kalamazoo Paddle Club, Brite Eyes