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Thank you Cleanup volunteers!

Sunday, July 24, 2016
Group of adults and kids holding garbage bags in front of Lake Hiawatha

On a gorgeous morning on Sunday, a record 2,000 volunteers truly outdid themselves, picking up a 5 tons of trash from around Minnehaha Creek and surrounding lakes at the 9th Annual Minnehaha Creek Cleanup. Thank you to everyone who lent a hand to make such a dramatic impact!  

This year we expanded the event creek-wide, adding a satellite location in Minnetonka to join our regular sites at Lake Hiawatha in Minneapolis and Target-Knollwood in St. Louis Park. Minnetonka came on the scene with a gusto, as volunteers collected 5,900 pounds of trash! 

Other items picked up ranged from the large and bizarre to the small everyday litter that is often overlooked. Notable items included a flat-screen TV, bracelet with coordinates to a village in Guatemala, a human tooth down to the root, and a wallet from 1983 that carried a Dayton's credit card. The popular "Candy Wrapper Contest" incentivized people to collect thousands of small wrappers.

While most stayed on shore, many volunteers also ventured out onto Lake Hiawatha in canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards. Volunteers from Waterfront Restorations even scuba dived in the lake and Minnehaha Creek to bring up trash from the bottom -- including a 55-gallon metal drum! Everyone re-convened at Lake Hiawatha afterward for a giant celebration that included free lunch and beer provided by the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company and prizes from Leinenkugels, Target and REI, including a Leinenkugel's canoe. 

Before and after cleaning, volunteers enjoyed the new Eco-Education Zone. More than 20 groups hosted activities about clean-water and environmental issues for adults and kids alike. 

View some photos of the event on our Facebook page. We'd love to see any of your photos -- use the tag #creekcleanup on social media or e-mail any choice shots to

The MCWD also owes thanks to its generous primary sponsor, the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company's Canoes for a Cause Campaign, Target, and its nonprofit partners, Freshwater Society and Metro Blooms. The event was also made possible with help from 1-800-GOT-JUNK?, Berne Scale, Bruegger's Bagels, Dole, GrayLine Buses, Hennepin County Sheriff's Office, KIND, REI, and Wenck Associates.