RiverSweep – Three Decades of Cuyahoga River Valley Clean-Ups

RiverSweep will be from 9 a.m. – 11 a.m on Saturday, May 8, 2021. Below clean-up sites are preliminary and subject to change. To ensure COVID safety protocols, registration will be required.

We clean up to bring awareness to areas that will one day become a future trail and/or park. In 2019, 832 volunteers removed over 58 tons of trash, including 440  tires and went through 30 gallons of paint to cover up graffiti!

Over the course of 30 years 19,940 volunteers have helped us extract and recycle 24,757 illegally discarded tires and picked up for disposal 713 tons of trash. 

Volunteer for RiverSweep

We’ve modified our registration and clean-up process this year to ensure COVID-19 guidelines outlined by the CDC and the State of Ohio are followed. Here’s how it will work:

  • Each volunteer(s) will need to sign up online for their selected clean-up site and sign the volunteer waiver form electronically. If you are a member of a group volunteering for a specific site, you still need to register. There will be both land based and river-based (BYO paddleboard or kayak) clean-up sites. We will be unable to accommodate walk-up volunteers the morning of RiverSweep. Individual site registration links are now live.
  • The morning of RiverSweep, volunteers will check-in at their selected site with the site leader or a Canalway Partners staff member.
  • Once online registration has been confirmed, volunteers will be given their own supplies which will include: latex gloves, garden gloves, plastic garbage bags, and a map of where they should clean. Oh, and you’ll also receive a cool RiverSweep themed t-shirt! Remember to bring your water bottle! 
  • There will be a 9 a.m. start with an 11 a.m. finish. 
  • All volunteers must wear a mask. 
  • Volunteers will follow social distance practices during the cleanup – please spread out!  
  • All volunteers will work within a TEAM approach – no more than 10 people/TEAM. Bring your own team OR we will be glad to assign you to a TEAM.     
  • Each TEAM will be provided a map of the area they will clean.  
  • Please join us for the after-party, the Towpath Tappening, from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Forest City Brewery. Registration is required (get link).

Individual site registration is now open and we will continue to update this site with any changes. We hope to see you in May!

Clean Up Sites – If you or your group have questions about volunteering at a specific site listed below, please contact Julie Sciarrino at julie@canalwaypartners.com

Train Avenue


Flats East Bank/Settler’s Landing


Flats West Bank


Rivergate Park/Cuyahoga River: Cuyahoga River based clean up with members of Cleveland’s paddle community interfacing with PHASTAR and Living Lands & Waters. You MUST have a kayak or paddleboard to be part of this clean-up. All clean-up paddlers must have a personal flotation device and be dressed properly for the weather.


Irishtown Bend


Columbus Rd./Carter Rd./Blue Bridge


Columbus Rd. Peninsula


Franklin Blvd.



W. 3rd St./Jefferson Ave.




Holmden Ave./Quigley Rd.


W. 7th St./Quigley Rd.


Google Map

Big Creek/Lower Harvard


West Creek/Parma:

Section of West Creek Near Midtown Towers Apartments


Slavic Village:

Mill Creek Falls 


Garfield Heights

Turney Rd. Neighborhood




Thank You to Our Sponsors and Partners!

RiverSweep only happens with a little help from our friends! To learn more, check out our video!

The Results of Decades of Hard Work

The impact of RiverSweep on the community is undeniable.  Within the Cuyahoga River watershed, new parks and trails have emerged in areas formerly targeted for illegal dumping. As a result, more than 400 acres of new greenspace have been cleaned, conserved and open to the public along with an additional 14 miles of trails. Our most recent example is Stage 3 of the Towpath Trail that runs 1.9 miles from the northern entrance of Steelyard Commons to Literary Avenue in Tremont, providing an important link between the populous Cleveland neighborhood, Tremont, the employment and retail center, Steelyard Commons, and the public outdoor recreation area, Clark Field. Another example of greenspace is the Scranton Flats section of the Towpath Trail that consists of 11 acres along the Cuyahoga River that created a new model for fish habitat restoration in an urban shipping channel.

New or expanded parks, trails and greenways have been created from RiverSweep sites. Click on the links below to learn more:

RiverSweep volunteers get a free t-shirt!