First Red Cedar River cleanup a great success

Landscape Services crew use ropes to haul garbage out of the Red Cedar River

Erica Venton

April 9, 2024

Ten bikes and a lot of random bike parts were removed from the river, and eight cubic yards of trash were collected from Sanford wood lot and Old College field riverbank. The Infrastructure Planning and Facilities (IPF) Landscape Services crew led the effort with staff and members of the MSU community joining in on this first of many Red Cedar River Cleanup events.

One volunteer commented that she “likes picking up trash so I leave places better than I found them.” 

Logs and trees were removed behind Kresge in preparation for flood season. Buckhorn trees, an invasive species, were cleared from the north and south banks of the river between Farm Lane and Bogue Street. Large claw equipment was brought down to the riverbank to pick up and haul away the heavy branches. Woodchips were added to existing garden areas. The use of grappling hooks and magnets from bridge decks and a boat was the most entertaining for crews and onlookers.

A large claw vehicle parked next to the Red Cedar River
Crews used equipment to haul away large pieces of debris and garbage.
MSU's rock painted "2024 Red Cedar River Cleanup"
IPF paints the rock for the first time to spread the word about the first Red Cedar River Cleanup.

Though landscape crews regularly pick up areas across campus as part of their routine workload, this event was designed to bring a larger group of people to one location for a sweeping cleanup. “We hope to continue to grow this event and invite more members of the MSU community and public to participate,” said Matt Bailey, manager of MSU Landscape Services. 

This event sets the stage for Arbor Day on April 26, where 150 new trees will be planted along the river. Shoutout to McKoy from WLNS for tagging along.