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Waterway Clean-up Treasure Hunt


If you look around you will notice plastic cups, newspapers and soda cans collected around storm drains, blown into corners of buildings, parking lots and school yards, and in and around waterways. If we are to have a clean environment, sometimes it means that we have to do our part. This activity gives instructions for organizing a clean-up in and around your adopted waterway. 


This activity allows you to take responsibility for the place you live. To make the clean-up more fun, you will be on a clean-up treasure hunt. After the activity, discuss what you have found and how that reflects on the community and health of the creek.

Ideally, this activity should be done at least 4 times during the school year. 

Below are steps and you can help with in organizing the cleanup.

The Week Before: 

1. Scout out the area you will be cleaning up to define the clean-up boundaries and to become familiar with the area. 

2. If you are doing the cleanup with a class, make sure permission forms are taken home to parents. 

3. Get trash bags from the Stormwater Quality Office 

4. Find parent helpers 

The Day Before 

1. Make sure everyone has signed permission slips. 

2. Divide into teams of 3 (one person will need to write down items they find for the scavenger hunt). 

3. Review purpose of the Clean-up Treasure Hunt. Explain that they will be cleaning up the watershed and the waterway that your class has adopted. Clean-ups are a very important way of maintaining and improving water quality and habitat. 

4. Everyone should bring a pair of work gloves to school for the clean-up. 

Clean-up Day 

1. Pass out scavenger hunt and discuss it. 

2. Pass out 2 plastic garbage bags per group. In one, they should put recyclable items, in the other trash. 

3. Remind everyone to be careful when picking up broken glass. Tell them they should not pick up anything that looks dangerous or harmful. 

After Clean-up Discussion 

1. Discuss what trashy treasures were found on the clean-up. 

2. How do you feel about the clean-up activity. 

Did you like it? 

What did you find out about the area around the waterway? 

What are some things you can do to help reduce the amount of trash found in the watershed and in/near the water?
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INVITATION BASIN is a community project actively seeking public participation. We appreciate all feedback and welcome comments, suggestions and contributions. To find out more about how you can be involved, click here. Help BASIN serve your needs, take our "10 questions in 10 seconds" survey.

BASIN is supported by the US EPA, the City of Boulder, the Keep it Clean Partnership, BCWI and BCN

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Last Page Update - Tuesday December 27, 2005