Two big clean-up projects need volunteers on Saturday, April 30th at 9:00am to get Estes Park ready for the annual Estes Park Duck Race and the summer tourist season. Both efforts will benefit the Estes Park Rotary Club Foundation’s scholarship fund.

For the first time, several cleanup efforts are being combined. The Estes Valley Recreation and Park District and the Town of Estes Park are joining forces with the Rotary Club of Estes Park for a massive pickup and cleanup of roads, rivers, and parks in the town.

Volunteers should gather at the Lake Estes Marina at 9:00am Saturday, April 30th for instructions, directions, and distribution of litter bags as well as Starbucks coffee, juice, water, donuts, and snacks. The cleanup begins at 9:30am and runs until 11:30am.

“We expect to have 200 to 300 volunteers helping get the city ready for the summer tourist season as well as the duck race,” said Ron Kuhns, co-chair of the Rotary Club’s Environmental Committee. “And we deeply appreciate Starbucks Coffee for taking part in this community service effort. I understand Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz was told about this effort when he was in Denver recently and he said this is exactly the kind of community effort he wants Starbucks employees involved in.”

Local Starbucks manager Dave Lasota said Starbucks baristas will be volunteering in the cleanup as well as providing coffee and snacks. He said if enough people show up to help out, Starbucks will make a contribution to the Estes Park Rotary Foundation’s scholarship fund. “Basically, anyone helping to clean up the town also helps our high school seniors go to college next year,” said Kuhns.

Volunteers will pick up litter along the major highways leading into town as well as plucking trash from Fall River, the Big Thompson River, Fish Creek, and around Lake Estes and Mary’s Lake.

“It’s critical we get Fall River cleaned out from Nicky’s Resort all the way to Riverside Plaza for the Estes Park Duck Race the following Saturday,” said the Rotary club’s Jim Austin. “Tree limbs, brush, and trash that collect in the river during the year make it hard for the ducks to move downstream. If we have enough teams with about 50 to 60 people altogether, we can clean all of our priority waterways and show our neighbors and visitors we care about our community.”

Over the winter a lot of trash and debris collects both in the water and on the river banks. Austin said he plans to divide the waterways into at least nine zones and have teams of four or more people clean each of these zones with two team members in the water and one person on each river bank. “If more volunteers come out to help, we can add more teams to some of the zones,” said Austin.

Those interested in helping with the River Cleanup should contact Jim Austin at (970) 593-2707. If you need waders, contact Jim Robertson at (970) 586-4273.

For more information on the road clean-up, call Tara Moenning at 577-0186. For more info on the river clean-up call Jim Austin at 593-2707.