Charles RIver Conservancy Earth Day

22nd Annual Earth Day Charles River Cleanup

April 19th – 24th, 2021

THANK YOU to everyone who made our 2021 Earth Week Charles River Cleanup such a success! Over the course of 6 days, we worked with 20 groups, welcomed over 375 registered volunteers into the parks, and hosted 4 community cleanup sites in Cambridge, Boston, and Watertown. View the photo album!


The Annual Earth Day Charles River Cleanup builds on a national effort as part of American Rivers’ National River Cleanup®, which to date, has removed over 25 million pounds of trash from America’s waterways. From 2016 to 2019, the Annual Earth Day Charles River Cleanup was recognized by American Rivers for the Most Pounds of Trash Collected and Most Volunteers Mobilized.​

Our cleanup brings together over 3,000 volunteers each year to pick up litter along the Charles River. Residents are drawn to the popular Charles River Cleanup from a desire to give back to their community while enjoying the beauty and wildlife along the river. Volunteers hold onto the connections they establish during this day of stewardship by returning to the Charles to exercise, play and enjoy nature throughout the year.


Thank you for your interest in participating in our Annual Earth Day Charles River Cleanup. Our 2021 event has passed, but we hope you’ll check back and join us in 2022.


We are committed to providing a safe working environment, and have developed safety protocols with the Department of Conservation and Recreation. 

Event Safety Protocols:

  • All volunteers will be required to wear a facemask.
  • All equipment, tools, and materials will be disinfected before and after use in accordance with CDC guidelines. Furthermore, participants should not share equipment, tools, or other materials. A list of tools will be provided prior to the event for participants who prefer to bring tools from home.
  • Alcohol-based sanitizer will be available for participants to use.
  • Participants must adhere to social distancing guidelines and remain at least six feet away from others.
  • Food and drinks should be brought from participants’ homes and not shared with individuals outside of one’s household.

*Please note that the status of the 22nd Charles River Earth Day Cleanup is dependent on current COVID-19 guidance.


Contact: Sasha Vallieres, Program Manager
(617) 300-8173



Lead photo by Aaron John Bourque.