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Hundreds of volunteers will fan out on San Marcos waterways Saturday to clean up trash

A waterfall flows into the San Marcos River.
Gabriel C. Pérez
Volunteers will clean up trash out of the San Marcos River this weekend to keep it from flowing into the Gulf of Mexico.

Hundreds of volunteers in the San Marcos area will walk along rivers and watersheds Saturday to pick up thousands of pounds of trash.

During the 38th Annual Great Texas River Cleanup, which takes place each March, teams of volunteers will split up and trek along various watersheds on foot and in canoes, picking up trash and recyclables.

Each watershed is given a different color. When volunteers arrive, they receive a colored T-shirt corresponding with their assigned location.

“If anyone is in the city, it looks like all these brightly colored Easter eggs all over,” said Amy Thomaides, a manager with the City of San Marcos who helps organize the annual cleanup with San Marcos Resource Recovery.

Trash that gets into storm drains flows directly into the local creeks. Thomaides said it’s important to get as much trash out of the river before it flows into the Gulf of Mexico.

Last year, 625 volunteers collected more than 8,000 pounds of trash and recycling. Thomaides said it was an impressive community effort, but the buildup of waste could’ve been avoided if people were more thoughtful about throwing away trash properly.

“Our waterways are very delicate and people should really be a little more mindful about how they are interacting with them," Thomaides said.

Volunteers don't need to sign up to participate. The event kicks off at 8 a.m. and lasts until noon. Volunteers will be provided breakfast tacos before their shift begins and given a pizza lunch after they're done.

View the map below to see a list of the 10 different watersheds with meeting locations and nearby parking.

Maya Fawaz is KUT's Hays County reporter. Got a tip? Email her at Follow her on Twitter @mayagfawaz.
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