By Hannah Leonard and Pat Ortmeyer, Missoula Current

The Clark Fork River has come a long way thanks to our community speaking up for the river. From removing Milltown Dam to cleaning up waste from mining and smelting operations, over time, we’ve made a big difference and worked hard to keep our river systems clean and healthy.

A longstanding symbol of that community dedication to clean water has been the Clark Fork Coalition’s annual River Cleanup. In its first year, back in 2004, a few dozen people showed up to help, and the mountains of trash they collected towered around them.

Now, Missoulians care for their river every day, including at the annual Cleanup, when as many as 1,000 people come together to help keep the river clean.

Although the pandemic prevented last year’s event, Missoulians will soon once again have a chance to get out and show their love for the Clark Fork, with a DIY River Cleanup running from Saturday, April 17 through Thursday, April 22 (Earth Day).

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