Operation Clean Stream

Upcoming Opportunities

Cleanup in Lower Meramec Park on Saturday, March 10th

The Open Space Council’s 51st Annual Operation Clean Stream kicks off this year with a special winter clean up on Saturday, March 10th from 9am – 12pm! Join us this year as we anticipate another successful year of impacting Missouri’s open spaces.

Check in and registration is at 8:45am. Volunteers will meet in Lower Meramec Park (4800 Meramec Bottom Road, St. Louis, MO 63128) and walk to the worksite. Parking is limited so carpooling is encouraged.

Because of access to the site, volunteers will be required to carry trash a bit further than usual to be disposed of, so please dress for the weather and wear comfortable shoes and come prepared to get dirty!. Due to the terrain at the clean up site, we ask that all volunteers are at least 12 years old and that youth volunteers be accompanied by a guardian. Work gloves and tools will be provided. Please register here.

In case of severe inclement weather, this event will be moved to Saturday, March 17th.

Special thanks to Metropolitan Sewer District, St. Louis County Parks and Great Rivers Greenway and so many other partners for supporting this event!

Paddle for a Cause on June 3rd

Join us for a fun-filled summertime float trip on the beautiful Courtois, Huzzah, and Meramec Rivers! All money raised from this event will go to support Operation Clean Stream, an annual river cleanup and restoration event in the Meramec Watershed.

When: Sunday, June 3rd, 2018 at 12:00pm

Where: Meet at Ozark Outdoors located at 200 Ozark Outdoor Lane, Leasburg, MO 65535. Just 1.5 hours from downtown St. Louis!

What: This family-friendly float trip is approximately 3 hours long. A delicious picnic lunch and community gathering will precede the float. Paddles, life jackets, shuttle, and lunch are provided.

Who: All are invited to attend this family-friendly event.

Buy tickets here!

Early bird registration is available until May 18, 2018 and adult tickets may be purchased for $55/adult and $15/youth (age 15 and under). Tickets purchased after May 18, 2018 are $60/person for adults and $20/youth (plus service fee if purchased online). You may also purchase your tickets by mailing a check to The Open Space Council, Attn: Paddle for a Cause, P.O. Box 220011, St. Louis, MO 63122. Please include the names of the attendees.

A big thanks to Ozark Outdoors for their partnership on this event!

*Please note, in case of inclement weather or unsafe conditions, this event will be moved to June 10th – same time and place. Should the make-up date of June 10th also has inclement weather, the makeup event will not be rescheduled and refunds will not be given. However each participant will receive a note stating that their ticket purchase is 100% tax-dedutible and will be used to support Operation Clean Stream. Thanks for understanding!*


Past Events

Operation Clean Stream

In 2017, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of Operation Clean Stream!

Since 1967, The Open Space Council for the St. Louis Region has organized Operation Clean Stream, one of the country’s largest and longest running river restoration projects. The fourth weekend of every August, event volunteers take to the Meramec River and its tributaries, working to undo damage caused throughout the year by flooding, careless littering and the unlawful dumping of trash. Volunteers participate both in canoes and boats, as well as on the shore, in nearby parks, and along nearby trails.

In 2017, nearly 2,000 citizen volunteers came out to clean up nearly 500 miles of waterway in the Meramec River Watershed. Volunteers donated over 5,802 hours and pulled 2,029 tires, 16,272 lbs of metal and 539 cubic yards of trash from the river. Check out our Facebook page for pictures of our awesome volunteers hard at work and read our blog post to see the full Operation Clean Stream 2017 Report.

“When an area is kept free of trash & other debris, visitors are more respectful & reluctant to add trash to the area.” 30 year veteran volunteer, Jerry Castillon

Volunteers work together to remove debris during Operation Clean Stream 2016

Click Here for our Operation Clean Stream Safety Video.

Special thanks to Monsanto, Missouri American Water, theMetropolitan St. Louis Sewer District, Great Rivers Greenway, the Robert J. Trulaske, Jr Family Foundation, Boeing Employees Community Fund, Meramec Valley Bank, the Rio Vista Fund and so many more for supporting this year’s event!


Our friends at Missouri Stream Team published their annual Stream Team Float Outfitters Discount Directory. Check out the online version to find the closest outfitter for your next float trip.