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Spring San Marcos River Cleanup

February 27 @ 9:00 am - 5:00 pm

The Great Texas River Cleanup
Two Days, One River (the San Marcos River)
35th Annual – February 27 AND March 7, 2021
The 2021 Great Texas River Cleanup (San Marcos River) 
From the San Marcos River Retreat downstream (all the way to Gonzales if we can) will be held on February 29. The date for the downstream cleanup was rescheduled due to a conflict with the Buffalo Bayou race in Houston which is set for March 7th.
The City of San Marcos will still hold their portion of the cleanup, walking the banks of the watershed and the sections of river from City Park to the San Marcos River Retreat on Saturday, March 6th. If you have any questions please contact Tom Goynes at 512-787-5574 or tom@txrivers.org
On Saturday, Feb. 27 and Mar. 6, 2021, folks from all over Texas will be participating in the world’s longest river clean up. We will be picking up trash along the entire length of the San Marcos River (approximately 90 miles).
Everyone is urged to help. If you are unable to participate in the water, we need volunteers to work the banks of the river, especially at parks and highway crossings.
RECREATIONAL PADDLERS (This section of the river will be cleaned on March 7, 2020)
The upper sections of the San Marcos River, particularly just downstream of the City of San Marcos, will require the most attention, and the short mileages set for these sections reflect this. Furthermore, the river becomes less accessible and more hazardous as one goes downstream. For that reason, novice boaters should volunteer for section 1 and more experienced boaters for the other sections.

CANOE RACING ENTHUSIASTS (the lower sections of the river will be cleaned up by the Texas Canoe and Kayak Racing Association on Feb. 27, 2021)

The lower river, from Luling to Gonzales, has several long sections with few bridge crossings and for that reason, we are asking canoe racers (especially teams that have competed in the Texas Water Safari) to volunteer for sections 9 – 11. 

Everyone participating in this event is invited to camp free at either Shady Grove Campground/ Spencer Canoes or at the San Marcos River Retreat for the weekend of Feb 28 and 29  (Shady Grove is offering one free night of camping for volunteers)  People should reserve their camping spot.  For Shade Grove call: 512-357-6113.  For the San Marcos River Retreat call: 512-787-5574
We will have some sort of covid-friendly option for feeding those who have cleaned the river on Feb 27th.
On Sunday morning March 1 at 8 a.m., there will be a non-denominational Christian worship service in the chapel at the San Marcos River Retreat followed by breakfast at about 9.


Persons interested in cleaning the banks of the river and the parks and trails in San Marcos, and paddlers interested in cleaning section 1 should meet at City Park in San Marcos at 9:30 on March 6. Those volunteers will have to sign up online on the City of San Marcos Website:  https://www.sanmarcostx.gov/363/Preserve-Beautify
Persons interested in cleaning the section of river from Thompson’s Island to the San Marcos River Retreat will meet at the retreat at 9 am on  March 6.
1. San Marcos City Park to Thompson’s Island (2 miles) This section of river will be cleaned on March 7.  Go to the City of San Marcos clean up website to volunteer: https://www.sanmarcostx.gov/363/Preserve-Beautify
2. Thompson’s Island to The San Marcos River Retreat (3.5 miles) 
This section will be cleaned on March 7.  This is an all day clean up, volunteers should plan on being on the river until about 4 p.m.  We will meet at the take out at the San Marcos River Retreat at 9 a.m. and arrange the shuttle to Thompson’s Island.  We plan to deliver lunch to the San Marcos Wastewater Treatment Plant at about noon.  Volunteers are guaranteed to experience trash jams that resemble the trash compactor (complete with monster) from the original Star Wars movie.  This section of river is not recommended for the faint of heart.  Contact Tom Goynes at 512-787-5574 or tom@txrivers.org
Volunteers for the sections below will meet at TBA at 9 am on Feb 27:
3. San Marcos River Retreat to Spencer Canoes (6 mi.) 
4. Spencer Canoes to Staples – Hwy 1977 (5 miles) 
5. Staples to Fentress – Hwy 20 (9 miles) 
6. Fentress to Prairie Lea 1 (2miles) 
7. Prairie Lea 1 to Stairtown (5 miles) 
8. Stairtown to Luling – Hwy 90 (6.5miles) 
9. Hwy 90 to Luling City Park (6 mi.)
Volunteers for the sections below will meet at 8;30 on Feb 27 at TBA:
10. Luling City Park to Palmetto State Park (14.4 mi.) 
11. Palmetto State Park to Gonzales Hwy 90A (14.8 miles) 
12. Gonzales 90A to Gonzales 183 (10 mi.)
Tom Goynes (coordinator) 512-787-5574 tom@txrivers.org
To get to the San Marcos River Retreat: coming from Interstate 35 in San Marcos, get on Highway 80 and head toward Luling for 1.8 miles. Take a right on county road 101. Take an immediate left onto county road 102. Go 1/2 mile on 102 and take a right on Pecan Park road. Keep going straight (past TG Canoes and Kayaks) and the road will end at the San Marcos River Retreat office. For more info call Tom Goynes at 512-787-5574 or visit

Special thanks to our sponsor, Zanfel for donating their product for our volunteers to combat any poison ivy we may come in contact with during the river cleanup!!


February 27
9:00 am - 5:00 pm