GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — If you were in downtown Grand Rapids Saturday morning, you might have seen some people with orange garbage bags cleaning along the Grand River. They were taking part in the 20th annual Mayor’s Grand River Cleanup. 

From 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., volunteers helped pick up trash in and around the river. Before the cleaning began, they heard from city and state officials like Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss, Sen. Winnie Brinks, D-Grand Rapids, and Sen. Mark Huizenga, R-Walker.

Former Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell also spoke at the cleanup. He said the first Mayor’s Grand River Cleanup started in 2003 when someone walked into his office with pictures of the trash in the river. Now, 20 years later, Heartwell said he was thrilled to see the event grow..

“Thank you for the incredible work that you’ve done, to help protect and preserve this amazing and precious Grand River,” Heartwell said.

The event continues until Sept. 16. You can sign up for a specific slot here.