Litter for all Seasons; The Hunt is on!

Starting this month, we’ll announce a “litter of the season” – find it, pick it up, post a picture on your personal Twitter or Instagram using #RiverCleanup and #MakeAPactPackItOut (and of course dispose of it properly), and you’re in our scavenger hunt sweepstakes!

Let’s talk trash, or more specifically, litter.

American Rivers has teamed up with dedicated litter picker-upper and blogger, Erin Fitzgerald, on an initiative to, you guessed it, pick up litter. But this is no ordinary litter cleanup; we’re adding a twist. Think scavenger hunt.

Are you having flashbacks to your youth? We hope so, because this is going to be fun! It’s an invitation—an opportunity to clean up your favorite trail, park, riverbank, or neighborhood. If you have kids, we encourage you to invite them along. It’s a great stewardship activity for all ages.

And like any good scavenger hunt, there are prizes.

How it Works

Starting this month and throughout next year, we’ll announce a “Litter of the Season.” Then the hunt is on to find the challenge litter, take a picture of it, and tag it to your personal Twitter or Instagram account with the hashtags #MakeAPactPackItOut and #RiverCleanup.

Rules & Reminders:

  • Discard of the litter responsibly (recycle it or put it in the trash).
  • Feel free to keep the hunt going – you can pick up and tag as much litter as you find, but you’ll only get one entry per person for each season.
  • Your picture(s) will populate American Rivers’ Virtual Landfill and Erin’s online gallery, Make a Pact, Pack It Out.
  • Grow the scavenger hunt – share this blog post and your trash photos with your friends, family, and co-workers to encourage them to join you (maybe a little friendly competition to see who finds the most of the challenge litter).

Litter Challenge Find #1

Your challenge is to find a discarded wrapper of any kind (candy, energy bar, chips, fast food, etc.).

Prize: Five winners will receive a LOKSAK® bag. LOKSAK bags are re-sealable element-proof storage containers, a perfect complement for outdoor adventures.



The first scavenger hunt kicks off on Friday, October 27 and ends on Monday, November 6. Your picture(s) must be uploaded to social media account(s) with the hashtags #MakeAPactPackItOut and #RiverCleanup by 11:59 PM, Pacific Standard Time on November 6 to be eligible to win (see complete rules for more details).

Anticipated Scavenger Hunt Seasons

Don’t miss a season – make sure to check American Rivers’ The Current blog and Adventures in Thumbholes’ blog for information on timing. Scavenger hunts will also be announced on social media, so make sure you’re connected (@AmericanRivers and @Thumbholes on Instagram and Twitter).

  • October/November 2017
  • March 2018
  • July 2018
  • October 2018


Each Litter Season will have a different treasure (prize) up for grabs. Prizes will be in the spirit of sustainability and stewardship. At the conclusion of each scavenger hunt, a winner will be selected at random from all entries.

As environmental stewards, we know picking up and packing out litter not only keeps our trails looking great, but all of our wild places. When litter is left on our lands, rain and floodwater can carry it into storm drains and then quickly into our creeks, rivers, and even oceans.

We look forward to seeing your submissions, as they represent stories of stewardship and care behind every piece of litter picked up. While traditional scavenger hunts focus on a treasure – here the treasure is knowing you left the environment better than you found it.

Author: Erin Fitzgerald is a trail runner from Portland, Oregon. Her blog, Adventures in Thumbholes, has two initiatives (Small Change and Make a Pact, Pack It Out) that focus on stewardship and giving back to the communities where we race and adventure. Erin’s passion for preserving wildplaces has earned her the reputation of a litter-picker-upper, which she happily embraces.

One response to “Litter for all Seasons; The Hunt is on!

  1. Tom Steinstra wrote a great article in the SF Chronicle about the impact of litter in our parks. Recommends EVERYONE pick up 3 pieces and dispose of them properly; increase signage -everywhere; and have written reminder in all park publications.. we can lead by example!

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