The Tarleton Environmental Society joined forces with the university's Tarleton Round-up to more than double their efforts to clean up the Bosque River Saturday.
Event organizer Kimberly Hogan said the group's first event, last year, drew in about 40 people.
"One of the main things people left here with last year was a much better understanding of the environment around them," Hogan said. "This year, we're hoping that even more people and more Tarleton students leave with a better understanding of the beauty in our community and how much better it is to keep it clean."
Hogan said that by teaming up with Tarleton Round-Up, she expected around 500 students and community members to participate in the effort.
"We're so excited to be doing this and to have this many students involved in the cleanup," she said Saturday. "By getting the students involved as well as the community, we are not only cleaning up the river, but raising awareness. People are coming back with bags and bags of trash and huge pieces of fence and other stuff that's just not meant to be in a river."
The goal, Hogan said, is to clean up the river, raise awareness and get students involved in their community.
"I'd never really thought about it, but I was participating in Round-Up this year and thought spending time in a kayak would be fun," said Seth Kensley, a sophomore at Tarleton. "But they were already being used when I got here, so I'm just helping carry the big stuff. I never knew the river was so nasty and I come to the park all the time."
Hogan said if more people knew there was a problem with trash in the park, more would contribute to the solution.
"Just making people aware of the problem helps," she said.
And she's right.
"When you know what it's like down here it changes how you see stuff," Kensley said. "I mean, you look around and grab that Sonic cup before it blows away or grab that wrapper, you know?"
While some participants were seeing the Bosque River for the first time, others, like Josh Martinez, helped with the effort last year.
"I'm part of the group who organized the event," Martinez said. "I came out here last year, too. It's a really great way to help keep the park and the river clean."