Straight River Clean Up

Straight River

One of the great natural resources that the City of Owatonna can be proud of is the Straight River. As the chief tributary of the Cannon River, the Straight River is an important and scenic river in its own right. It originates in southern Steele County at Oak Glen Lake near Bixby and flows northward through Steele County into southern Rice County, passing through the cities of Owatonna and Medford, to its mouth at the Cannon River in Faribault.

Photo Gallery

View the Straight River Clean Up Gallery

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Cannon River Watershed Partnership

The City of Owatonna is very fortunate to have the support of the Cannon River Watershed Partnership (CRWP) in making great strides at improving the Straight River and Maple Creek. With the help of CRWP and 300 volunteers, over 9 tons of trash and debris has been removed from the watershed. CRWP and the City will again be coordinating a watershed wide clean up effort for 2016.

Volunteer Information

Individuals or groups wanting to participate can contact the Water Quality Specialist, CRWP, or can arrive at Morehouse Park the day of the event. Volunteers will be placed into Clean Up Teams (PDF). Gather some co-workers or get some friends together to form at team. Each volunteer will be given a job during the clean up to make the effort effective and thorough.

All volunteers must sign and submit a Liability Waiver Form (PDF) prior to helping the clean up. If the volunteer is under the age of 18, the Liability Waiver Form must be signed by this or her legal guardian.

Save the Date - 12th Annual Watershed Wide Clean-up – Straight River Site 

The 12th Annual Watershed Wide Clean-up will take place in Owatonna on September 19th from 9am to 12 noon at Morehouse Park.  The event is hosted in conjunction with the Cannon River Watershed Partnership, who helps to find sponsors and coordinate the clean-up event.

For the past 11 years, volunteers have combed the stream banks and waterways around Owatonna with the goal of cleaning trash and debris from the Straight River.  With every passing year, more and more garbage is removed by hard working individuals and businesses who are dedicated to making a difference. Since 2009, residents of Owatonna and the surrounding cannon river watershed have volunteered cleaning up local creeks, the Cannon and Straight River. 

***Important COVID-19 Changes 

There will be no gathering for group photos or for a lunch, 6 feet of social distancing required.

Participants will be required to put on provided gloves and face coverings prior to signing in.

Families can pick up gear from the CRWP office during the week of September 13th – 19th and complete the clean up on their own rather than attending on September 19th. Please send photos, volunteer hours, and volunteer names to CRWP.

Do not attend if you feel sick.

Get Involved!  If you are interested in helping or sponsoring the event, visit Please come and join us to ensure our waters stay clean, safe and healthy! 

Learn more by contacting Bradley D. Rademacher, Water Quality/ Stormwater Specialist at (507)-774-7300 or