AUSTIN (KXAN) — Hundreds of volunteers arrived at Rowing Dock and Epic SUP this Earth Day to sweep the banks of Lady Bird Lake, and they removed just below 6,000 pounds of litter from the area.

Austin FC, Kendra Scott and YETI contributed prizes for volunteers that brought in the most trash, the heaviest item and the weirdest item.

Kate Aoueille, Rowing Dock’s director of marketing and communications, said the cleanup originated with Rowing Dock’s weekly “kayak cleanup crew,” a response to a noticeable increase in trash around the lake.

But for this year’s Earth Day, Rowing Dock wanted to make a bigger splash.

“Through that program alone, we’ve brought through about 1,000 people and removed about 4,000 pounds of trash from the lake,” Aoueille said. “We wanted to launch it on a larger scale and involve the entire Austin community, which is why we incorporated the land component and brought Epic SUP on as our partners on the east side.”

Rowing Dock’s usual day-to-day operations as a boat rental service prepared them well for the event.

“We typically see very high volumes every few hours, so it’s not that unusual. But we’ve never hosted an all-day event that’s brought together about 1,500 people,” Aoueille said.

The volunteers, many of whom came as part of a group or business, could either follow a land route or take a boat. The land teams were sent on unique routes to avoid having later crews cover ground already cleaned by earlier volunteers. Crews on the water searched near the shoreline of the lake.

All were armed with trash bags, gloves and a reach extender.

“If you’ve got the same routes happening every two hours, there’s not going to be as much trash. So we got creative with developing new routes for every time slot, so people were going to areas that hadn’t been tackled prior,” Aoueille said.

The crews returned laden with bags of trash and some rare finds: a bottle jack, a lawn mower, rental bikes and scooters, an ottoman, chairs, fenders, a fire extinguisher and a washing machine, among other oddities.

The turnout inspires Aoueille for next year’s cleanup, and she hopes this effort can continue as an annual event.

“We’ve been able to accomplish something so large for year one, and seeing community members volunteer, come out and support this initiative has been incredible for us,” Aoueille said. “The excitement that we received from the community has really blown us away, we actually have a waitlist for this event.”