AUSTIN (KXAN) — Earth Day weekend kicked off with a massive volunteer effort to pick up litter in Lady Bird Lake and on the land nearby.

The Rowing Dock, Epic SUP and Sand Beach Park came together for the cleanup’s second year, with more than 2,300 volunteers attending. The event is also a fundraiser for The Trail Conservancy.

Volunteers worked during three time slots: 9:30 a.m., Noon and 2:30 p.m. The docks provided kayaks, canoes and stand-up paddleboards for volunteers to use.

Kate Aoueille, Rowing Dock director of marketing, said that this year has around 1,000 more volunteers than in 2022.

“Lady Bird Lake is our home in so many ways. We feel that we need to be stewards of our home,” Aoueille said. “We’ve got so much local brand support. I think that means the world to us to see that brands are engaged in a similar way that we are.”

According to Aoueille, the Rowing Dock and its partners raised more than $85,000 for the Trail Conservancy this year.

“I think it’s just really awesome to see the two organizations (The Trail Conservancy and Rowing Dock) come together for this volunteer event, and to see the power of community volunteerism and being a good steward of your lake,” Aoueille said.

In total, nearly 8,000 pounds of trash was picked up.

Local sponsors back cleanup effort

Rowing Dock workers help returning volunteers back to land. (KXAN Photos/Cora Neas)

Trennis Jones, Austin FC’s vice president of community impact, took to the water during the clean up. While he had fun at the event, he hopes that it’s not just a one-time event for Austin FC.

“Our responsibility and our privilege is to make sure that we’re beautifying and taking care of the city that that we serve, and that we get a chance to compete in,” Jones said. “It’s an honor to get a chance to basically get out there on the water and protect the place that has brought a lot of us so much joy…and that other generations get a chance to benefit from it the way that we have.”

Volunteers look through the muck for trash. (KXAN Photos/Cora Neas)

Austin FC and Yeti brought more than 200 volunteers to the Friday morning cleanup.

Yeti’s senior manager of sustainability Lisa VanBladeren said that the event was part of the company’s belief in “keeping the wilds wild.”

“Lady Bird Lake and the surrounding trail system is really an important natural and recreational space here in the heart of Austin,” VanBladeren said. “We’re really, really proud of the turnout here. And it’s been really fun to be amongst the rest of the Austin community.”

What was the weirdest trash?

Sponsors also contributed prizes for volunteers who brought in the most trash, and for those who brought in the “weirdest” piece of trash.

Submissions for “weirdest item” are piled on a table. (KXAN Photos/Cora Neas)

Volunteers gathered after roughly two hours of cleaning to vote on the weirdest items. Each item was held up and the crowd voted by making noise for an item they felt was weird.

Like last year, underwear was also pulled from the lake:

A Rowing Dock staff member holds up a pair of underwear to cheers. (KXAN Photos/Cora Neas)

The winners of weirdest item for Friday morning were: loose measuring tape, a kite and a single egg.

Some weird trash found during the day include: a couch, a WWE mask, multiple traffic cones, dinosaur toys, holy water, art, car parts, a rubber ducky, a shark toy, a scooter battery, a scooter, a toilet bowl brush and a portable DVD player.