MECOSTA, OSCEOLA COUNTIES -- While many summer events have been canceled due to the spread of the coronavirus, the Muskegon River Watershed Assembly will still be hosting its annual Trash Bash event.

"People are still going out into nature," Patricia Jarrett, a volunteer with the organization said, noting the group felt it was important to continue offering outdoor activities to the community.

However, this year's event will look a little different.

Typically bringing together volunteers on one day to clean up 2,725 square miles of the Muskegon River, this year's event will take place throughout the entire month of August.

"We decided it would just be too difficult for people to come together," Jarrett said.

Like previous years, Trash Bash volunteers can sign up in teams and choose a location along the river to help clean up.

Jarrett said six teams so far have signed up, but registration will run throughout July.

While teams will choose different days and locations, Jarrett said it is still important to remember to abide by current health regulations, including wearing a mask and social distancing.

"We want people to follow all CDC guidelines that are in effect at that time," she said.

Also new this year is a no contact trash bag pickup for volunteers who would like to use bags provided by the MRWA. No contact pickups can be found in Evart, Big Rapids, Muskegon and Newaygo.

The 2020 Trash Bash event is being sponsored by Ice Mountain Waters of North America-Nestlé, B103.9, J and J' River Run and the DTE Energy Foundation. However, Jarrett said the organization is always looking for more organizations to get involved in the river cleanup.

Organizations interested in sponsoring the event, or those looking to help clean up the river, can visit the MRWA's website at mrwa.org or send the organization an email at mrwa@ferris.edu.