For over 1200 Cantabrians, Mother's Day weekend was spent at the ‘mother of all clean-ups’, giving the gift to mother nature by cleaning up waterways around Ōtautahi.
This event happens annually over Mother's Day weekend and this year 51 community groups came together to clean up their rivers.
Rubbish was picked up the full length of the Heathcote and Avon River, as well as the estuary edges.
The amount of waste has decreased impressively since the clean-up began six years ago.
But last year's 'Mother of all clean-ups' was much like the rest of New Zealand's events last year: it was online.
Covid-19 restricted the clean-up, with people encouraged to pick up rubbish from outside their homes.
This reached just over 200 people.
The online event will still be happening this year as it allows residents and families to learn and contribute from the comfort of their home.
But this year's event was the biggest since it began reaching over 1200 volunteers.
Estuary Trust manager, Tanya Jenkins, predicted the rubbish would amount to several tons but expected it would be less than other years.
Around 700 bags of rubbish were collected and 100 additional oversized items.
When the event was launched in 2015 it started as a trial covering just 5km of the river with just 200 people.
The rubbish picked up that year amounted to 5.6 tonnes of rubbish, equal to the weight of an elephant.
This is when they realised the clean-up needed to happen more often.
Both sides of the Heathcote/Ōpāwaho River were cleaned, from the Ferrymead Bridge to the Lyttleton Tunnel Road bridge.
This year the team started when the tide was out so they could reach the mudflat areas.