The Missouri Department of Transportation’s (MoDOT) popular litter prevention program — the Adopt-A-Highway Program — turns 30 this year. MoDOT officials noted the milestone Thursday, April 20 with a celebration in Jefferson City featuring area Adopt-A-Highway volunteers.
Texas started the program in the mid-1980s as an effort to involve citizens to help clean state highways. Missouri followed suit in 1987. Today in Missouri, more than 5,200 groups and 50,000 volunteers participate in the program, and more than 6,200 miles of roadway have been adopted.
Adopter groups include commercial and private enterprises, civic and non-profit organizations, families and individuals. Adopters perform about $1 million a year in litter cleanup and beautification efforts.
"This extra help allows us to devote resources to other much needed tasks," said MoDOT Chief Engineer Ed Hassinger.
Participants in the program have four options: clean up litter; mow; beautify through landscaping or plant native Missouri wildflowers and grasses. MoDOT provides adopters with a certificate of appreciation, safety training and materials and a sign with the group’s name posted on each end of the adopted highway section. MoDOT also provides trash bags and pick up and disposal.
Adopters must agree to adopt at least a half-mile of urban roadside or two miles of rural roadside; collect litter at least four times a year; sign a three-year agreement; submit an activity report to MoDOT and follow all safety procedures.
More information about the program is available at www.modot.org/services/community/adoptahighway.htm .