What is Adopt-A-Highway?
The Adopt-A-Highway Program began on March 9, 1985, in Tyler, Texas, and has grown into an international organization. Thousands upon thousands of groups have joined the program to promote a clean environment in 48 different states, seven Canadian provinces, and in Puerto Rico and New Zealand.
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet began the Adopt-A-Highway Program in 1988 to raise environmental awareness and discourage littering. Today, more than 1,600 groups participate in Kentucky's program, cleaning approximately 6,600 miles annually. Over the past 12 years, Adopt-A-Highway has become a successful educational tool. Participating groups demonstrate the importance of a clean environment by spreading the word and setting the example that littering is unacceptable behavior.
The program increases public environmental awareness, reduces littering, expands tourism, creates a partnership between citizens, community and government, and establishes a sense of pride in our Bluegrass State. The Transportation Cabinet salutes each and every participant, and thanks them for their tireless efforts to educate others. Each year, the Transportation Cabinet's highway workers spend approximately 200,000 hours removing litter from Kentucky's roadways, collecting over 96,000 bags of litter. The total yearly cost of litter removal averages $4-5 million.
How can you contribute to your community and make a difference, send a message and educate others, and have fun with friends all at the same time? Join Kentucky's Adopt-A-Highway Program! By taking personal responsibility for one of your area roadways, you will be setting an example for your community ... The environment is everyone's responsibility. Adopt-A-Highway provides the opportunity to be a part of the solution. As a volunteer, you will save thousands in tax payer dollars and demonstrate to others the importance of a clean environment.
Any permanently established business, association, community or public organization, or government entity can adopt a stretch of highway. A wide range of groups throughout Kentucky now participate, including homemaker clubs, Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, high school organizations, Rotary clubs, veterans, college fraternities and sororities, sports teams and Kiwanis clubs. (Sorry, those entities established for the sole purpose of pursuing legislative or regulatory changes are not eligible.)
Two-mile sections of highway are adopted for a period of two years. Groups sign a contract with the Transportation Cabinet, which recognizes the need and desirability of a clean environment, and permits the group to contribute toward that effort. Volunteer groups may renew the contract at the end of the two years.
Adopt-A-Highway Coordinators can explain the fundamentals of the program to your group, work with group members in locating an available highway, and notify you of news and upcoming events.
Litter pickups are held at least four times per year or as many times as necessary to keep the area reasonably litter free. The Cabinet coordinates three annual clean-up efforts throughout the year. Groups are encouraged to complete and return an Adopt-A-Highway survey after each cleanup.
Sounds great! How do I join?
Groups interested in becoming members of the Adopt-A-Highway Program can contact the District Coordinator listed at the address shown above. Safety guidelines are provided to volunteers and should be reviewed prior to each cleanup.
Your Adopt-A-Highway coordinator will help you get in touch with your county's Maintenance Crew Superintendent to arrange warning sign placement on the date of your pickup. Trash bags and safety vests can be obtained at each State Maintenance Facility, and litter removal is provided by the state highway crews.