Thousands of Adopt a Highway volunteers helped to keep Minnesota roadsides clean and free of litter in 2021 by picking up more than 29,500 bags of trash from highway ditches, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
Across Minnesota, over 1,500 Adopt a Highway groups volunteered their time for more than 70,000 hours collectively last year. With 830 roadway sections currently available for adoption statewide, MnDOT welcomes more groups to volunteer for this program.
“We can’t thank our Adopt a Highway volunteers enough for the service they provide our state and would love to have more groups on our team,” said Ann McLellan, statewide Adopt a Highway manager. “Volunteers not only help to keep Minnesota roadsides clean, but their work allows our MnDOT crews to focus on other tasks that help keep highways safe. It is a win-win for all involved.”
The Adopt a Highway program has been part of MnDOT’s maintenance operations since 1990.
Groups who want to volunteer should visit MnDOT’s Adopt a Highway website to find their local program coordinator. Volunteers are asked to commit to the program for at least two years and pick up litter on both sides of their roadway section at least twice a year. The average length of an adopted roadway is two miles.
MnDOT provides safety training, trash bags and safety vests. Maintenance crews pick up the filled bags that volunteers leave along the side of the road. MnDOT also posts signs along the adopted segments of roads with the names of the volunteer groups.
Motorists are encouraged to slow down, move over and use caution whenever they see an Adopt a Highway volunteer group picking up trash along the roadway.