Adopt a Highway for a cleaner earth

Today is Earth Day.

In Twin Cities, Minnesota, we had a gorgeous day with sunshine, clean air, blue sky, and the temperature close to 70. It’s neither too cold, nor too hot, nor windy. A perfect day weather-wise that everyone should be happy about. 

Don’t take it for granted. Some places in other parts of the world don’t have what we have, either due to an act of nature (such as volcano in Europe) or effects caused by human action (air pollution). 

Instead, take a moment to appreciate what we have, and think about how each of us can contribute to protect the environment and keep our earth clean. 

There are many things we can do. These days, tips and ideas abound. We are certainly not lack of information in this regard.

I recently had an article published in The Edge, Soul of the Cities, titled “Eight R’s for a Greener Earth.” You can read it here.

I came across this Simple Mom website today that lists 40 tips to go greener. Personally, I am already doing many of the things listed.

But in this post, I want to mainly talk about a program that some might not be familiar with. It’s called “Adopt a Highway.”

Adopt a Highway program, offered in several states, provides community groups, churches, businesses and individuals an opportunity to make a personal contribution to a cleaner environment. This May marks the 20th anniversary of Mn/DOT’s Adopt a Highway program.

According to Mn/DOT, there are more than 12,000 miles of state highway in Minnesota of which 9,800 miles are adopted. Currently, there are an estimated 4,500 statewide groups and 45,000 volunteers registered.

By joining the Adopt a Highway program, groups agree to adopt a highway for a minimum of two years and pick up litter on a segment of highway approximately two miles in length usually two to three times a year during spring through fall.

In return, Mn/DOT will erect a sign along the group’s section of highway to recognize their commitment to a cleaner environment, provide retroreflective safety vests, trash bags and safety information, and remove filled bags and large, heavy or hazardous items from roadsides.

If you are looking for a one-time project, you can “Pick a Highway.” Pick a Highway is a one-time litter picking activity on an assigned segment of state highway. Mn/DOT will provide the bags, vests, training, and bag retrieval. You contribute approximately four hours of labor.

You can take on the Adopt a Highway or Pick a Highway program as a family, a group of neighbors or friends, as a church or an organization. It can be a great team building, community service and volunteer project. 

For more information about the program, visit Adopt a Highway website.