Get involved: Highways available for adoption

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Are you, your friends, family, or maybe even your coworkers, looking for a volunteer opportunity? Something to help you get outside?

If you like to be outside (and like to clean up after perfect strangers – for the greater good of the city and its aesthetic) there is a great opportunity for you: The MNDOT Adopt a Highway program has 5,455 segments of roadways currently defined. Of those segments, 1,719 are looking to call a group of volunteers “mom” and/or “dad.”

Last year, groups of volunteers, ranging from four to 25 people per group, spent an estimated 239,000 hours picking up on Minnesota roadways. For context, that is just over 9,958 days, or 27 years and 3.4 months, of volunteer time. The volunteer groups picked up 36,658 bags of litter, which amounts to 112,000 pounds of litter removed from our roadways. The volunteer groups represent a wide variety of organizations, including schools, private businesses, faith-based organizations, families, and individual citizens. These volunteers clean up nearly 10,000 miles of Minnesota roadways each year.

“Volunteers pick up litter, keep the roadways beautiful and save taxpayers money,” Ann McLellan, statewide Adopt a Highway manager, said in praise. “When our volunteers are out cleaning the roadway ditches, MnDOT crews use their time to build and maintain our highways. It’s a win-win for all and it shows that Minnesotans care about their state.”

If you would like to join the more than 4,100 groups, and 16,000 people, in the state who are currently Adopt a Highway volunteers please go to www.mndot.gov/adopt/ to find your local area program coordinator. Volunteers are asked to commit to the program for at least two years, and pick up litter on both sides of the roadway at least twice a year. The average length of an adopted roadway is two to three miles, although some roads are longer.

MnDOT provides all safety training, trash bags and safety vests, and also picks up the filled bags that volunteers leave at the side of the road. MnDOT posts signs along the adopted segments of roads with the names of the volunteer groups.

All the information above was found here.

Read next: Twin Cities Volunteer Opportunites