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Adopt a Highway: Celebrating National Volunteer Week April 18-24

Gov. Doug Ducey unveiled a collection of new highway signs representing some of the state's...
Gov. Doug Ducey unveiled a collection of new highway signs representing some of the state's most iconic monuments. The signs, which are expected to go up in early 2020, will greet travelers entering Arizona.(Source: Gov. Doug Ducey via Twitter)
Published: Apr. 20, 2021 at 5:27 AM MST|Updated: Apr. 19, 2021 at 9:53 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Last year Adopt a Highway volunteers removed nearly four tons of litter from along state highways, contributing to the overall 1.6 million volunteers who together devoted 160.9 million hours of service in Arizona.

Why is it a big deal? Because highway maintenance dollars saved, to the tune of $235,000, means that taxpayer funds can be used for other Arizona Department of Transportation priorities. More important is the determination of volunteers to Keep It Grand by making Arizona’s highways more appealing for all.

That makes those who commit time and effort to ADOT’s Adopt a Highway program worthy of a big thank you from all Arizonans during National Volunteer Week, which runs through April 24.

During 2020, 4,700 people from more than 1,200 volunteer groups packed up their vehicles, put on safety vests and headed out to pick up litter along their adopted sections of the highway system.

“Adopt a Highway works because of a small army of dedicated volunteers, permit technicians and ADOT maintenance employees statewide who support them,” said Mary Currie, Adopt a Highway program manager. “All Arizonans and welcomed travelers benefit from the many hours put in by volunteers who beautify the highways that for many form a first impression of the Grand Canyon State.”

Looking to make a difference during National Volunteer Week and beyond? Visiting azdot.gov/adoptahighway connects you with information on volunteering as well as an interactive map showing highway segments available for adoption.

In return for a two-year permit and a sign recognizing their group’s segment, Adopt a Highway volunteers agree to:

  • Adopt a minimum of two miles
  • Always wear Federal Highway Administration required ANSI Class II Safety vests
  • Read a safety brief and watch a safety video before each cleanup
  • Contact ADOT before cleaning up their sections
  • Report to ADOT how many bags of litter were cleaned up
  • Clean their sections at least once and preferably three times per year

Adopt a Highway cleanups continue during the current public health situation, though ADOT asks volunteers to observe state and federal guidelines calling for social distancing and keeping groups fewer than 10 people.

Motorists can support Adopt a Highway volunteers by slowing down when driving by people picking up litter and always driving with extra caution and care.

To learn more about ADOT’s Adopt a Highway volunteer program opportunities, please visit azdot.gov/adoptahighway.

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