Thursday, April 20, 2017

Adopt-A-Highway: Keep Kansas clean

Earth Day is this Saturday and it is a great reminder that we have the power to make our environment safe, clean and beautiful.
One way to help keep Kansas clean is through the Adopt-A-Highway program. This national program began in 1989.

Trash can be an unsightly problem. Participation in the program not only helps the environment; it also gives non-profit groups an opportunity to be active in their community and it saves tax dollars.

Here are some tips on how you can keep our state looking great:

How you can join
Any non-profit group that does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color or gender can participate in KDOT’s Adopt-A-Highway program by calling your closest KDOT office.  Phone numbers and application forms can be found at the Adopt-A-Highway Website.
  • Volunteers should have the following qualifications before heading out:Good physical condition, including sight and hearing
  • Mental alertness - don’t participate if you are tired or drowsy.
  • A sense of responsibility for the safety of the public and the crew.
  • A willingness to use good common sense.
  • Group members must be at least 11 years old and have adequate adult supervision,

Once you join
Most highway sections are two miles long. Groups that adopt a Kansas highway must agree to remove litter at least three times a year for two years per their convenience.

There is no cost to join the group – KDOT provides trash bags and safety vests.

Please contact your KDOT office before a scheduled cleanup.

  • Volunteers should only pick up litter along one side of the highway at a time and only work during daylight hours.
  • It is encouraged that volunteers carpool to the destination to reduce the number of vehicles needed and only park in the recommended areas.
  • Wear bright and light clothing with long sleeves if possible. Also wear a hat, sunscreen, insect replant and proper footware.
  • Be alert. Be aware of traffic at all times and if you see any suspected toxic/hazardous chemicals or dead animals, DO NOT try to handle or remove them. Notify your nearest KDOT office, the Kansas Highway Patrol, or local police department.

However you decide to get involved, it’s important to be safe while helping your community. For more tips, check out the Adopt-A-Highway website mentioned earlier. 

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