Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Tidy Roadsides

Three weeks. Just three more weeks until the official start of spring.

SPRING! Just typing or saying the word aloud makes me happy - even though that word is often followed by one of my least favorite terms - cleaning.

The results are always worth the work, though. And it's just about time for travelers to spot Missouri's Adopt-A-Highway volunteers hard at work tidying up the state, kicking off the program's 25th year!

More than 4,000 groups care for 6,281 miles. They sign up to pick up at least one-half mile of urban roadside or two miles or rural road, collecting litter at least four times a year. Doing so, they save taxpayers $1 million and get some good exercise.

Civic groups, schools, scouts, clubs and other organizations receive recognition for their work on blue Adopt-A-Highway roadside signs. Several families choose to make their effort a living memorial. Companies can choose the Sponsor-A-Highway option in the St. Louis and Kansas City areas and receive roadside recognition for their contributions.

Litter pick-up isn't the only kind of adoption. Some folks sign up to mow roadsides and other groups landscape with native wildflowers and grasses. The landscapers work in concert with MoDOT and the Missouri Department of Conservation to choose plants that have the best chance to survive, support wildlife and provide extra benefits such as erosion control.

If you are interested in joining our valued volunteers or beautifying businesses, learn more about the programs at