Nearly 1 million volunteers across the country participated in National CleanUp Day, including 40 Adopt a Highway groups from at least 15 towns. Volunteers from Page to Kingman, Congress to Yuma and Tucson to Show Low showed up on Sept. 18 to clean their adopted highway mile.
National CleanUp Day is a designated day each September where volunteers clean public spaces and waterways. Adopt a Highway volunteers have been participating for several years, picking up thousands of pounds of trash in one day along Arizona highways.
On National CleanUp Day, one-day permits are issued to newbies so they can see how they like adopting a highway. More than half of the 40 groups participating last Saturday were first-time participants.
Adopt a Highway Manager Mary Currie said, “Many first-time volunteers are amazed at the difference they can make in just an hour or two and decide to more permanently adopt a mile of highway. Most see how easy and rewarding it is and sign up for a two-year stint.”
This year, 2,053 pounds of trash or 150 bags were gathered by volunteers. State highways look better because of their work, the environment is improved and many volunteers walk away with a sense of accomplishment.
Volunteer Michele Michelson said, “I saw ADOT’s post on facebook and registered. Who doesn’t want to keep their community clean? Thank you, ADOT, for offering this opportunity.”
If you missed National CleanUp Day, there are always more opportunities to volunteer with Adopt a Highway. Volunteers can find their preferred mile on our website. Arizona businesses wanting to sponsor a mile can learn how they can help by visiting the Sponsor Program site.
Editor's note: Caroline Carpenter is a spokeswoman for the Arizona Department of Communications. Visit azdot.gov.