Adopt A Highway partnerships are a win-win for everyone involved. Local (or national) companies parter with the state departments of transportation to keep a certain stretch of highway clean. The state can save money (by having volunteers clean up) and the business is seen as giving back to the community and the state.
Adopt A Highway programs vary from state to state with regards to levels of participation required from volunteers, how your business’ sign will appear, and exposure of your business (depending on how many people travel the stretch of available highway).
Before you start filling out adoption papers and decorating the nursery, ask yourself, “Is cleaning up the side of a highway something my employees care about or are interested in?”” Secondly, “Is this the most efficient way for my business to make the greatest impact on the environment in our community?”
If so, continue on!
Your first stop should be the website for your state’s Department of Transportation. There, you’ll find information on who to contact to apply to adopt a highway, what the requirements to volunteer are, etc.
Secondly, get your employees excited about participating! Ask your DOT representative for facts and figures on how much this type of volunteering impacts the state. For example, in Virginia in 2012, over 16,000 volunteers collected over 25,000 bags of waste along over 2,000 miles of highways. This is estimated to have saved the state almost $1.5 million that would have gone to clean up the roads.
That’s a HUGE deal, and will get your team excited to make a difference in their community.
Lastly, promote your involvement in the community! While you may be required to wear special gear for collecting trash, you can have t-shirts made to create a spirit of camaraderie throughout your team, and you should definitely post your progress on various social media channels and your website! Take before and after pictures of the site and share them. Have a pizza party after you finish cleaning up. Make it fun!