MnDOT looking for volunteers

Published 8:13 am Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Minnesota Department of Transportation is looking for individuals and organizations to join the more than 4,500 groups and 45,000 people in the state who are Adopt a Highway volunteers.

The program is a public service project that helps reduce litter along roadsides. It’s been part of MnDOT’s maintenance operations for many years.

“Some groups have participated since 1990,” said Vicki Kessler, Adopt a Highway program coordinator for the Twin Cities metro area, which has about 500 sections of roadway maintained by volunteers.

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Kessler has a waiting list for groups wanting to adopt a highway, but there are plenty of roadways available outside the Twin Cities area.

According to a press release, the volunteers, representing schools, businesses, faith-based organizations, families and individuals, clean up more than 10,000 miles of Minnesota roadways each year.

Groups last year spent more than 180,000 hours picking up more than 960,000 pounds of litter, according to Ernest Lloyd, statewide Adopt a Highway manager. He said the program saves MnDOT more than $7 million annually.

Individuals and groups who want to volunteer should go to to find their local area program coordinator.

MnDOT provides safety training, trash bags and safety vests, and will pick up the filled bags. MnDOT also posts signs along the adopted segments of roads with the names of the volunteer groups.

Volunteers are asked to commit to the program for at least two years and pick up litter on both sides of the roadway at least twice a year. The average length of an adopted roadway is two to three miles, although some roads are longer.