Adopt a Highway: Arizona volunteers' efforts are recognized

Adopt a Highway: Arizona volunteers' efforts are recognized

By Mary Currie / ADOT Communications
November 20, 2023
Three people pose for a photo with an award in an office building.

Earlier this week, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality recognized ADOT for measurable improvements to the environment through the actions of volunteers participating in our Adopt a Highway volunteer program. This Copper Level award reflects the importance of the more than 6,000 Adopt a Highway volunteers who keep Arizona grand by removing litter along state highways. 

As ADOT’s Adopt a Highway program coordinator,  my experiences interacting with volunteer groups show the best of humankind. Here are just a few examples of volunteer groups making a difference.

The first is gratitude memorial group adopters express for the opportunity to give back to the community while honoring loved ones. These real-life stories always make the top of my list. Gathering with family and friends for a planned litter cleanup is a way to connect with each other and nature.

Then there are the groups that have been volunteering for a very long time and really are the foundation for Adopt a Highway. The Prescott Litter Lifters in northern Arizona dates back to 1981 and continues to thrive, conducting twice-weekly highway cleanups. Another, located in a picturesque southern Arizona community, grew a volunteer cleanup from two people to a 120-volunteer event requiring a microphone and a borrowed parking lot to conduct safety briefings each year. Friends, neighbors and middle school students gather to bag litter along the 45-mile stretch that spans their Sonoran desert community. 

A third example lies close to home. Among ADOT public servants are volunteers who are behind-the-scenes: my colleagues who have adopted segments as a way to connect with co-workers outside of the workplace, gather with family and friends or a faith-based group. The reasons for stepping up to adopt a  highway and bag trash differ among groups, but the focus is always to help erase the continued flow of litter onto Arizona’s roadsides, something that we work on collectively to maintain daily.  

Hundreds of miles of Arizona roadsides are waiting patiently for kind humans to adopt them. Please explore the Adopt a Highway Volunteer program webpages to begin your volunteering journey.

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