SPRINGFIELD – In recognition of Earth Day this weekend, the Illinois Department of Transportation is honoring the Adopt-A-Highway groups that have been keeping Illinois roadways clean since the program started more than 20 years. The milestone was marked by a ceremonial tree-planting at IDOT's headquarters to recognize the longtime volunteers and highlight the agency’s commitment to green and sustainable practices.
“Our Adopt-A-Highway volunteers donate hours of their time each year out of pride for their state and to give visitors a great first impression of Illinois,” said Illinois Transportation Secretary Randy Blankenhorn. “We are extremely proud and appreciate their service to the state. As Earth Day approaches, I urge everyone to do their part by thinking twice before discarding litter along our highways.”
Launched in Illinois in 1996, the Adopt-A-Highway program has grown to include more than 1,000 volunteer organizations that help to maintain approximately 2,500 miles of state highways. By signing up for the program, volunteers commit to cleaning their designated sections of highway four times each year. Common items collected are cigarette butts, beverage containers, paper and food wrappers – litter that could easily be deposed of properly, but is costly to clean up, negatively affects the environment and is hazardous to motorists.
The 143 groups honored today began their tenure with Adopt-A-Highway within the first year of the program’s inception. They have provided an estimated combined 20,000 volunteer hours to the State of Illinois.
Click here to learn more about the Adopt-A-Highway program. For a listing of the 143 honorees by district, click here.