Volunteers to tackle roadside trash on Saturday
Big Thicket Messenger - April 2007
Nearly 100,000 Texans are expected to pick up litter for the annual “Don’t Mess With Texas Trash-Off” on Saturday, April 14. However, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) reports Adopt-A-Highway numbers have dipped and is issuing a challenge to Texans to lend their support year round by joining the volunteer litter cleanup program.
“We’re proud of the turn-out we’re expecting for the Trash-Off, but we want to take this opportunity to put out the call for more Texans to join the Adopt-A-Highway program,” Said TxDOT Travel Division Director Doris Howdeshell. “Texas is home to the first adopted highway in the world, but our enrollment numbers have been dropping slightly in recent years. It’s time for Texans to help return Adopt-A-Highway in the Lone Star State to its former glory---and then some.”
In Texas, the number of Adopt-A-Highway groups once topped 4,000 and is now around 3,700. The program was founded in 1985 by former TxDOT District Engineer Bobby Evans in Tyler, Texas, and has since been expanded to every state and several other countries. In Texas, participating groups receive recognition on road signs and agree to pick up litter on two-mile stretches of highway four times a year for two years. Some requirements vary in certain areas.
“We’re not quite sure why our Adopt-A-Highway numbers have dropped, but we do know that according to a recent study, half of Texans say they’re willing to participate in the program,” said Howdeshell. “Last year, more than 400,000 Texans helped vote ‘Don’t Mess With Texas’ onto the Madison Avenue Walk of Fame in New York, so we’re hoping to tap into that passion by asking for help right now with Adopt-A-Highway.
The annual Don’t Mess With Texas Trash-Off is the largest one-day statewide cleanup event and is co-sponsored by TxDOT and Keep Texas Beautiful (KTB). The event brings together KTB volunteers and Adopt-A-Highway groups from across the state who clean up their communities on one designated day.
For more information about the Don’t Mess With Texas Trash-Off, visit DontMessWithTexas.org or ktb.org. To adopt a section of highway through the Adopt-A-Highway program, visit www.texasaah.org.
About Don’t Mess With Texas
Don’t Mess With Texas has been educating Texans about litter prevention since 1986. TxDOT’s litter prevention program, includes Adopt-A-Highway and a grassroots partnership with Keep Texas Beautiful. Don’t Mess With Texas activities also include a Spring “Trash-Off”, community outreach, a scholarship and a corporate partner program. For more information, visit www.DontMessWithTexas.org.
TxDOT’s goals are to reduce congestion, enhance safety, expand economic opportunity, improve air quality and increase the value of transportation assets. For more information, visit www.txdot.gov.