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History of Adopt-a-Highway

Washington's Adopt-a-Highway program started in 1990. In addition to this, many counties and cities have started their own adopt-a-road or adopt-a-street program. Trails and beaches have also been included in other adoption programs. Please contact your county or city office for more information about those programs.

The first Adopt-a-Highway program began in Texas in 1985. Concerned citizens wanted to help clean up the littered highways. Since then, thousands of groups have volunteered their time and effort picking up litter on highways all over the country. Forty-nine of the 50 states in the U.S. have a program like Adopt-a-Highway.

Partners in litter control

Adopt-a-Highway program helps:

  • The Adopt-a-Highway program is an anti-litter and highway enhancement campaign intended to promote pride and ownership in keeping our state beautiful.
  • It allows individuals and groups to "adopt" a section of state highway by agreeing to take care of it for a two-year period. Volunteer groups may be clubs, employees of a business, or concerned citizens. All participants must be at least 15 years of age and in good health.
  • Typically, an assigned section includes between two and four miles of roadside.
  • WSDOT installs signs, giving recognition to the individual or group that has adopted the highway.
  • WSDOT also provides traffic control equipment, safety equipment, safety training, litterbags and disposal of filled bags for the volunteers.
  • In the expanded Adopt-a-Highway program, a private sponsor may hire a professional contractor to clean or enhance a section of highway in return for a sign with the business name and/or logo.