Begun in 1990, DelDOT’s Adopt-A-Highway (AAH) Program is a partnership between the Department of Transportation and volunteers, working together to make Delaware better, two miles at a time. More than just a cleanup campaign, this innovative program works to educate citizens of all ages about the responsibilities of land stewardship-the care and repair of our environment. Ultimately, the AAH Program is about people caring enough to make a difference.
Currently, more than 900 groups, organizations and individuals adopt stretches of roadway throughout the state. Participants agree to care for a two-mile section of the road in their community. During the course of the sponsor’s participation, groups are responsible for conducting and reporting at least three cleanups per year. DelDOT provides safety vests and trash bags (rubber gloves are available upon request). Signs marking sponsors’ involvement in the program are installed at the beginning and end of the two-mile stretch of adopted roadway. Of course, participants get more from the program than publicity; they get the satisfaction of knowing that their efforts have a direct effect on quality of life in Delaware.
AAH volunteers collect tons of debris from the sides of Delaware’s roads each year. A large percentage of this trash is made up of recyclable materials, such as aluminum cans, glass and plastic bottles. Participating groups have the option of turning this trash into cash through recycling. Many of our volunteers ” hit the road” often, in order to help fund group outings, special activities or even uniforms! If sponsors prefer, following each cleanup, they may leave their filled trash bags near their sign for collection by DelDOT. Please inform your district contact person that these trash bags need to be picked up by DelDOT.
Each time a volunteer is seen walking down a Delaware roadside, someone, somewhere, is reminded of our shared responsibility to preserve and protect the landscape. This sense of responsibility put into action is at the heart of the AAH Program. Adopting a road is a big commitment. It’s hard work. Each year, though, thanks to the efforts of dedicated sponsors throughout the state, cleaning Delaware gets a little easier.