Volunteers helping with the Adopt a Highway program picked up nearly 36,000 bags of litter and cleaned up almost 9,000 miles of state roadways in 2018, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.

More than 3,500 volunteer groups, ranging from four to 25 people, spent an estimated 282,000 hours cleaning roadway ditches across Minnesota last year, which translated into an estimated $7 million benefit for the state.

“When our volunteers are picking up litter along the roadways it shows that Minnesotans care about their state and it is a win-win for all involved,” said Ann McLellan, statewide Adopt a Highway manager.

The program has been part of MnDOT’s maintenance operations since 1990. More than 4,400 segments of state roadways are currently adopted in Minnesota by volunteers representing schools, businesses, faith-based groups, families and individuals.

“We still have at least 700 segments available for adoption, most of them in Greater Minnesota. In the Twin Cities area, there are 28 segments available,” said McLellan.

In south central Minnesota (District 7) there are 466 adopted segments, but 97 are un-adopted in south central Minnesota at this time and include:

  • Highway 23 – 6 miles north of I-90 to Jasper
  • Highway 30 – between Highway 83 and Highway 13
  • Highway 60 – south of Worthington
  • Highway 59 – south of Worthington
  • Interstate 90 – several segments along the corridor

Individuals and groups who want to volunteer should go to www.mndot.gov/adopt/ or contact Heidi Sexton at 507-304-6117.  MnDOT provides safety training, trash bags and safety vests, and picks up the filled bags that volunteers leave at the side of the road. MnDOT also posts signs along the adopted segments of roads with the names of the volunteer groups.

Volunteers are asked to commit to the program for at least two years and pick up litter on both sides of the roadway at least twice a year. The average length of an adopted roadway is two miles.