The Adopt-A-Highway program offered by the Utah Department of Transportation allows community members to help keep the Utah state roads clean.
It is a two-year voluntary commitment to clean up litter on two miles of highway or state road, with a minimum of three cleanups per year. To recognize the group’s efforts UDOT erects a sign on the section of adopted highway with the group’s name.
“When people throw out trash, it’s not going to magically disappear,” said Aaron Bryan, who along with his family has adopted a section of highway in Spanish Fork.
Bryan, along with his wife Kari and their four kids, regularly cleans up along SR 147 around 400 N. in Spanish Fork. He says though the job may sometimes be smelly and sticky, it’s been a positive experience for their family.
“It’s making the stretch of road look cleaner and nicer and giving our family the opportunity to provide service to the community and spend time together,” he said. Bryan said it’s a flexible way to provide service to the community and slow down and spend time together as a family.
Groups that sign up to adopt a highway agree to clean litter from a 1-mile or 2-mile section of roadway at least three times a year for at least two years. They can usually pick the time to go and UDOT provides the litter bags and collects them from the side of the road after they’ve been filled.
Byran said the Adopt a Highway program is a great, but often overlooked, way to give back the community. He said he has observed a lot more people out cleaning the highways in other states. “I don’t see it as much around here. With as much service as is done, this appears to be one thing that there’s either not an awareness or willingness to do,” he said.
Bryan said participating has given his family an awareness that sometimes we need to do things out of our comfort zone. He said, “It helps us realize that if something is going to get done that sometimes volunteers need to step up and provide that service.”
While people may think the Adopt a Highway program is for companies, it’s really for anyone. Families, youth groups, church groups and friends are encouraged to participate. Those interested in joining the program can visit UDOT.Utah.gov, or contact Kim Krein at
801-227-8000 or email@example.com.