But you can get your name or your groups’ name on a pretty sign by the road. How? Adopt-A-Road in Howard County. This is a great program run by the County’s Highways Division.
How does it work? Basically, a group of volunteers, or sometimes just one amazing person, selects a piece of County road that is deemed safe by Highways, and picks up litter there at least 4 times a year. Highways provides portable safety warning signs, safety vests, and plastic bags. They will also pick up the full bags when the cleanup is over. Simply let them know ahead of time when you will be out there. Why would anyone want to do this? Well, here’s an excerpt from the Public Works’ website:
“Howard County Department of Public Works is committed to providing the citizens of Howard County with a clean and environmentally safe community. Street sweeping is performed on most county roads four times a year. The Bureau of Highways road crews consistently travel throughout the county cleaning up debris on county roads. However, they need help.
Volunteers are needed to monitor and pick up litter and other debris thrown onto our roadways by careless or irresponsible citizens. By volunteering to pick up litter at least four times a year on a selected road, you can make a tremendous impact on the appearance of your neighborhood, community and Howard County. Howard County needs your help! Litter among our roadways is becoming a BIG problem. Hundreds of Howard County citizens are making a difference by “adopting” a county road, helping to maintain a clean environment and strengthen pride in our community.”
Maybe it’s a little early to be thinking about doing projects outside, but those warm spring days will be here soon (hopefully!) and it would be great to get some new Adopt-A-Road applications going. When March rolls around we’ll all notice it more. When that snow melts and the wind picks up, there will be lots of trash on the sides of the roads and it is all disgusting to look at. It is very hard to understand how people can still be littering. Sometimes those plastic bags do fly away from us in the parking lots, but to deliberately throw something out of your car window? That is just unbelievable. Anyway, it is a shame that we even need a program like this, but I hope that some new folks will sign up this year. Getting out and cleaning up with a group of friends can actually by fun, and not just for trash geeks like me. Try it! Get your name on a sign! We’d all be so grateful.
If you would like more information, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would be happy to help you get started or answer any questions. Or contact the Highways division directly. The Adopt-A-Road program coordinator can help you choose a road and can check if the one you want is available. The phone number there is 410−313−7472. Email is email@example.com.
The Adopt-A-Road website has more details and the application form.
Elissa Reineck, Environmental Volunteer Coordinator