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Get Your Name In Lights — Well, Not Really

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 ereienck@howardcountymd.gov. 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 publicworks@co.ho.md.us.

The Adopt-A-Road web­site has more details and the appli­ca­tion form.

Elissa Rei­neck, Envi­ron­men­tal Vol­un­teer Coordinator

Green Tip

Unplug.40% of the electricity used to power home electronics is consumed while they’re turned off.