Youths and adults who have transgressed the law are making amends in Twin Falls County by giving motorists a cleaner environment through which to drive. Although their service to the community through Idaho’s Adopt-A-Highway program is mandatory, it nevertheless is worth celebrating, said Shawn Webb.
A vegetation management and rest area maintenance foreman for ITD’s District 4, Webb also coordinates the department’s Adopt-A-Highway program in southern Idaho. He selected the adult and juvenile programs as groups of the year for 2006.
The two Twin Falls county groups were honored Thursday during the regular transportation board meeting in Shoshone. Webb presented a plaque and a clock – fashioned from an Idaho license plate – to group representatives during the board meeting.
“Twin Falls County utilizes both youth and adults to help keep our local highways clean through the Adopt-A-Highway program,” Webb said. “The juveniles are court-ordered to work community service to repay the community for services used while in the Juvenile Justice system.”
Adults are court-ordered to do work detail in lieu of a jail sentence.
“This program is a great benefit to our community and both our juvenile and adult work crew programs. It has been a privilege to support the Adopt-A-Highway programs and we will continue to do so in the future.”
Benefits of having both groups involved are significant, Webb explained.
• Removal of large volumes of trash and debris
from local roadsides, improving the environment and making travel more
enjoyable for motorists
The Twin Falls County groups have “adopted” four sections of state highways, two on Idaho 50 and two on U.S. 30 east of Twin Falls. Recent records indicate the groups removed more than 3,850 pounds of debris from their combined 12 miles of highway.
ITD’s statewide Adopt-A-Highway program organizes the cleaning of Idaho roadsides by volunteer groups. Those groups “adopt” a specific stretch of highway – usually two miles long – and take responsibility for keeping it clean through regular litter patrols.
More than 1,100 groups spent approximately 30,000-person hours statewide removing litter in 2006, removing an estimated 806,000 pounds of litter from Idaho’s roadsides. About 50 percent of state highways have been adopted, leaving ample opportunities for other groups and individuals to become involved.
The volume of material collected from the shoulders of Idaho makes a tremendous difference in the appearance of Idaho’s highways, said statewide AAH coordinator, Sherie Sweaney.
Volunteers collected more than 3.1 million pounds of litter, resulting in a savings to the state of more than a quarter-million dollars that can be applied to other projects that improve safety and driving conditions.
For more information about adopting a stretch of highway, contact Sweaney at (800) 443-2878.