Idaho Power Co. employees find 'community' along U.S. 93
For some Idaho Power Co. employees in the Twin Falls area, community is as much about how they live as where they live.
They have put the company’s motto into practice the past five years as guardians of a heavily traveled two-mile stretch of U.S. 93 north of the Flying J truck stop. In three outings last year, the Adopt-A-Highway group removed 3,360 pounds of garbage from the highway shoulders.
The Idaho Power employees adopted the stretch of highway between mileposts 53 and 56 in 2003 as part of an Idaho Transportation Department volunteer program to preserve the surrounding environment as well as state maintenance funds.
For its continuing effort, the Idaho Power cadre was named the District 4 Adopt-A-Highway group of the year for 2007. They were honored Thursday during the monthly Idaho Transportation Board meeting in Twin Falls. Representing his colleagues, Jim Mason accepted a framed certificate and a clock fashioned from a sample Idaho license plate from transportation board member Gary Blick.
The honor is a reflection of the company’s commitment to the environment and its motto, “We are citizens wherever we serve.”
In addition to helping the community, Idaho Power uses the regular cleanup campaigns to bring employees from different departments closer together. It’s also allowed them to reach out and recruit others of like mind. Idaho Power has solicited the help of a new partner – employees from St. Benedict's Hospital to join the effort this year.
“I would like to thank the employees of Idaho Power for all of the hard work and the public service they have provided,” said Joyce Shaw from ITD’s District 4 office in Shoshone.
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 1,000 groups spent approximately 47,000-person hours statewide removing litter in 2007, collecting an estimated 1.4 million pounds of litter from Idaho’s roadsides. About half of Idaho’s 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.
Volunteer efforts save the state more than a quarter-million dollars that can be applied to other projects, improving safety and driving conditions.