Diligence keeps U.S. 'driveway' presentable
Debra Buckner considers U.S. 95 a driveway that leads to Mesa and her Elkhorn Bed and Breakfast. Keep the driveway clean and presentable and visitors will look favorably on the community and her tourist-oriented bed and breakfast.
That’s why she claims two segments of the highway as part of the Idaho Transportation Department’s Adopt-A-Highway program.
She joined the statewide network of highway beautification volunteers in 2005 and reports nine litter cleanups between mileposts 125 and 127 and from 129 to 131. In those litter pickups, Buckner and her cadre of collectors have removed more than two tons of trash left behind by careless motorists.
“I own the Elkhorn Bed and Breakfast here on U.S. 95, Mesa, and I care how it is represented. People from outside the area appreciate how beautiful Mesa can be – from our point of view – and that in turn makes me feel that I have accomplished a good thing for our community.”
For her community pride and commitment to cleanliness, Buckner was presented the District 3 Adopt-A-Highway Group of the Year award Thursday during the monthly Idaho Transportation Board meting in Boise. She accepted, on behalf of her highway cleanup companions, a plaque and a clock fashioned from a sample Idaho license plate presented by board member Jerry Whitehead.
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.
Approximately 1,100 groups spent nearly 57,000-person hours statewide removing litter in 2008, collecting an estimated 1.9 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 makes a tremendous difference in the appearance of Idaho’s highways, said Sherie Sweaney, statewide AAH coordinator.
The estimated value of the cleanup labor is equivalent to more than $730,000 – savings that can be applied to other projects, improving highway safety and driving conditions.
For more information about adopting a stretch of highway, contact Sweaney at (800) 443-2878.