A program to rehabilitate offenders in Jerome County also rehabilitates the aesthetic qualities of U.S. 93 west of Twin Falls. Participants in the Jerome County Sheriff’s work program regularly clean a two-mile segment of the highway and were honored last week for their efforts.
Magistrate Thomas Borreson, Jerome County Sheriff Doug McFall and Cpl. Gary McGeoch enthusiastically support the program that gives inmates an opportunity to give back to their community through the Adopt-A-Highway cleanup campaigns.
Inmates have cleaned the highway between mileposts 51 and 53 the past decade. They also migrate to other highways and roads that need to be cleaned.
The group’s philosophy, “turning something negative into a positive,” has helped people in trouble gain a sense of ownership in keeping our highways clean,” explains Joyce Shaw, ITD’s District 4 Adopt-A-Highway coordinator.
“Whether it is rain, wind, or shine, their group is out picking up trash and has picked up an incredible 10,710 pounds of garbage from various state roadways.”
Some collection efforts are more lucrative than others. One collector found a $20 bill nestled under a rock. Soft drink cans yield their own reward. The aluminum is recycled, and the Eden and Jerome Senior Citizen Centers share profits equally. Proceeds are used to purchase turkeys and hams during the holidays.
The Idaho Transportation Board recognized representatives of the work program as the District 4 Adopt-A-Highway group of the year Thursday during the final day of their business meeting/road trip to the Magic Valley.
Board member Gary Blick presented a framed certificate and a clock fashioned from a sample Idaho license plate to a group representative as part of the board meeting.
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.