Jack and Monica Naylor saw a large swath of the United States when they ventured west several years ago. Their travel, and eventual relocation to Pocatello, took them from coast to coast. They saw well-kept, clean highway corridors and those that suffered from neglect.
So when they moved to Idaho, they made a personal commitment to do what they can to keep their piece of heaven clear of highway litter. They adopted a two-mile stretch of Interstate 15 near Pocatello (from milepost 43 to 45) and try to clean up the highway shoulders at least three times a year.
Much for the same reasons, members of the Preston Rotary Club conduct regular campaigns to clean U.S. 91 between mileposts 4 and 6.
For their commitment to highway cleanup and improving the environment in which they live, the Naylors and members of the Rotary Club were honored as District 5 Adopt-A-Highway small and large groups of the year.
The Idaho Transportation Board, led by District 5 member Neil Miller, presented framed certificates and clocks made from sample Idaho license plates to the Naylors and Rotary Club Wednesday. The special presentation came during the board’s May business meeting, at the District 5 office in Pocatello.
“After seeing the beautiful country side of the United States from coast to coast, and also seeing the trash along its highways they decided to do their part in helping keep some of our area picked up,” explains Sharon Short, the district’s Adopt-A-Highway coordinator.
“The most interesting thing they found was a $5 bill,” Short said. “Jack thought someone must have felt guilty and decided to leave a tip.”
They try to do their cleanup twice a year – in the spring and fall, Short explains.
“They have found many interesting items while cleaning over the years, such as tools, very ‘questionable items’ if you know what I mean, plus the usual junk. I believe once they even found a small amount of cash. They often have a lot of youth that help, including their own children and kids from local church groups.”
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.
The volume of material collected makes a tremendous difference in the appearance of Idaho’s highways, said Sherie Sweaney, statewide AAH coordinator.