MILLERSVILLE – The Maryland State Highway Administration is thanking the groups and corporate sponsors that serve as partners in the fight to ensure that Maryland remains a clean and attractive place to live, work and visit.
Thirty-four volunteer groups, members of the agency’s Adopt-A-Highway program, removed litter from State secondary routes as part of Governor O’Malley’s 2013 Day to Serve volunteerism initiative. Together, they collected 160 bags of litter and dedicated 56 hours of time between September 15 and September 29, and SHA expects more groups to schedule pickups through the fall and during spring 2014.
The Adopt-A-Highway Program began in 1989, and will mark 25 years of service to the State of Maryland next year. The program allows volunteer groups to adopt a portion of a state highway and pledge to remove litter four times per year. SHA recognized the volunteer groups by placing the groups’ names on signs along their adopted portion of roadway.
“A combination of litter, fallen leaves and tree limbs can clog drains and present maintenance challenges for crews,” said SHA Administrator Melinda B. Peters. “SHA appreciates the diligence and time commitment of our community and corporate volunteers; their efforts make a tremendous difference. We ask that each person do his or her part to keep our State’s roadways litter-free.”
In addition to the efforts of volunteer groups, the Sponsor-A-Highway Program (SAH) allows businesses to contribute to fighting litter along major interstate and primary routes. SHA has saved more than $3 million in State funds that are now used to support other roadway maintenance initiatives. Work through SAH is performed by two approved maintenance providers: the Adopt A Highway Litter Removal Service of America, Inc. and the Adopt A Highway Corporation. Their crews remove litter on the sponsor’s behalf, and have collected nearly 68,000 bags of litter from State highways since the program’s inception in 2006. Highway signs also serve as recognition for the participating corporations along the stretch of highway where they fund litter pick up.
Littering is harmful to the environment, with trash typically carried by storm water to streams and rivers, and in some cases eventually entering drinking water reservoirs and the Chesapeake Bay. Littering along interstates, U.S. and Maryland state routes is a crime and subject to fines of up to $1,000 and two points on the violator’s driver’s license.
SHA encourages local community groups and business partners to adopt or sponsor a State roadway. To learn more about the Adopt-A-Highway and Sponsor-A-Highway programs, visit www.roads.maryland.gov.