December 19, 2014

Adopt-a-highway season starting

By Tim Barnum|Staff writer
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ARENAC COUNTY — State highways will be getting spruced up over the course of eight days, July 11 – 19, as part of the Michigan Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) Adopt-a-Highway (AAH) program.

Janet Foran, AAH coordinator, says Arenac County contains 68 miles of state highway, of which 14 different groups in the county adopt 30 of those miles.

“For the groups, the benefits are many – giving back to the community, showing pride in our beautiful state and doing a sorely needed job,” Foran said. “Research from other states shows that when drivers see volunteers cleaning highways, it actually affects their behavior and they don't want to litter.”

She also says the volunteer effort can save MDOT some money, which is important in this time of bailouts and state budget crises.

“The work of volunteer groups saves the State of Michigan about $1.2 million in cleanup costs annually,” Foran said. “It provides a service that we might not otherwise be able to provide. And the volunteers are thorough! They take great pride in their work, and it shows.”

Foran says there is no cost to the volunteers, as MDOT provides bags and vests for AAH volunteers.

“Basically, people just need to contact the MDOT coordinator for a region,” she said. “You might also watch our new video online called: Michigan's Big Clean Team. It includes actual testimonials from AAH groups about why they adopt a highway. It's available at: www.michigan.gov/adoptahighway or you can view on YouTube by using Michigan Adopt A Highway in their search engine.”

Arenac County’s regional coordinator is Ponce Esparza. He can be reached at 989-754-0784, ext. 223.

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