B.C. has thousands of kilometres of highway, and the province is looking for community members to ‘Adopt-a-Highway’ and keep the roadways clean and green. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)

Province looking for community members to Adopt-a-Highway

Volunteers adopt and maintain a two kilometre stretch of one of B.C.'s highways

Many communities, such as Ashcroft, have an “Adopt-a-Road” program, allowing businesses, service clubs, and other organizations to “adopt” and maintain a section of road within the community.

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure launched its “Adopt-a-Highway” program in 2003, and now that pandemic restrictions are easing it is once again inviting committed community members to support the care of B.C.’s scenic roadways.

Volunteer groups can apply to “adopt” a minimum two-kilometre stretch of highway for two years. Groups and individuals commit to supporting the upkeep of their adopted kilometres, and participate in different tasks, from performing litter removal (which is collected by maintenance contractors) to landscaping and reporting any invasive species they find by the roadside. Vehicles often transport invasive plants unknowingly, with seeds and plants finding fertile ground beside highways.

In 2019, more than 80 groups and nearly 900 individuals had adopted 150 kilometres of roadway. This year, the ministry is encouraging Adopt-a-Highway alumni and new groups to reconnect with the program to strengthen social bonds while making a positive impact on the environment and communities, and helping to maintain the province’s beauty for all to enjoy.

The ministry provides all necessary training and safety equipment for people working along the roadway, including vests, signage, and safety checklists. Groups average a cleanup four times a year, and can have their organization’s name posted on a sign along their stretch of highway. The program accepts applications year-round, and provides proactive opportunities for community service for youth and adults.

Apply to become a part of the program by emailing Adopt.A.Highway@gov.bc.ca. You can read more about the program at https://bit.ly/3BBvMdI.

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Ashcroft Cache Creek Journal