MnDOT sees $7 million benefit from Adopt a Highway volunteers in 2018

Published 6:20 am Tuesday, April 16, 2019

ST. PAUL – Volunteers helping with the Adopt a Highway program picked up nearly 36,000 bags of litter and cleaned up almost 9,000 miles of state roadways in 2018, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT).

Statewide more than 3,500 volunteer groups, ranging from four to 25 people, spent an estimated 282,000 hours cleaning roadway ditches across Minnesota last year, which translated into an estimated $7 million benefit for the state.

In southeast Minnesota, 595 groups participate in cleaning state highways in 11 counties.

Email newsletter signup

“When our volunteers are picking up litter along the roadways it shows that Minnesotans care about their state and it is a win-win for all involved,” said Ann McLellan, statewide Adopt a Highway manager.

The program has been part of MnDOT’s maintenance operations since 1990. Volunteers representing schools, businesses, faith-based groups, families and individuals currently adopt more than 4,400 segments of state roadways in Minnesota.

“We still have at least 700 segments available for adoption, most of them in Greater Minnesota,” said McLellan. “In the Twin Cities area, there are 28 segments available.”

Individuals and groups who want to volunteer should go to to find their local area program coordinator. In southeast Minnesota, there are 63 sections available for new volunteer groups to adopt. Groups interested in adopting a highway can call 507-286-7508 to inquire about available sections.

MnDOT provides safety training, trash bags and safety vests, and picks up the filled bags that volunteers leave at the side of the road. MnDOT also posts signs along the adopted segments of roads with the names of the volunteer groups.

Volunteers are asked to commit to the program for at least two years and pick up litter on both sides of the roadway at least twice a year. The average length of an adopted roadway is two miles.