Adopt-a-Highway groups to give Kentucky roadsides a ‘Spring Clean’

Published 8:59 am Wednesday, March 21, 2018


News release

FRANKFORT  – Thousands of volunteers with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s (KYTC) Adopt-a-Highway program will give the Commonwealth’s roadsides a “Spring Clean” through Sunday, March 25 during the first cleanup outing of 2018.

Email newsletter signup

As Adopt-a-Highway groups remove unsightly litter to make way for spring flowers, green grass and budding trees, KYTC reminds motorists that when Adopt-a Highway volunteers are present, roadsides are active work zones. Whether it is Spring Clean week or Work Zone Safety Awareness Week, which will occur April 9-13, drivers are expected to slow down and to travel through work zones with extra caution.

“The Adopt-a-Highway volunteers who sacrifice their time and effort to keep Kentucky looking its best deserve everyone’s thanks and appreciation,” Transportation Cabinet Secretary Greg Thomas said. “As these groups serve the Commonwealth by keeping roads litter-free, we remind motorists to slow down and use extra caution to keep volunteers safe.”

Each year, KYTC’s Division of Roadside Maintenance collects nearly 100,000 bags of highway litter. To assist those efforts and to provide savings to taxpayers, KYTC established the Adopt-a-Highway program in 1988 to create a partnership between citizens, community and government; to establish a sense of pride in the Bluegrass state; to promote environmental awareness; and to support tourism.

Today, Kentucky’s Adopt-a-Highway program comprises nearly 700 groups and volunteers that remove thousands of bags of litter from approximately 3,400 miles of roadside.

Any permanently established business, association, community or public organization, or government entity can adopt a stretch of highway. Local businesses, Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, high school organizations, service clubs, veterans groups, college fraternities and sororities, professional organizations, sports teams, church groups and many others participate in the program.

Groups interested in joining the Adopt-a-Highway program can find details and district coordinator information at

Groups are asked to adopt two-mile sections of road under a two-year renewable contract with KYTC.

Litter pickups are held at least four times per year or as many times as necessary to keep adopted areas reasonably litter free. KYTC coordinates three annual cleanup events.

The Adopt-a-Highway district coordinators help explain the program, assist groups in finding a section of road to adopt and coordinate communication with the county maintenance crew superintendent to arrange warning sign placement on the date of pickup. Trash bags and safety vests can be obtained at each state maintenance facility, and, once full, trash bags are removed by state highway crews.

Roadside safety information is provided to groups and should be reviewed with all participants prior to each cleanup. The roadside safety information brochure and a roadside safety video are available on KYTC’s Adopt-a-Highway webpage.