The Compassionate Friends of Ottawa County recently signed up to help keep our highways clean through the Ohio Department of Transportation’s “Adopt A Highway” program. Volunteer groups adopt a two mile section or an interchange along a State Route, United States Route or Interstate. The Compassionate Friends of Ottawa County adopted State Route 163 West from Route 2 for a two mile stretch to Lacarne.
Groups who sign up with the program adopt for two years and pick up a minimum of four times each year. Participants in Adopt-A-Highway are volunteers and not paid to pick up litter. Groups can partner with others in adopting, but may not pay another group to pick up litter. The Department of Transportation provides safety training, trash bags, disposable safety vests and two signs to be used at the beginning of the two mile section. The only cost to each group is their time. The Compassionate Friends of Ottawa County’s Chapter Leader, Roseann Hickman, said “The parents of our organization are proud to be giving back to our communities that have given so much to us. Everything we do is for the memory of our children gone too soon.”
The Compassionate Friends is a self help bereavement support groups for parents, grandparents and siblings who have suffered the loss of a child, no matter how old or the cause. Locally they meet the first Monday of each month at Peace Lutheran Church. For more information visit their facebook page, “The Compassionate Friends of Ottawa County”.
The Texas Department of Transportation started the first Adopt-A-Highway Program in 1985. Ohioans traveling through Texas saw the blue and white signs and the litter free roads. They came back and wrote some letters to the Governor about starting an Adopt-A-Highway Program here. In the fall of 1989, three districts tried out a pilot program. As more people found out about the program, interest spread. The following spring Adopt-A-Highway became official and was implemented statewide.
Ohio has over 1,400 groups, with at least one group in each county. In addition to Adopt-A-Highway volunteers, prison inmates and Department of Transportation employees also pick up litter along Ohio's highways.
For more information on how your group can Adopt A Higway, call the Ohio Department of Transportation District 2 office at 419-373-4482.