The Idaho Transportation Department has suspended the Adopt a Highway and other volunteer programs to focus on essential services and promote community safety.
Under the program, volunteers adopt a section of highway for two years at a time and commit to removing litter twice a year. These sections are marked by special white and blue signs on the highway.
The department provides volunteers with safety vests, trash bags and road signs but decided to temporarily suspend the program in late March. There were concerns about encouraging large groups to gather and the ability to clean shared items between uses.
Groups are being notified via email and mail of the suspension. Organizations will not lose their adopted sections if they do not meet the required number of pickups this year.
“We appreciate the willingness of our fellow Idahoans to keep our state beautiful by picking up trash but unfortunately have to temporarily halt the program,” said Judi Conner, the volunteer services coordinator. “For the time being, drivers should expect to see more trash as ITD and our volunteers follow guidance to keep our communities safe.”
Other volunteer programs that allow nonprofit organizations to offer free refreshments at rest areas or offer educational presentations to schools have also been put on pause.
ITD aims to support volunteer services again once cleaning supplies are readily available and guidance from health experts changes.
More information about volunteer programs and contact information for program coordinators may be found at itd.idaho.gov/road-mtce.