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Adopt-A-Highway groups recognized for service

Adopt-A-Highway groups recognized for service

Litter cleanup program great for groups and taxpayers alike


LIMA, Ohio (Feb. 3, 2020) The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) District 1 is recognizing groups who have participated in Adopt-a-Highway for 25 years with service awards signed by ODOT Director Jack Marchbanks and District 1 Deputy Director Chris Hughes.

Today ODOT officials were at Alloway Environmental Testing in Lima to honor the company’s 26 years of service in the program. Since 1994, the company has maintained a two-mile stretch of highway along state Route 65 north of the village of Cairo.

“The long-standing dedication of these Adopt-A-Highway groups demonstrates a passionate commitment for maintaining the beauty of their state,” said Governor Mike DeWine.  “The Adopt-A-Highway program provides an opportunity for anyone to help keep Ohio’s roadways clean and litter-free.”

The Adopt-A-Highway Program began during the summer of 1989 and went statewide in March of 1990. Since then, thousands of groups across the state have helped to keep Ohio beautiful.  Over the last 10 years, the program averages a savings of $240,000 per year for taxpayers.

Across District 1, county administrators are delivering certificates to a handful of unwavering groups that have been maintaining stretches of highway since the early years of the program. 

The following groups are to be credited for more than 25 years of service in Adopt-A-Highway:

Allen County:

  • Alloway Environmental Testing, state Route 65

Defiance County:

  • General Motors /UAW Powertrain has adopted two highways, state Route 18 and state Route 281
  • Defiance Unit International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local #8, state Route 66
  • Williams Family, U.S. 127

Hancock County:

  • Arcadia Lions Club, state Route 12

Hardin County:

  • Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity, Ohio Northern University, state Route 235
  • Zeta Tau Alpha, Delta Theta, Ohio Northern University, state Route 701
  • Ada Lions Club, state Route 309
  • Ada FFA, state Route 81
  • Hardin Northern FCCLA, state Route 81
  • Hardin Northern FFA, U.S. Route 68

Putnam County:

  • American Legion Post 63, state Route 109
  • Fort Jennings Lions Club, state Route 634
  • Columbus Grove Lions Club, state Route 65
  • Glandorf Lions Cub, U.S. Route 224

Van Wert County:

  • Wetzel Motorcycle Club, U.S. Route 224

Wyandot County:

  • Lawrence Insurance Agency, state Route 199
  • Upper Sandusky Lions Club, U.S. Route 23

“We encourage individuals and groups to consider picking up a section of road,” said ODOT District 1 Deputy Director Chris Hughes. “The Adopt-A-Highway program provides groups a way to give back to their communities and saves ODOT money in litter cleanup costs that can be reinvested elsewhere.”

Adopting a highway is free to groups and individuals, but groups should complete four litter pick-up sessions per year to remain active.  ODOT provides vests, grabber tools, trash bags, and trash disposal during litter pick-up sessions.

In 2019, 100 active groups with approximately 1,450 volunteers picked up over 400 bags of trash from along more than 200 miles of highway in District 1, which includes Allen, Defiance, Hancock, Hardin, Paulding, Putnam, Van Wert and Wyandot counties.

“The program is good for building camaraderie among club members,” said Dan Klear, a member of the Glandorf Lions Club.  “And the signs at either end promote the group.” 

In 1991, the group adopted a two-mile stretch of U.S. 224 west of Glandorf and Ottawa in Putnam County, but after 28 years of service, they are putting down their safety vests and grabber tools. “We hope another group will take over the route,” said Klear. “We want the main route into town to be clean and beautiful.”

Recently, Dana Inc. and the UAW Local 1765 adopted a section of state Route 115 near U.S. 30 in Allen County to honor Vicky Grace Martin, a service-minded co-worker and service-minded individual who passed away earlier this year.

“She was an advocate for the folks around here,” said Dana Plant Manager Dirk Taylor. “We are proud that the community service committee chose this way to celebrate Vicky.”

ODOT maintenance crews, Adopt-a-Highway groups and inmates from the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction (ODRC) pick up over 400,000 bags of litter each year. Statewide, ODOT spends approximately $4 million on average each year on litter clean-up. 

For more information on Adopt-a-Highway in Allen, Defiance, Hancock, Hardin, Paulding, Putnam, Van Wert or Wyandot counties, contact Eric Pfenning, ODOT District 1 roadway services engineer, at 419-999-6893 or eric.pfenning@dot.ohio.gov.

The Ohio Department of Transportation maintains the state’s largest man-made asset – the transportation system. ODOT’s mission is to provide the safe and easy movement of people and goods from place to place. As a $3 billion per year enterprise, ODOT invests the bulk of its resources in system preservation through maintenance, construction, and snow and ice operations.

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