This project dates back to the 80’s. On March 9, 1985, the first-ever Adopt-a-Highway sign is erected on Texas’s Highway 69. The highway was adopted by the Tyler Civitan Club, which committed to picking up trash along a designated two-mile stretch of the road.
The Adopt-a-Highway program really began the year before, when James Evans, an engineer for the Texas Department of Transportation, noticed litter blowing out of the back of a pickup truck he was following in Tyler, Texas. Concerned about the increasing cost to the government of keeping roadways clean, Evans soon began asking community groups to volunteer to pick up trash along designated sections of local highways. Evans got no takers for his idea; however, Billy Black, the public information officer for the Tyler District of the Texas Department of Transportation, took up the cause and organized the first official Adopt-a-Highway program, which included training and equipment for volunteers. After the Tyler Civitan Club’s sign went up on March 9, other groups volunteered to beautify their own stretches of highway. The program eventually spread to the rest of the U.S. and to such countries as Canada, Japan and New Zealand.
Businesses, schools and churches are among the main organizations to participate in the Adopt-a-Highway (also known in some places as Sponsor-a-Highway) program.
Our firm has been involved in these efforts for years and has adopted a portion of our local highway. Annually, our firm adopts the section on Route 36 between the YMCA to the intersection at Chimney Rocks and Bedford Street. This year, the Adopt-A-Highway project was held on Monday, May 16th. The weather held out for our great PJL crew and for a huge clean up in our community! Part of the clean up included dawning our safety vests, gloves, and trash bags and hitting the highway in teams.
A huge thank you goes out to those that participated in the 2022 Adopt-A-Highway project. The crew involved this year was as follows: Joe, Joey, Lauren and Betsy Lehman, Husam Obeid, Jim Frank, Elizabeth Heggi, Ken Szala, Bob Bryant, Marty Malone, Ryan Granville, Adam Shriver, Chantal Sisko, and Tammie Fleck.