St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM) - Thousands of volunteers helped keep Minnesota roadsides clean in 2021 by picking more than 29,500 trash bags from highway ditches.

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According to a news release from the Minnesota Department of Transportation, over 1,500 Adopt-a-Highway groups volunteered for more than 70,000 hours collectively last year.

With 830 roadway sections available for adoption statewide, MnDOT is welcoming more groups to volunteer for the program.

“We can’t thank our Adopt a Highway volunteers enough for the service they provide our state and would love to have more groups on our team,” said Ann McLellan, statewide Adopt a Highway manager. “Volunteers not only help to keep Minnesota roadsides clean, but their work allows our MnDOT crews to focus on other tasks that help keep highways safe. It is a win-win for all involved.”

The Adopt-a-Highway program has been part of MnDOT’s maintenance since 1990. Groups that want to volunteer can head to MnDOT’s website to find their local program coordinator. Volunteers are asked to commit to the program for at least two years and pick up litter on both sides of their roadway section at least twice a year.

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MnDOT says the average length of an adopted roadway is two miles.

MnDOT provides safety training, trash bags, and safety vests. Maintenance crews pick up the filled bags that volunteers leave along the side of the road. MnDOT also posts signs along the adopted segments of roads with the names of the volunteer groups.

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