California Department of Transportation


Q What is the "Adopt-a-Highway" program?

Since the Adopt-a-Highway program began in 1989, more than 120,000 Californians representing more than 6,000 groups have volunteered to pick up roadside litter, paint over graffiti, plant wildflowers and perform other beautification work. Typically a group agrees to "adopt" a two-mile section of freeway or highway, and keep it litter-free for two years. Caltrans trains the volunteers and provides them with white hard hats, vests and bags. Caltrans also erects special blue and white signs alongside the highway to recognize the good deed. Over the years, Adopt-a-Highway volunteers have collected more than 423,000 cubic yards of litter and debris, or enough trash to fill a line of dump trucks, parked bumper-to-bumper, from San Francisco to San Luis Obispo. Their efforts have provided the state with an estimated $120 million in free labor, and enabled Caltrans maintenance workers to concentrate on more pressing needs. To participate in the program, contact your local Caltrans office and ask to speak to the "Adopt-a-Highway" coordinator, or call 916-654-2926.