By Andrea Phillips
Special to The SUN
Archuleta County and the Town of Pagosa Springs are working together to launch an Adopt-A-Road Program to maintain the natural beauty of our region by keeping roadside litter at a minimum, while supporting local businesses, nonprofits and other organizations.
The program provides an opportunity for service organizations and volunteer groups to do a cleanup project and to interact as a team for a positive impact in the community.
Many communities throughout the state have created their own Adopt-a-Road programs, modeled after the national program. Groups can pick a road or section of road and, through their group, coordinate cleanup days for that stretch of road. A sign can be installed indicating the group’s adoption of the road.
The county and town have received complaints from residents about trash and debris in the rights of way. The rights of way tend to become littered and this is especially apparent in the spring. Staff does not have the time to go down every roadside area to clean up the debris.
Through the program, the county and town would provide trash bags and safety visibility vests, and would order adoption signs specific to the organization. The county and town would provide supplies and a point of contact for the volunteer groups and after a group performed a cleanup, staff would pick up the bags for disposal. Groups would not pick up hazardous materials (if present) or dead animals, but report those items to their contact.
The county and town have prepared lists of roads that are available for adoption. These roads include some of the most heavily traveled in the county and also some of the dirtiest. Some roads provide opportunities for groups to pick trash on both town and county jurisdictions, providing a shared benefit.
The Colorado Department of Transportation has a similar program for state highways and the county and town program does not propose to have groups picking up litter on the highway.
Interested parties can contact Jamie Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org or Martin Schmidt at email@example.com for more information on how they can adopt a road.