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For more information, contact Melissa Black at 816-607-2153

May 04, 2017 01:59 PM
Adopt-A-Highway Volunteers Help Celebrate 30th Anniversary of Program While Cleaning Roadsides

Carolyn Lero is one Adopt-A-Highway volunteer in the Kansas City Region who has joined thousands of Missourians from every corner of the state to help fight litter through the state’s annual No MOre Trash! Bash April 15 to May 15. The No MOre Trash! Bash is sponsored by the Missouri Department of Conservation and Missouri Department of Transportation. This year’s No MOre Trash! Bash marks the 15th year for the No MOre Trash! litter-prevention campaign and the 30th anniversary of MoDOT’s Adopt-A-Highway program. Anyone in the region is encouraged to participate in the bash or join the program.  

Lero's sign reads, “In Loving Memory of Denise (Lero) Greene,” and Lero of Climax Springs, MO, usually works alone to clean up the mile-long adopted stretch of Highway 291 South located four miles north of Harrisonville, as part of MoDOT's AAH program.

“This program is a great way for me to honor my daughter and warn people not to drink and drive,” Lero said. “People just don’t know what drinking and driving can do to a family.”

Lero is one of the 1,021 adoptive groups in the nine-county Kansas City Region that has adopted altogether 980 miles of highway roadsides. The City of North Kansas City is the longest-term adopter signing up in November of 1987.

Annual volunteer trash pickup efforts, including the trash bash and Adopt-A-Highway program, are valued at $1 million. And each year MoDOT spends $6 million to remove litter from more than 385,000 acres of roadsides along 34,000 state highway miles.

“I wish people would just keep a bag for their trash in their car and throw it away where it belongs,” Lero said. “Until they do, I’ll be out here for as long as I can, picking up trash. I would do anything for my daughter.”

Local organizations and others interested in improving Missouri's environment can help with litter pickup, beautification or mowing through MoDOT's AAH program. Adopters can choose to have their group’s name on the signs or choose to adopt in the memory of a loved one. About 3,700 Adopt-A-Highway groups are responsible for approximately 5,000 miles of Missouri roadways statewide. In the Kansas City area, there are still 4,159 miles available for adoption.

The annual Trash Bash encourages people to clean up litter across Missouri from roadsides, parks, neighborhoods, rivers, streams, trails and other places. Trash Bash activities also include educational efforts in schools, community events and Earth Day celebrations.

Last year, more than 50,400 bags of litter and several truckloads of debris were picked up during the one month No MOre Trash! Bash. People also attended numerous educational events stressing the importance of not littering. Volunteers participated through Adopt-A-Highway and Stream Team litter cleanup events. Missouri Stream Team Program volunteers removed 581 tons of litter from waterways and dedicated over $1.8 million worth of volunteer time to litter removal statewide annually.

MDC and MoDOT encourage all Missourians to properly dispose of litter including recycling it. Volunteers are needed across the state to participate in litter cleanup activities. Participants can report their cleanup efforts and will receive a thank you No MOre Trash! pin. For more information and to learn how to participate, visit www.nomoretrash.org or call 1-888-ASK-MODOT (1-888-275-6636)



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