Tennessee Department of Transportation’s Highway Beautification office would like to invite local groups, schools, and businesses to participate in our Adopt a Highway Program. Adopt A Highway is a great opportunity for citizens to show their pride in our community, make a little difference for the environment, get some exercise, and build fellowship.
While the Adopt A Highway Program has existed for many years, it has not received a great deal of promotion in recent years. Some of the signs in our area may be for groups who are no longer active in the program. Any groups with old signs posted on the highway are invited to call our office to get reacquainted with the program and receive a new sign.
Benefits of Participation in Adopt A Highway
Besides the sense of pride your group will have by knowing you are enhancing the appearance of your community, TDOT thanks active groups through a variety of recognition programs, such as the President’s Volunteer Service Award program. Volunteer groups are also permitted to separately bag recyclable items and turn in to redemption centers for fundraising cash.
In addition, your group will have its name posted on a recognition panel installed below the official Adopt-A-Highway sign. TDOT recognition panels identify our volunteers and recognize the contributions they make to their communities.
Guidelines and Requirements
Any group or individual may apply for participation in the Adopt-A-Highway Program.
There is no fee required to participate in the program—only your time, effort, and concern for the environment! TDOT provides volunteers with all necessary supplies and safety materials. Filled trash bags are removed from the roadsides by TDOT crews.
Participants must be at least 12 years old. Volunteers 12 – 17 years old must have parental permission to participate in litter pickups. TDOT requires adult supervision at a ratio of one (1) adult for every five (5) youths under age 18.
Groups are asked to make a commitment to adopt approximately two miles of roadway for at least one year and conduct a total of four litter pickups on their adopted stretch of roadway. One pickup per quarter/season is recommended, although groups may conduct pickups more frequently.
Our district office will provide caution signs, work vests, gloves, trash grabbers, trash bags, and pickup service. We will also be happy to conduct a safety briefing for your group, or your group can watch the safety video on our website. We have waivers that will need to be signed by participants.
Most state-owned roadways are eligible for adoption, excluding the major interstate system. Adoptable roadways may be state-owned, federal-aid, primary or secondary roads.
When applying to participate in the Adopt-A-Highway program, please provide the state route number of the roadway you are interested in adopting. To further help TDOT identify the exact location you wish to adopt, you will be asked to include names of intersecting roads, nearest exits, or landmarks.
Your district coordinator for the program is Shanon Kelley-George. She can be reached at 423-623-1227 for groups who are interested in joining the program or who have any questions.