Challis Chamber honored for D-6 cleanup campaigns

The Idaho Transportation Board, led by District 6 representative Lee Gagner, honored a Challis group for its continuing efforts to keep an eastern Idaho highway free of litter and debris.

For the past two decades, the Challis Area Chamber of Commerce has maintained the roadside décor of U.S. 93 between mileposts 158 ad 160 as part of Idaho’s Adopt-A-Highway program.

Although records are incomplete for the first nine years of the 20-year service, chamber members have removed approximately 7.700 pounds of garbage since 2000. The group cleaned the highway 18 times during those years.

ITD presented framed certificate and a clock fashioned from a sample Idaho license plate to the Chamber for its selection as District 6 Adopt-A-Highway group of the year.

The statewide Adopt-A-Highway program organizes the cleaning of Idaho roadsides by volunteer groups. Those groups “adopt” a specific stretch of highway – usually two miles or longer – and take responsibility for keeping it clean through regular litter patrols.
Approximately 1,000 Adopt-A-Highway groups conducted regular cleanups in 2010, logging a total of nearly 58,000 person-hours and saving ITD an estimated $750,000. Through their efforts, ITD is able to commit more resources to highway projects that improve travel conditions and safety.
More than half of Idaho’s highways have been adopted, leaving ample opportunities for other groups and individuals to become involved.

In addition to groups participating in the Adopt-A-Highway program, an increasing number of volunteers also are involved in keeping Idaho highways clean and attractive. In calendar year 2010, they removed 2,814 bags of garbage, or more than 98,000 pounds, from roadsides.

Adopt-A-Highway groups and non-affiliated volunteers make a tremendous difference in the appearance of Idaho’s highways, said Sherie Sweaney, statewide Volunteer Services Coordinator. “It really is gratifying that so many people are committed to keeping our highways clean and attractive,” she said. “It also helps us get the most out of our available highway maintenance funds.”

For more information about adopting a stretch of highway or participating in volunteer services, contact Sweaney at (800) 443-2878.

Published 10-7-2011