Weather Forecast


Local Adopt a Highway volunteers pile up successes

Members of the Sertoma Club of Alexandria pick up garbage along two miles of Interstate 94 through the Adopt a Highway program. Eighty-two miles of highways are covered by the program in Douglas County. (Tara Bitzan/Echo Press)

Dozens of Douglas County organizations, businesses and families are part of the statewide success of the Adopt a Highway program.

Statewide, the program has benefited from 49,000 volunteers who help clean up more than 11,000 miles of Minnesota’s highways, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT).

Currently, 33 local volunteer groups help clean up along 82.15 miles across Douglas County – everyone from the Pocket Lake Association to the friends and family of Brian Corrigan.

MnDOT’s Adopt a Highway administrator, Ernest Lloyd, said, “Because of volunteers’ contributions, our crews can spend more time on highway improvement and safety projects.”

Volunteers help pick up 826,000 pounds (more than 100 dump truck loads) of litter annually across Minnesota, saving the state an estimated $6 million.

The Adopt a Highway program has been around since 1990.


MnDOT is looking for more volunteers to help with Adopt a Highway.

There are two sections of state roads available in Douglas County for adoption: 3 miles along Interstate 94 from milepost 112 to 115 and 2 miles along Highway 27 from milepost 60 to 62.

To become part of the program, volunteer groups must agree to:

● Adopt a highway for a minimum of two years.

● Select a segment of highway approximately two miles in length.

● Pick up litter on both sides of the highway.

● Pick up litter as often as needed from spring through fall, usually two to three times.

MnDOT provides a safety training video, trash bags and safety vests for each volunteer. The high-visibility color and reflective tape make litter crews more visible to passing motorists.

After the group completes its cleanup, MnDOT crews pick up the filled bags and items from the roadside.

Another Adopt a Highway option is “Pick A Highway,” which allows an individual, family, business or group the option of trying out the program with a one-time pick up of litter along an un-adopted section of state highway.

To volunteer with a local program, visit


Interstate 94 – 20.2 miles

Wales Hearing Aid Center, 2 miles; Douglas County Sheriff’s Posse, 3; JLG Architects, 1.3; Knights of Columbus, 2; Sertoma Club of Alexandria, 2; Wales Hearing Instrument Centers, 2; St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, 2; Erickson’s Petting Zoo, 2.

Highway 29 – 25.7 miles

Paul and Leisa Wildman Family, 1 mile; Nemec Estates Neighbors, 2; Leadership Alexandria, 2; Boy Scout Troop 416 of Alexandria, 1.1; Target Team Members, 2; Mid MN Federal Credit Union, 2; Alexandria UPS, 2; The Millers Ace Door Co., 2; Cornerstone Chiropractic, 3; Miltona Lions Club, 3; Alexandria Technical and Community College Law Enforcement Club, 1.5.

Highway 114 – 8.7 miles

Pocket Lake Association, 3.1 miles; WalMart #1632 Associates, 2; The Pazdernik Family, 1.5; Buttweilers Do-All, 2.

Highway 27 – 17.65 miles

In Memory of Nick Mahoney, 2; Family and Friends of Brian Corrigan, 2; Family and Friends of Kara Strunk, 2; Oscar Lake Lutheran Church, 2; Justice Drywall Family of Rick, 2; Family of Ilya Thomson, 1.7; Nelson Lake Association, 2; Alexandria Elks Lodge #1685, 2.

Highway 55 – 8.9 miles

First Lutheran Kensington, 2 miles; Cub Scout Troop 475, 3.

Source: MnDOT

Amy Chaffins

Amy Chaffins is a journalist working for the Echo Press newspaper in Alexandria, Minnesota.

(320) 763-3133