You’ve probably seen Adopt a Street signs around town or along the highway. Unlike the “adopt a polar bear” program I participated in as a kid, adopting a street involves service instead of a monetary donation. It’s an initiative coordinated by Keep Charlotte Beautiful, an affiliate of the nationwide Keep America Beautiful program, that activates volunteers to keep roadsides clean.
Until I spotted a sign with the name of a couple I know on it, it hadn’t occurred to me that individual citizens (not just corporations and institutions) could adopt streets. Here’s how to do it.
Adopt a city street in Charlotte
Managing entity: City of Charlotte – Keep Charlotte Beautiful
Adopted route minimum: 1 mile
Length of commitment: 2 years
# of annual clean ups required: 3
Adopting a city street in Charlotte is a 2-year commitment to a minimum 1-mile stretch of road. You’ll be responsible for a minimum of three clean ups per year, which include collecting trash, submitting clean up reports, removing illegal signs, marking storm drains and spotting graffiti. Supplies (bags, safety vests and litter sticks) are provided. In exchange, KCB puts up two adoption signs with your name on it along the route.
To apply to adopt a city street: Contact KCB at 704-353-1235 or email@example.com
Adopt a highway in North Carolina
Managing entity: North Carolina Department of Transportation – Office of Beautification
Adopted route minimum: 2 miles
Length of commitment: 4 years
# of annual clean ups required: 4
Adopting a state highway is a 4-year commitment to a minimum 2-mile stretch of road. You’ll be responsible for a minimum of four clean ups per year, which include collecting trash, transporting recyclables to the proper facility (strongly encouraged but not required) and submitting clean up reports. Supplies (bags, safety vests and litter sticks) are provided and all volunteers are required to watch a safety training video. In exchange, NCDOT puts up two adoption signs with your name on it along the route.
To apply to adopt a state highway: Contact the Mecklenburg County AAH Coordinator at 980-523-0000 or apply online