Tuesday, June 06, 2000

Signs point to litter cleanup

By Patrick Crowley
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LAKESIDE PARK — A 12-year-old statewide anti-litter program has a new look amid a push for volunteers to help keep roads free of trash and debris.

        The Adopt-A-Highway Program unveiled a roadside sign Monday that will be used to designate the roads along which organizations and businesses have volunteered to pick up litter.

        The signs carry the slogan “Make It Yours,” to encourage motorists to take ownership of the look of their roadways, communities and environment, said Kentucky Highway Commissioner Bill Johnson.

        The first sign was installed Monday on Buttermilk Pike in front of Lakeside Christian Church in Lakeside Park. Buttermilk Pike has been adopted by employees of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District Six Highway Office, which is just off Buttermilk Pike in Fort Mitchell. The volunteer groups pick up the litter at least four times a year.

        “The signs say "Make It Yours' because that's what being environmentally aware is all about,” Mr. Johnson said as the sign was unveiled.

        “It's time for us to take ownership in our environment, our roadsides. It's time for us to make it ours. It's time for us to make a difference,” he said.

        Mr. Johnson joined local and state officials for a brief ceremony to mark installation of the sign. Also in attendance was U.S. Rep. Ken Lucas, a Richwood Democrat who represents Kentucky's 4th Congressional District.

        “This is a great program that helps keep our highways litter free,” Mr. Lucas said.

        The program is operated and funded by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

        Signs are placed at the beginning and end of highway sections adopted by community groups, businesses and organizations.

        Volunteers “adopt” two-mile stretches of roadway. The program has more than 1,600 volunteer groups that cover about 3,200 miles of Kentucky roads, but the Transportation Cabinet is looking for more groups to get involved, said program spokeswoman Barbara Martin.

        “This program is very popular and very successful, but it's been around for 12 years and we're just trying to give it a little boost and get some new people and groups involved,” Ms. Martin said.

        One of the groups involved in the program are nonviolent inmates at the Campbell County Jail.

        “We make sure all the inmates are nonviolent, non-sex offenders,” Campbell County Jailer Greg Buckler said.


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