Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Adopt a Highway

A program that turns community involvement into cleaner roadsides

What is the Adopt a Highway Program?

Adopt a Highway Volunteer Program infographic
Adopt a Highway Volunteer Program infographic. Click or tap to enlarge.

The public can volunteer and participate in Adopt a Highway to pick up litter along Minnesota’s state highways.

Adopt a Highway also enables residents who are environmentally conscious to make a personal contribution to a cleaner environment.

These volunteers helped MnDOT realize an estimated $7 million benefit in 2018.

How does it work?

Community groups, churches, individuals or businesses adopt a highway by picking up litter on both sides of a road at least two times per year for at least two years.

MnDOT will help your group select a state highway to adopt. Roads that have heavy traffic or are inaccessible to pedestrians are not eligible.

Benefits of volunteering

  • Keeps roadsides beautiful and free of litter
  • Public service project for groups and families
  • Shows that Minnesotans care about their state
  • Saves taxpayers money

How do I start?

  • Contact your local Adopt a Highway coordinator.
  • Choose a representative for your group. The representative will sign an agreement on behalf of the group.
  • All participants in the group must review the safety information provided by MnDOT before every pickup.
  • Participants must be at least 12 years old. Participants 18 years old or younger must have adequate adult supervision.

MnDOT provides volunteers with safety vests, trash bags and safety information.

What if I'm interested in doing it only once?

Pick a Highway is a one-time litter picking activity on an assigned segment of state highway. MnDOT will provide bags, vests, training, and bag retrieval. You contribute approximately four hours of labor.

Is your class seeking an environmental project? Does your business coordinate employee activities in the community? Pick a Highway better fits these situations. Contact an Adopt a Highway coordinator.