Skip to main content

How to Volunteer: Adopt-a-Highway Program

By August 10, 2018No Comments

A Texas-sized thank you for your interest in the Adopt-a-Highway (AAH) volunteer program! We are always in need of volunteers willing to go the extra two miles to keep our roadways litter free. For over 30 years, the Texas -born program has encouraged citizens to showcase their pride by removing unsightly litter from state-maintained roadways. In fact, you can spot the world’s first Adopt-a-Highway on Highway 69 in Tyler, Texas.

We all expect everyone to be respectful and committed to maintaining a beautiful environment but unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. More than 435 million of pieces of visible litter mar the beautiful lone star state’s roadways according to TxDOT’s Visible Litter Study. That doesn’t even include micro litter like cigarettes or candy wrappers!

Texas Adopt-A-Highway volunteers, an estimated 3,800 groups, account for 10% of highway pickups which saves the state between $3 -$ 4 million each year. Help us inspire all Texans, from new arrivals to long-time locals, to support the program and beautify our community. 

Want to adopt a highway?

Keep in mind these helpful tips to make the process as easy as possible:

  • Each group is required to adopt an average of 2 miles of roadway for a minimum of 2 years and perform at least 4 pickups per year. Length of roads may vary.
  • TxDOT only manages state roadways. County and city roads are handled by the appropriate local institution. Interstate highways are ineligible for volunteer adoption due to safety concerns.
  • Roadways may or may not be available in your area based on safety requirements determined by your local TxDOT maintenance office.
  • Signs will be displayed on each end of the group’s adopted road segment.Any sign name change requests made to already created signs will be charged to the group.
  • Sign names are approved at the discretion of the department. AAH signs are meant to acknowledge volunteers and not appear as advertisements for businesses, elected officials or legislation. Please review our guidelines before submitting your sign name.
  • In-Memory signs are only to recognize individuals who have died as a result of a collision on the Texas highway system.
  • TxDOT provides trash-bags, orange safety vests, and safety signs. We highly encourage groups to use thick gloves, sunscreen, insect repellent and provide plenty of water for volunteers.
  • Safety first! All groups must watch the AAH Safety Video and abide by all safety rules.

Prepare to participate in the Don’t mess with Texas Trash-Off held every spring. This is the state’s largest one-day annual cleanup.

 Ready to apply?

Submit an application online. Your application will be routed to your local district coordinator who will review and look for available roadways in your area. If your application is approved and there is a roadway available in your county or an adjacent county, you will be sent an Adopt-a-Highway agreement to sign.

Need to contact your AAH coordinator directly?

A contact list of district coordinators can be found at

For more information view the TxDOT Adopt-a-Highway webinar or visit the TxDOT Adopt-a-Highway website for a detailed program history and guidelines.

Blog post written by Catherine Cromer, Statewide Adopt-a-Highway and Campaigns Coordinator at the Texas Department of Transportation

Catherine is the Statewide Coordinator for the Adopt-a-Highway program housed in the Travel Information Division at the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT). She’s spent more than 3 years working with AAH coordinators statewide to grow the program and help beautify Texas roadways. Catherine also works on TxDOT’s Don’t mess with Texas and Drive Clean Texas public awareness campaigns.