Sierran Masthead

Adoption Programs Can Increase Group Visibility

By Jane Fuller, Dunelands Group

To make the Dunelands Group more visible in the community, members decided to adopt a highway about two years ago.

The group adopted a two-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 12 that runs through the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Last year, the group began to separate recyclables from the trash they collected.

On every clean up, drivers passing by have stopped to say “thank you,” and the amount of litter has been noticeably decreasing with each clean up. We limit each service outing to two hours and sometimes follow it with a hike in one of the nearby Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore properties.

If your group would like to volunteer for adopt-a-highway, contact your local Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) office. Choose a two-mile stretch of road (one side). Your group will be expected to do four clean ups per year. INDOT will provide safety road signs, neon vests, and trash bags and will collect the bags after your work day. After two years, INDOT will erect a colorful sign recognizing your group.

Some Sierra Club members object to adopting highways, seeing it as encouragement of highway travel. If your group has such an objection, you may consider the adopt-a-river program.

To adopt a river, contact Hoosier Riverwatch at (317) 541-0617 or send an e-mail to You will commit to cleaning at least a ˝-mile stream segment twice a year. After two years, your group will be recognized with a large, colorful sign erected along a highway nearest the adopted site.

Dunelands Group members work at the site of their adopted highway. Back row: Chris Kirk, Bob Zatarski. Middle row: Jim Piekarczyk, Jane Fuller, Bob Belanger, Ken Kovach, Em'rynn Artunian. Front row: Stephanie Baumann, Ruth Bicknese, George Smolka.

Copyright © 2007 Hoosier Chapter Sierra Club, all rights reserved.[02/27/03]efp

Winter 2002-2003