What is the Adopt-A-Highway Program?
The first Adopt-A-Highway program in the nation began in Texas in 1985, and is now international in scope. Nebraska's program officially began in April of 1990, through the efforts of Gretna State Senator, Emil Beyer. The program is currently sponsored by the Nebraska Department of Transportation. More information is available by calling 402-479-4843.
In the past years, the Adopt-A-Highway program has grown to cover about one-quarter of the State’s 10,000 miles of roads and currently 900 groups have adopted a section of Nebraska roadsides as their own.
In April 2015, the Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT) celebrated 25 years of “Adopt-A-Highway.” On April 8, former Governor Pete Ricketts signed a proclamation naming April as “Adopt-A-Highway Volunteer Appreciation Month” in Nebraska, during a ceremony at the State Capitol. In addition, the month of April is designated as the “Great Nebraska Trash-Off” – a time for all groups to conduct spring cleaning in their areas.
What is the Great Nebraska Trash-Off?
The "Great Nebraska Trash-Off " is an annual event, usually held in April through May. This marathon period of cleaning Nebraska highways generates lots of fun and competition between groups, as well as good publicity for the program and those who participate.
- 2019 Great Nebraska Trash-Off Highlights
- Click here to view a PDF of Trash-Off Statistics since 2009
Criteria for Adopting
- The organization shall not be a for-profit commercial venture, political action committee, or a political organization.
- The adopted section must be along a state-maintained highway.
- The group agrees to pick up adopted sections twice a year for two years (agreement is renewable).
- Sections are a minimum of two miles and a maximum of six miles.
- The group agrees to perform the work in a satisfactory, safe, and professional manner, and will conduct a safety meeting prior to their litter pickups.
- The group agrees to give the Department of Transportation 48 hours’ notice before performing litter removal.
- Adult supervision is required for volunteers under the age of 15.
- The State provides the nameplate signs installed at each end of the adopted section, litter bags, traffic signs, safety vests, and disposes of the filled trash bags. The sponsor agrees to use only State-provided equipment during their litter pickups.
- Safety procedures for Adopt-A-Highway groups
- Watch for possible meth activity in roadside trash
- Keep Nebraska Beautiful & Litter Report Hotline
- Habitat Litter Poster
How to Apply
- Print the Adopt-A-Highway Application and fill it out.
- Mail it to the NDOT District Office for the county where you want to adopt. Mailing addresses are listed below.
- The District Office will process your application and get in touch with you.
Not sure where to mail your application or need help choosing an area to adopt? Contact your district!
District 1 | 302 Superior St, PO Box 94759 | Lincoln, NE 68509-4759 | 402.471.0850
District 2 | 4425 S 108th St, PO Box 45461 | Omaha, NE 68145-0461 | 402.595.2534
District 3 | 408 N 13th St | Norfolk, NE 68702-1707 | 402.370.3470
District 4 | 211 N Tilden St, PO Box 1488 | Grand Island, NE 68802-1488 | 308.385.6265
District 5 | 140375 Rundell Road, PO Box 220 | Gering, NE 69341 | 308.436.6587
District 6 | 1321 N Jeffers, PO Box 1108 | North Platte, NE 69103-1108 | 308.535.8031
District 7 | 619 Auditorium Dr | McCook, NE 69001-0530 | 308.345.8490
District 8 | East Highway 20, 736 E 4th St | Ainsworth, NE 69210-1215 | 402.387.2471