Adopt-a-Highway: Talkin' Trash Newsletter

Fall 2016

Adopt-a-Highway Database

Coming Soon! Adopt-a-Highway Database
This fall the program will launch its brand-new Adopt-a-Highway Database. The online system will help streamline the adoption process for both volunteers and TxDOT employees to help keep Texas roads litter-free. 

Features include:

  • Public access and management of group information, group pickups and adopted highways
  • Publicly accessible map of adopted and un-adopted roadways
  • Ability to create, manage and update agreements and data electronically
  • Email notifications and in-system correspondence between users and coordinators
  • Photo gallery

Wildflower Planting Season  

Bluebonnets and Indian paintbrushes line Texas State Highway 71.

Bluebonnets and Indian paintbrushes line Texas State Highway 71.

Fall has officially arrived, which means it’s time to prepare for spring wildflowers. One of the most popular choices for both home gardens and scenic roadways is the state flower, the Texas Bluebonnet. Some tips for those looking to help beautify their homes and communities with bluebonnets:

  • Seeds may be planted Sept. 1 through Dec. 15, but for best results should be planted by mid-November.
  • Seeds can be distributed over undisturbed soil, but seed-to-soil contact is essential. If the seed is covered, it is best to cover with soil no more than one-quarter inch deep.
  • Some seeds will begin to sprout in 4-10 days. However, the germination process can continue over 18 months or more.
  • Keep in mind bluebonnet seeds are large and hard-coated, which can cause them to have a low germination rate the first 1-2 years. 

 More Wildflower Planting Tips


Adopt-a-Highway Creator Honored 

Adopt-a-Highway creator J.R. Bobby Evans was presented with the Keep Texas Beautiful 2016 Leadership Award, the organization’s most prestigious award honoring an individual who has shown outstanding leadership in improving and enhancing the environment during their lifetime.

Left: Keep Texas Beautiful Executive Director Suzanne Kho; Right: James R. Bobby Evans

Left: Keep Texas Beautiful Executive Director Suzanne Kho; Right: James R."Bobby" Evans

Often referred to as the “Father” of the program, Evans was alarmed by the amount of litter and growing costs for pickups on roadways. As the Tyler District Engineer for the Texas Department of Transportation, he challenged a local organization to “adopt” a highway. On March 9, 1985, the Tyler Civitan Club had the first Adopt-a-Highway sign mounted on US Highway 69. Thanks to Evans, TxDOT's District Public Information Officer Billy Black, and a few gung-ho volunteers, the program has become internationally renowned. 

For more information, visit Keep Texas Beautiful or


Safety Tip Icon

School Safety

Did you know high schools and colleges account for over 1,000 of the Adopt-a-Highway groups in our state? The following guidelines can keep youth volunteers safe and sound.

  • At least one adult must be present at pickups for volunteers between the ages of 15 to 18.
  • There should be at least one adult supervisor for every three volunteers under the age of 15.
  • College groups must have a faculty or organization sponsor listed as a contact for their group.


2016 Trash-Off Results

The results for the 2016 Don’t mess with Texas Trash-Off are in! Thank you to all the volunteers whose hard work contributed to this year’s pickup. Mark your calendar for next year's pickup on April 8, 2017.

Trash-Off logo; 2016 Impact; 1,359 events across Texas; state of Texas image; female and male icons; 34,191 volunteers; 3,957 miles of highway cleaned; image of road; image of trash can; 1.5 million pounds of litter collected; Keep Texas Beautiful logo


Waco District Coordinator Betsy Pittman

AAH Team Spotlight: Betsy Pittman

Waco Adopt-a-Highway Coordinator Betsy Pittman is a district native raised in Lampasas and currently residing in the small Texas town of Moody, south of Waco. Pittman joined the program three and a half years ago, but has been a member of the TxDOT team for 21 years. As an AAH Coordinator, she enjoys working with the district’s devoted volunteer groups and Waco's wonderful section coordinators. In her free time, Pittman loves to swim, play with her two dogs, and travel cross-country with her husband on motorcycle road trips.


Thank you Adopt-a-Highway volunteers!

Canyon Creek Presbyterian Church-Dallas

Canyon Creek Presbyterian Church - Dallas 

  Pharr FireFighters Association

Pharr Firefighters Association - Pharr 

Clint High School JROTC-El Paso

Clint High School JROTC - El Paso 

  Kappa Delta Chi Sorority, Alpha Beta-Pharr

Kappa Delta Chi Sorority, Alpha Beta - Pharr


The original Adopt-a-Highway program began in Texas in 1985. Since then, it’s grown into a nationally and internationally recognized litter-prevention effort, saving taxpayers’ dollars and keeping our rights of way clean.

Adopt-a-Highway currently has more than 3,800 participating groups across the state, and we salute those thousands of individuals who dedicate their time to actively make a difference and keep Texas beautiful.