Adopt-A-Road Overview

The Douglas County Adopt-a-Road Program is a litter reduction campaign designed to remove litter debris from Rural Douglas County roads and improve the quality of the environment.  The program establishes a partnership between volunteer groups and the County.  The County provides guidance and equipment to foster safe and effective cleanups and the volunteers do the work of gathering the litter along designated roads.  Countywide Solid Waste crews follow up by picking up and disposing the collected litter.  Every participant in this program makes a positive impact on the appearance of both the Douglas County road network and the community. 

Participants volunteer to remove litter along an adopted route for a minimum of two years. The assigned routes will generally be up to two miles long, depending on the roadway topography and traffic volumes. Participants will clean the route a minimum of two times per year: Two miles - twice a year - for two years. Safety of the participants is primary concern in determining if a route may be assigned. Participants can apply to adopt a currently available route or may apply for a route of their choice. However, in general, routes should be:

  • Located within unincorporated Douglas County
  • A collector-distributor route
  • A minimum of two road miles long
  • Approved by the Traffic Safety Engineer as appropriate for the program

The minimum length and collector-distributor requirements may be waived on a case-by-case basis at the request of the adopting group or the discretion of the County; however, all routes MUST be located within unincorporated Douglas County and approved by the Traffic Safety Engineer as appropriate for the program.

The County will install two recognition signs identifying the adopting individual or group, provided the necessary safety equipment and safety training materials, and provide litterbags and removal of the filled litterbags.

Adopting groups may be an individual, a club, a business, or group of citizens. There are no costs or fees to the participants. However, participants must be at least 18 years of age, in good physical condition, and have good eyesight and hearing.

Each group will designate a Primary Group Coordinator and a Secondary Group Coordinator who will act as a liaison between their group and the County. The Group Coordinator will be responsible for overseeing the group and administering the agreed upon rules to the individuals in the group. The Group Coordinator will work closely with the Adopt-A-Road Program Coordinator.


The purpose of the Douglas County Adopt-A-Road Program is to provide citizens an opportunity to control litter and to improve the appearance of the roads in their community.

Program in Brief

A group (or individual) may adopt a route for litter control for a minimum of two years. The group agrees to adhere to the safety rules and guidelines of the program. The County will furnish safety equipment, but the group will be responsible to be properly equipped (clothing, water, etc.) There are no fees to the participants. The County will pay litter disposal costs. The group will be recognized with signs placed on the route for the duration of their active participation.

Definition of Roles

The Adopt-A-Road Program Coordinator is the County’s representative who coordinates the day-to-day operation of the Adopt-A-Road Program.

An applicant is defined as the individual or group interested in adopting a section of roadway.

The County is Douglas County, with the Adopt-A-Road Program being administered by County Countywide Solid Waste Programs.

A Group is defined as an individual or member of a group actually performing work on the road section

A Participant is defined as an individual or member of a group actually performing work on the road section under this program.

The Primary Group Coordinator is defined as the lead individual representing the group.

The Secondary Group Coordinator represents the group as the alternate Group Coordinator.

Timeline of Application, Participant Registration, and Cleanup Processes

Application Process
  1. Application sent from the Primary Group Coordinator (via mail, email, online submittal) to Adopt-A-Road Program Coordinator.
  2. Adopt-A-Road Program Coordinator then:
    1. Ensures route is not already adopted and there are no pending applications for route.
    2. If route meets above criteria, Adopt-A-Road Program Coordinator forwards application to Traffic Safety Engineer.
    3. If route does not pass above criteria, Adopt-A-Road Program Coordinator will contact applicant to discuss available options.
  3. Traffic Safety Engineer reviews each route at each application period to ensure route is still appropriate for the program (average daily traffic, speed limit, adequate sight distance, etc.) 
  4. If Traffic Safety Engineer deems the route is appropriate for the program, Adopt-A-Road Program Coordinator prepares orientation packet and mails to Primary Group Coordinator. The Adopt-A-Road Program Coordinator will follow up with the Primary Coordinator to answer questions and provide any other assistance needed to ensure group has completed the Group Agreement and Registered Group Enrollment Form.
Participant Registration Process
  1. Once a group has officially adopted a route, anyone who would like to participate in cleanup events on behalf of the group must complete the Individual Participant Release Form and submit the completed form to the group’s Primary Group Coordinator, who will then forward all completed release forms to the Adopt-A-Road Program Coordinator.
  2. The Adopt-A-Road Coordinator will review the Individual Participant Release forms to ensure they are fully completed and will enter participant information into a volunteer tracking database.
  3. Once a volunteer has completed the form and it has been reviewed by the Adopt-A-Road Program Coordinator, that participant will be cleared to perform cleanups on behalf of the Adopt-A-Road Program. The Adopt-A-Road Program Coordinator will provide the Primary Group Coordinator with an updated Active Participant Roster each time a participant is added to or removed from the volunteer group.
  4. Individual Participant Release forms will need to be renewed on an annual basis. The Adopt-A-Road Program Coordinator will coordinate a renewal process each January for all active participants.
Cleanup Process
  1. The Primary Group Coordinator or Secondary Group Coordinator shall contact the Adopt-A-Road Program Coordinator two weeks in advance of the planned cleanup date to reserve safety kits and request an Active Participant Roster, which is a list of all the volunteers who have completed an Individual Participant Release Form and are approved to participate in the cleanup. Only volunteers listed on the Active Participant Roster are approved to participate in cleanups.
  2. The Group Coordinator picks up the safety kit(s) at the requested location on the scheduled date.
  3. On the day of the cleanup, the Group Coordinator is responsible for ensuring all participants are listed on the group’s Active Participant Roster. Anyone not listed is not authorized to participate. The Group Coordinator is also responsible to ensure all approved participants sign the Work Day Release Form the day of the cleanup, before any work begins. 
  4. Groups should conduct their cleanups following all Safety Rules and guidelines as spelled out in the Group Agreement.
  5. Within five days of the cleanup, the Group Coordinator should send to the Adopt-A-Road Program Coordinator the completed Work Day Release Form. The form can be sent via mail or scanned and sent via email.