The Kentucky Dept. of Transportation says volunteers will be out in force next week to "fall sweep" Kentucky highways. Kentucky's Transportation Cabinet has designated Sept. 16-22 as Adopt-A-Highway Fall Sweep Week.

In Kentucky efforts to keep highways and local roadways litter-free are undertaken by more than 800 civic-minded groups participating in the Adopt-A-Highway program that was established in 1988. Volunteers clean approximately 5,100 miles of roadside annually.

Such efforts provide a significant benefit to the Bluegrass State and undoubtedly, similar efforts in other states can go a long way to improve the partnership between citizens, communities and government; instill a sense of pride; clean up the environment and make our home state more attractive for tourism.

In Kentucky the DOT says that each year it spends about $5 million and 200,000 worker hours to remove about 96,000 bags of litter from Kentucky roadways. Adopt-a-Highway volunteers save thousands in taxpayer dollars and demonstrate to many others the importance of a clean environment.

The DOT adds that any permanently established business, association, community or public organization, or government entity can adopt a stretch of highway.

A wide range of groups throughout Kentucky that currently participate include homemaker clubs, Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops, high school organizations, service clubs, veterans groups, college fraternities and sororities, sport teams, church groups and others.

Volunteers adopt two-mile sections of highway under a two-year renewable contract with the Transportation Cabinet. Litter pick-ups are held at least four times annually or as many times as necessary to keep areas reasonably litter-free.

Such endeavors are exceptional expressions of civic pride and environmental concern. We can all applaud grassroots efforts like these... If you're involved in any similar Adopt-a-Highway efforts in your area, please tell us about the progress you've seen. And most importantly, Thank You!