Harmony’s Adopt A Highway Project
Harmony Enterprises’ core purpose is career, community, and culture. For nearly 60 years, we have found ways to live out our core values, sharing our success with the local community. We are continually looking for ways to give back, especially ways that makes our earth a more sustainable place for generations to come. That’s why we decided to team up with the MnDOT to adopt a highway!
One of the members of our Engineering Department, Ryan Breckenridge, has been involved in the Adopt-A-Highway project with his family for over five years. He recently learned of an opportunity near Harmony and immediately brought the idea forward as a way to continue giving back.
Taking Ryan’s lead, we contacted the Minnesota Department of Transportation to learn more about the stretch of road that would be assigned to us and what our responsibilities entailed. Harmony Enterprises adopted a four mile section of State Highway 43 near Choice, MN. This road travels through the beautiful Choice Valley region, surrounded by rolling hills, bluffs, creeks, and abundant wildlife.
Harmony Enterprises employees will take turns volunteering to do this work. Each clean up day will consist of approximately 6-8 volunteers working for about 4 hours. Our goal will be to pick up all of the litter on this stretch of highway, disposing of the waste and recycling commodities that can be reused.
This past weekend, we had our first pick up day, starting the cleaning of this highway two times per year on both sides of the road. We had a beautiful, crisp, sunrise-filled morning and help from four Harmony employees and two additional family members. With a careful plan of attack and hard work, we were able to clean this hilly section of road in less than two hours!
The Benefits Of Adopting A Highway
We were pleased to learn that Adopt-A-Highway volunteers helped MnDOT realize an estimated $7 million benefit in 2018.
Here are some other great things to know if you are considering starting a project like this in your community:
Any public or private group can register to volunteer – Community groups, churches, individuals or businesses adopt a highway by picking up litter on both sides of a road at least two times per year for at least two years.
There are many benefits to volunteering –
- Keeps roadsides beautiful and free of litter
- Public service project for groups and families
- Shows that Minnesotans care about their state
- Saves taxpayers money
There are different volunteering options you can apply for –
- Adopt a Highway or Rest Area: Volunteers sign agreement with MnDOT to adopt a section of state highway or designated rest area and commit to pick up litter at least twice a year.
- Pick a Highway: Pick a Highway is a one-time litter picking activity on an assigned segment of state highway.
The supplies are provided for you and your team –
MnDOT will provide bags, approved safety vests, training and bag retrieval. You contribute approximately four hours of labor.
What are you Doing to Better the Environment?
There are many ways that you and your employees can help to better the environment. You can take part in programs like Adopt-A-Highway. You can also do an internal audit of your businesses’ waste and recycling efforts to make sure you are operating as efficiently as possible, and with environmental stewardship in mind.