In its early stages, the COVID-19 pandemic cancelled many initiatives such as those that involved gatherings of people to help clean up local streets, parks and facilities.
B.C.'s Adopt A Highway program was one of them, a popular year-round volunteer campaign that sees dozens of residents get together to maintain the environment along a stretch of their local highway.
This week, the province relaunched the campaign a year after its postponement and hope to match the number of committed community members of all ages that signed up in 2019 — or possibly more.
Roughly 150 km of scenic highways were cleared of litter, garbage and debris by almost 900 people participating in more than 80 groups.
The province is encouraging as many residents to sign up as possible to not only help the environment but to do so for the sake of building on social skills in working towards a positive community.
"Historically, the Adopt A Highway program has seen hundreds of volunteers every year support the stewardship of B.C.’s favourite road areas," reads a release from B.C.'s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI), noting the initiative first took place in 2003.
"While the program was paused in 2020 in response to the pandemic, this month’s relaunch is designed to inspire people to again become a part of the movement.
"This year, the ministry is encouraging Adopt A Highway alumni and new groups to reconnect with the program to strengthen social bonds while making a positive impact on the environment and communities, and helping to maintain the province’s beauty for all to enjoy."
Groups that apply for the program must adopt a minimum two kilometres of roadway to clean and the organization's name will get posted on a sign along that stretch.
Typically done about four times a year, tasks are set to include everything from picking up general debris to landscaping and reporting invasive species.
The MOTI says it supplies all volunteers with training and safety equipment for the road work.
For more information and registration, you can visit the Adopt A Highway page of the B.C.'s government's website.