The Lebanon Church recently adopted a one-mile stretch of Highway 32 in front of the church, committing to pick up trash along both sides of the road and ditches for at least the next three years.

The Missouri Department of Transportation has placed signage on both east- and westbound lanes, indicating the Lebanon Adventist Church is responsible for litter cleanup, and now members—donning bright orange vests, plastic gloves and beautiful smiles—can be seen by community residents and other passersby as they work to maintain God’s beautiful countryside along that stretch of the highway.

Since 1987, Missouri’s Adopt-A-Highway program has involved volunteers across the state working together to clean up Missouri. Currently, more than 5,300 groups and 50,000 volunteers in the program are focused on making Missouri’s roadsides cleaner and more attractive for residents and visitors. More than 6,400 miles of roadway have been adopted.

MoDOT spends about $6 million annually to remove litter from more than 385,000 acres of right-of-way along 34,000 state highway miles. Adopters perform about $1 million a year in litter cleanup and beautification efforts. Every area kept free of litter by adopters allows MoDOT to devote resources to other much-needed tasks.

Marcia Clark is communications secretary for the Lebanon Church.