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Adopt a Road


Article 25, Section 2 of the Annotated Code of Maryland empowers the Commissioners of St. Mary's County to make rules and regulations for landscaping, maintenance of landscaping and cleaning along roads, streets and alleys.


The existence of unsightly litter, garbage, posters, advertisements and other refuse along County roads detracts from the scenic and rural character of St. Mary’s County. In an effort to preserve the aesthetic beauty of the County, on October 20, 1998, the Commissioners of St. Mary's County adopted a program to encourage citizens to voluntarily help "clean up" along the County’s roadways. Please refer to our Adopt A Road Guidelines and Md. State Highway Administration Adopt-a-Highway Safety Video for additional information. Under this program, a homeowners association, business, group or other community organization may volunteer to clean up those roads within their subdivision or general geographic area. It is estimated that the annual cost of roadside litter control nationwide is $115,000,000. The first Adopt-A-Highway Program was started in Texas in March 1985. October 24, 1998 marked the tenth annual St. Mary’s County Community Service Day-individuals, churches, businesses, civic groups and other organizations are encouraged to "Help Keep St. Mary’s County Clean" by volunteering their time in this rewarding program. An application form is available within the Adopt A Road Guidelines document.

Road Maintenance Agreement

Participating groups should always obtain permission to perform roadside clean-up efforts and, as a part of this Program, agree to perform same for at least a two (2) year period. A simple Application and Road Maintenance Agreement must be signed by the group representative acknowledging that all members have been advised of the potential hazard associated with the work and that they agree to follow the established guidelines and safety procedures. Unless otherwise arranged, the group leader will coordinate with the County Highways Division for pickup of all collected trash and recyclable items.

Guidelines and Safety Procedures

The Department of Public Works & Transportation will provide all group leaders and group members a lime green vest, litter "getters" and litterbags. Safety vests must be worn at all times. Two (2) safety warning signs must be placed (one at the beginning and one at the end of the work site) to caution motorists that clean-up activities are being performed. Clean-up activities are to be performed during daylight hours and during good weather conditions. Group members must face on-coming traffic at all times and should avoid entering the travel lanes. A safety video is available at the Department and is recommended for viewing by group leaders. Group members under the age of 16 must have a group leader age 18 or older.


24" x 18" Adopt A County Road signs will be provided and installed by the Department at every program location. Each metal sign bears a colorful cedar tree emblem and the name of the group or business participating in the respective Community Cleanup Project.

What If I'm interested in doing it only once?

Pick a County-maintained road and the Department of Public Works & Transportation will provide bags, vests, training, and bag retrieval. All we ask is that you contribute approximately four hours of labor.