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LETTER: Help keep our roadways beautiful

To the editor:

Most road surfaces are well-maintained; however, the shoulders and ditches look different. They get unsightly deposits from people who decide to throw it out of their vehicles. Some litter is also from materials not secured to vehicles, as well as pieces of tires. The city, county and state workers assigned to keep our roads maintained do not have time to pick up all the litter.

I have an Adopt-A-Highway section in Carlton County. I volunteered for this job and responsibility 10 years ago, and pick up the roadside litter two times a year. I usually do it in May and October, so I get to enjoy the spring and fall weather and scenery. I collect six bags of litter from my roadway area almost every time. Sometimes friends have helped me. Then both of us "Help Beautify Our Roads" and get some exercise!

Presently, the round trip mileage accrued for this volunteer activity is allowed as a deduction on income taxes. The litter garbage bags are provided, and the filled bags are picked up by county workers. Your group gets recognized with a permanent sign placed at your Adopt-A-Highway roadway section. Additionally, you get a few hours walking and bending exercise a minimum of two times a year.

As of March 8, Carlton County had 11 Adopt-A-Highway roadway areas still available. Contact the Carlton Highway Department office, 1630 County Road 61, Carlton, for a two-year commitment for one of these areas. If you have a different favorite part of the state to visit, contact one of the other 86 Minnesota county highway departments to Adopt-A-Highway section there.

Remember, you don't have to do it alone! Get a group of family members or friends to pick a roadway near your favorite state park, lake place or hunting area. Get a church or other civic group to find an area convenient to them. Then, after your cleanup efforts, have a group activity or visit a restaurant to reflect on your work to help beautify our roads.

And thank you for not littering!

Jim Kvitrud

White Bear Lake, Minn.