Adopt-a-Road Program

Adopt-a-Road is a public service program that allows volunteers to pick up litter along certain Regional rights-of-way. It helps environmentally conscious residents, community organizations, private business and industry contribute to a cleaner, healthier environment.

Under the program, groups and individuals agree to adopt a section of a Regional right-of-way and keep it clean. In addition to the satisfaction gained by creating a cleaner environment, the volunteers are recognized by a sign that is erected by Niagara Region acknowledging their efforts.

Volunteer information

Volunteers participating in the Adopt-a-Road Program must:

  • Appoint or select an authorized group representative to act on behalf of the group
  • Ensure that the authorized representative attends a safety meeting provided by Niagara Region and, in turn, provides annual safety training to volunteers of their organization
  • Pick up litter at least three times per year to maintain a clean right-of-way
  • Collect litter only from the adopted right-of-way section
  • Notify Niagara Region before each clean-up
  • Use all appropriate safety equipment as provided and follow the safety rules contained in the agreement

Safety guidelines

There's a few simple rules worth remembering when it comes to safety and working along the roadway. These rules must be reviewed by all volunteers before each clean-up session.

  • Volunteers must
    • Get annual safety training before the first pick-up of the year and review safety rules before each clean-up
    • Be at least 12 years old
    • Have at least one adult supervisor (19 years or older) for every five workers
    • Always wear a Region approved safety vest
    • Display the "road work" sign before starting clean-up
    • Carpool to minimize the number of vehicles at the worksite
    • Always exit vehicles on the side next to the ditch
    • Park parallel to the road and as far off the travelled portion as possible
    • Park vehicles on the same side of the roadway as the volunteers
    • Pick up litter during daylight hours only
    • Flag hazardous and unidentifiable items for pick-up by Niagara Region staff
    • Stay clear of any maintenance of construction operations and equipment
    • Stay clear of any water hazards
    • Discontinue work in inclement weather
    • Close the "road work" sign when litter pick-up is done
  • Volunteers must not
    • Exit vehicles until the "road work" sign has been displayed
    • Walk or pick up litter on the pavement, shoulder or in the median
    • Work on bridges, overpasses, steep ground, or in tunnels
    • Touch or pick up hazardous items or anything that can't be identified
    • Wear clothing or display material that might distract motorists
    • Use or possess illegal drugs or alcoholic beverages before or during the clean-up
    • Step or jump on trash bags
  • General safety
    • Stay mentally alert at all times
    • Wear protective footwear and gloves
    • Wear light-coloured clothing that covers arms and legs
    • Wear a baseball cap or a wide-brimmed hat and sunscreen
    • Drink lots of fluids while you work, especially on hot, humid days
    • Be aware of any special needs of fellow volunteers, such as medical
    • Avoid overexertion
    • Stay alert for and avoid hazardous plants, such as poison ivy, and stinging insects
    • Keep an adequate supply of flags and trash bags on hand
  • In case of emergency
    • Have a first aid kit available
    • Pre-select the most direct route to the nearest medical emergency facility
    • Always have transportation available
    • Know where the nearest telephone is located

Niagara Region's responsibilities

Niagara Region will:

  • Select a special section of a Regional right-of-way to be adopted taking into consideration the organization's stated preference
  • Provide safety vests, road work signs, trash bags, safety information and training, flags and traffic cones
  • Erect a sign with the group's name displayed at the beginning and end of each adopted section of right-of-way
  • Remove and dispose of filled trash bags
  • Remove litter from the adopted right-of-way section that has been flagged by the group as being too large, heavy or hazardous for the group to remove

Participant agreement

Each group is required to sign an agreement, agreeing to the terms and conditions of the program.

The agreement contains a form to be signed by the participants which holds Niagara Region harmless from any responsibility for any injuries or damages that they may cause or suffer as a result of participating in the program.

Youth under 18 years of age that are involved in the program must have a signed consent form from the partent or guardian.


To participate in the Adopt-a-Road program or for more information contact:

Judy MacPherson
Transportation Services Coordinator
905-980-6000 ext. 3559 or 1-800-263-7215
Email Judy MacPherson

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