Troutman begins Adopt-A-Street beautification program
BY DEBBIE PAGE
Troutman Parks and Recreation won Town Council approval of its Adopt-A-Street program in May and is now taking applications from citizens who want to care for the town’s appearance and environment.
The program encourages residents and organizations to adopt residential blocks of streets (not maintained by the North Carolina Department of Transportation) to keep them litter-free. The participants commit to cleaning their assigned area at least three times per year to maintain a healthy environment and instill community pride.
Groups or volunteers are recognized with their name on an Adopt-A-Street sign installed on the adopted roadway. Troutman’s Friends of the Library recently adopted several blocks around the library to maintain.
Since Troutman Streets are shorter than the one mile usually designated in an Adopt-A-Street program, Parks and Recreation Coordinator Emily Watson divided the community into 16 grids from which groups can choose. This method also avoids having excessive signs cluttering the community.
In addition to Friends of the Library, two other neighborhood groups are in the process of completing their applications, according to Watson.
Watson hopes many more folks will get on board as their schedules settle at the start of the school year. “We’re hoping that they all will be adopted one day as people see the signs out in the community. This beautification project will help us maintain a clean environment, one that we are proud of. Working together to do that will give citizens that sense of ownership.”
“We’re happy to support with any resources that the organizations might need to be successful - bags, pickup, whatever. If they will just coordinate with me, I’ll be happy to help,” added Watson, who believes the project is a great way for folks to meet neighbors they may not know well and get some exercise too.
Student groups and clubs can also get involved as long as they have adult sponsors and supervision during clean-ups, according to Watson.
Library Branch Manager Rebecca Lopez is excited about this opportunity for the Friends of the Library to give back to the community. The first clean-up of their assigned area is scheduled for Thursday, November 2, at 4 p.m.
“We want to take advantage of the town’s walkability,” said Lopez. “This is something we want to implement to make sure the area stays nice. At the library especially, we want to make sure people are coming out here, sitting outside, and enjoying what we have here inside and out.”
“The Friends hope the idea of taking care of our area and having pride in our area will help people appreciate it and come out a little more and get outside with a book. Hopefully, it will achieve that end,” added Lopez.
Participants, who pay no fee to adopt their chosen area, enter a three-year agreement to maintain the assigned streets. Before the first clean-up, all group members must view the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s “Safety Rules and Guidelines for Volunteers” to ensure they use safe procedures.
Volunteers clean up both sides of the road within their adopted section of roadway. They can get trash bags and borrow safety vests, and gloves at Troutman Town Hall.
Volunteers should use caution at all times during the clean-up. They are encouraged to wear a safety vests at all times. They should always face oncoming traffic and steer clear of construction areas.
Participants should also maintain a safe distance from the side of the road and stay alert and conscious of traffic and follow common sense safety procedures.
Groups should stop work in inclement weather (storms, extreme heat, etc.) and avoid overexertion. They should also avoid touching or removing hazardous substances.
Volunteers must dispose of collected trash and can coordinate trash disposal with the Town of Troutman. Recycling is encouraged as much as possible.
They can also notify the town staff of any items unsafe for volunteers to handle that require disposal. Additionally, groups should notify Town Hall upon completion of litter/trash pickup for record-keeping purposes.
Interested families or groups should first discuss their desired roadway area with the Troutman Parks and Recreation Department to check on its availability. After approval of their chosen area, they should complete an Adopt-A-Street application and a sign design form.
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