Adopt-A-Roadway Program Guidelines

The objective of this voluntary program is to increase public awareness of the environmental and maintenance needs along Johnson County's roadways by using adopted sections of roadsides as an example of the opportunities available for the public to improve the condition and appearance of our County.

Adopt-A-Roadway activities may take the form of litter pick-up, wildflower and native prairie plantings, preservation of existing native plant communities, landscaping or erosion control projects, the improvement of wildlife habitats and the control of invasive weeds or brush within the right-of-way. These activities are generally labor intensive, expensive and often considered as a lower priority to pavement maintenance or public safety needs. In order to provide the most effective management of County roadside areas, participation by public service and private groups should be encouraged.

The Adopt-A-Roadway Program allows groups or individuals to adopt a specific section of a County road. Through this adoption they may assume responsibility for any or all of the eligible items listed below. The available activities have the potential to:

  • Reduce litter along Johnson County's roadways
  • Enhance the environmental quality and beauty of our roadsides
  • Build broad-based community support for anti-litter and Iowa beautification programs


Safety Tips


A roadway is a dangerous place to be. Every group member should possess these

Mentally alert; good common sense

Good physical condition, including sight and hearing

Sense of responsibility for safety of self and others

Supervision for workers under age 18

Plan Ahead

Review safety precautions and take them seriously.

Assign work teams and leaders before you reach the site. Distribute trash bags beforehand. Estimate the amount of time for your pickup and agree on a meeting place when you’re done.

Carpool to the site to reduce the number of vehicles along the road. Park vehicles off the roadway in field entrances, parking lots, etc.

Bring along an adequate first-aid kit. Identify the nearest hospital and know how to get there in an emergency. A cell phone may be helpful to call for assistance.

Don’t overexert yourself. Bring along a supply of drinking water and take breaks.

While You Work

Work only during daylight hours during good weather.

Work one side of the road at a time. Do not cross the road to get to your vehicle.

Whenever possible, face oncoming traffic. Stay alert and be prepared to move out of the way in an emergency. Stay with your team.

Do not wear headsets, which could prevent you hearing traffic or other hazards.

Do not crush collected trash to make more room in the bag; broken or jagged objects could cause accidental injuries.

Do not pickup syringes or hypodermic needles. Please report them to Johnson County for disposal.

Do not "horse around" or do anything to purposely distract drivers.

What to Avoid

Stay away from construction sites, mowing activities, open water, bridges, overpasses, or retaining walls that could be dangerous for workers.

Avoid poison ivy or other noxious weeds.

Stay away from recently applied herbicides.

Never try to pick up heavy, large, or hazardous materials. Notify Johnson County for pickup.

What to Wear

Heavy gloves.

Heavy leather shoes or boots.

Light colored clothing; brightly colored cap.

Hat and long sleeves for sunburn; sunscreen; insect or tick repellent.

High-visibility vests.