The unique landscape of the high desert is famous for its stark beauty. Driving down some of the roads, though, one might never know how proud its residents are. Litter collects in the bushes along roadways and careless people dump entire loads of trash where they believe no one will care.
Thousands of high desert residents do care, though. And they are taking action by adopting streets in Apple Valley, Hesperia and Victorville. These programs are partnerships with the city environmental or public works departments. Groups of volunteers agree to clean up a particular stretch of road four times a year, usually for a term of at least 2 years.
Sierra Webb coordinates Apple Valleys program, where over 200 miles of road have been adopted. The program really saves money for the town, helps maintain property values, improves potential for economic development and gives people a pride of place, she explains. If there is litter all over the streets, businesses do not want to locate here and people do not want to live here.
There is no cost to adopt a street and the city will provide the necessary equipment such as bags, trash grabbers, safety equipment and more. They will also pick up the trash if the group is unable to take it away.
Groups can range from individuals who want their street to stay clean, to families, scouting or church groups, businesses and civic organizations. According to Webb, many families will take it on as a project to teach their children civic pride, volunteerism and environmental values. Some do it in honor of a loved one. One gentleman adopted the street where his niece died in a car accident. His sign reminds drivers to wear their seatbelts and his service honors the memory of the young woman. Another young man has founded a High Desert Leadership Club and the Adopt-A-Street program is one way they lead by serving.
For any family, group or business interested in raising the level of civic pride in the high desert, you can contact your city or towns program to register.
“http://www.cityofhesperia.us/index.aspx?nid=476&PREVIEW=YES“Hesperia (760) 947-1589
“http://ci.victorville.ca.us/Site/CityServices.aspx?id=286” Victorville: John Garcia (760) 955-5095
“http://www.applevalley.org/index.aspx?page=59” Apple Valley: Sierra Webb (760) 240-7000 x 7072