PA woman adopts highway, spends weekends cleaning litter

She's no ordinary mom. Kelly McDowell adopted a highway and has cared for it over the last five years.

Video Transcript

KELLY MCDOWELL: See, this is kind of like a walk in the park, right? [LAUGHS]

We have a severe litter problem, not just in Avondale, but, you know, basically in America. I care about where we live, and I don't care if other people don't care. I do care. And so I'm not gonna wait for the government to do something or someone else I'm going to do it myself. So I figured I'd adopt a 10-mile stretch of highway. Originally, it was just me and a couple of people. Now, I'm up to about 50 to 60 volunteers. We usually get about 900 bags of trash.

It's fast food, plastic bottles. I'll hope it's iced tea, but who knows? You see all these plastic bags? This is, like, the bane of my existence. A lot of the things that I find are beer bottles. So if you're drinking and driving, I think the least of your concerns are litter.

I have a great relationship with PennDOT. I fill up all the bags, they come down and pick up all the bags and dispose of them for free. You can see, it looks a thousand times better after you go through. So it's like anybody can actually do this. You know, just get yourself some supplies. Get yourself a litter stick. You don't have to be, like, in the public. If you go to your own little area in your neighborhood and just clean it up, it really does make a difference.

This stretch of highway had not been done in a decade since I did it. I really want to make sure that I plant groups to keep it going. I want to keep this maintained, you know, once a year. It'll look good for probably, like, four months, and then, you know, whatever. We'll start again.