Lots of trash found along River Mill Road

The Mossy Rocks 4-H Club is learning about civic duty and adopted the River Mill and Farmstead roads as a community service project. Twice a year, the group will pick up trash along both roads.

by: CONTRIBUTED: BARB HICKS - After working hard for weeks, the Mossy Rocks 4-H Club finally got their Adopt-a-Road highway sign. From left are Kate Glover, Austin Roberts, Dakota Glover and Alayna Roberts.Members of the club welcome new members when the new 4-H year begins in October. Members of Mossy Rocks R-H Club include Kate Glover, Austin Roberts, Dakota Glover, Alayna Roberta, Kirsten Acardi, Cody Roberts and Lexi Polizos. Anyone interested in getting involved in 4-H can call the Oregon State Extension office in Oregon City at 503-655-8631.

Mossy Rocks 4-H members want people to know that any person or group can adopt a road to keep clean. The Oregon Department of Transportation supplies safety signs, vests and bags and puts up a highway sign with the group or person's name.

The club's leader, Barb Hicks, said the club's focus is “all things outdoors” and the kids learn a lot about ecology along the way.

“They also participated in the Clackamas County program to plant native shrubs among streams and did Tickle Creek one day,” he said. “They also planted 24 little cedars and hemlocks on Still Creek on Mount Hood.”

Much of what the kids see when working in the outdoors is damage done by humans, she said, and they saw the evidence of people trashing the environment when they did their first cleanup recently.

by: CONTRIBUTED: BARB HICKS - Members of the Mossy Rocks 4-H Club take a break after cleaning up a stretch of River Mill Road. From left are Austin Roberts, Kirstin Acardi and Alayna Roberts.“River Mill Road was so dirty,” Hicks said. “They found piles and piles of take out drink cartons, exactly as far as it takes to suck down a soda and throw the container out. They also found 17 liquor bottles and some really strange things, but the fast food was really eye-catching.”

In order to sponsor a road, first the club members filled out some forms with the ODOT and agreed to pick up along the route twice a year.

“We also took the small Farmstead Road but there was no trash on it,” Hicks said.

Once the papers are all filled out, club members when to ODOT where they were given big orange signs that fold up, grabbers to pick up trash, safety vests and gloves, she said.

“When we get done we leave it in big yellow bags and they pick it up and then we return the supplies,” she said.

Club members are all 11 and 12 years old, Hicks said, so it was important to find a road where they could work safely.

“It was hard to find a roads I thought were safe, but we started at the end of March and did our first pick up the first part of April,” she said. By June, ODOT had put up a sign to mark the kids' efforts that reads, “Adopt A Road. Mossy Rocks 4-H Club.”

According to ODOT's website, the Adopt-A-Highway program provides an opportunity for volunteers to clean up litter and remove noxious weeds along state highways. Work activities may also include graffiti removal and maintenance of existing landscaped areas.

ODOT will provide trashbags, reflective vests, safety awareness information and work area signs as well as provide flags to mark large items, broken glass and other potentially dangerous items. To learn more, log onto

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