UWEC students supporting Adopt-A-Highway, brightening Wisconsin

Before the first snow flies the Wisconsin Department of Transportation is looking for community groups to adopt a highway in efforts to beautify Wisconsin.
Published: Nov. 1, 2021 at 5:25 AM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) -”Why don’t we have two trash and one recycle specialist how does that sound?” asks UW Eau Claire professor Crispin Pierce.

A group of volunteer students spent their weekend cleaning up UW Eau Claire’s two mile stretch of Highway 85, removing trash, recyclables and litter.

“Aluminum cans are particularly important to recycle because they save 97% of the energy we would normally use to make a new aluminum can,” explains Pierce.

Pierce leading the charge says sometimes its hard to know how to make a difference, “and we’re talking about our future, we’re talking about the quality of our air, and of our water, our land for productivity we’re talking about dealing with climate change.”

The university’s conservationists club is trying their hand at it with students like second year kinesiology major Laura Horstman, who is a strong proponent of natural health and personal health.

“One way we can make sure we stay healthy is also our environment, if our environment isn’t healthy we can’t be healthy ourselves and I feel those two definitely go hand in hand,” says Horstman.

More than 400 groups have chosen to adopt a highway in the 11 county region. Roni Hurt with Wisconsin’s Department of Transportation says its a great way to give back to the community.

“You volunteer to have about a two mile segment for the highway, cleaning it up, and it gives back to the community, keeps litter off the highway,” says Hurt.

Hurt says as it stands, there are 134 segments available for adoption in the region.

“I’m extremely proud to be involved with students, young people 18,19,20 who care about our future, who care about the next generation and are doing something about it,” says Pierce.

“If you’re walking on campus I try –if I see trash on the group I’m going to pick it up and put it in the trash or recycle bin too, it may not impact anything but it might as well,” Horstman says.

If you’d like to get involved with UW Eau Claire conservationists club see here.

For more on adopting a highway with WisDot, see here.

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