Sylvan Lake may soon see an adopt-a-road program to help keep the town clean throughout the year.
Last April Town Council requested more information about the possibility of creating an adopt-a-road program in town. At the Feb. 11 meeting of council, administration was directed to create a policy, which will be delivered at a later date.
Currently the town has multiple litter control initiatives and strategies, including the “pitch-in week” in the spring and the team-up to clean-up held in the fall.
“Even with those litter control initiatives listed, Sylvan Lake is not exempt from litter,” said John Watson, Sylvan Lake operations manager.
Watson added litter is not considered a “substantial problem” in most areas of the community.
Staff have identified areas which could use more attention when it comes to litter. In particular Watson said the industrial parks, high-speed arterials and collectors such as Memorial Trail and 60 Street, rural annexed such as the CP Trail are areas that could use more attention when it comes to litter.
Town staff contacted municipalities which use the program and have seen success from it such as Wood Buffalo, Red Deer County and Castlegar, B.C.
“Under the adopt-a-road program, the group would agree to periodically remove litter from a road right-of-way segment, trail, or park,” Watson said.
In most communities a sign is installed by the municipality which acknowledges the group picking up in the specified area.
“The benefit of the program is an aesthetic improvement to the adopted areas, the promotion of community involvement and pride, exercise and fresh air for participants, and an opportunity for groups or families to bond together or team build,” said Watson.
He believes this program could be successful in Sylvan Lake based on the community involvement at events such as the annual pitch-in week.
At last year’s pitch-in event, roughly 250 bags of garbage were collected from around town with the help of residents.
The program may even be extended to include adopt-a-trail, which will help to keep Sylvan Lake’s trail system clear of trash.
Mayor Sean McIntyre says a program like this would encourage residents to love their town fully and creates “community champions.”
“We see it after events like the spring clean-up where our residents are more likely to ask someone to pick up their garbage rather than just leaving it,’ said McIntyre.
Council will see a policy for the adopt-a-road program at a later date.