Friday, April 13, was a banner weather day in northwest Pennsylvania, the first real day of spring the northwest region has enjoyed. The kind of weather where you can walk outside and not have to wear a bulky coat, hat, gloves and a big scarf just to get to the car, kind of day!
That’s how several employees of the DEP Northwest Regional Office enjoyed their time after work while participating in the 3rd Adopt-A-Highway event that took place during the Great American Cleanup that doubled as an Earth Day celebration. These nine employees -- Mike Zimmerman, Clean Water Program; Vicki Powell, Safe Drinking Water Program; Dustin Wyant, Emergency Response Program; Chuck Tordella, Environmental Cleanup and Brownfields Program; Andrew Tordella, Air Quality Program; Barbara Hanes, Oil and Gas Program; Jen Kerlik-Beers, Record Center; Judy Chapman, Record Center; and David Hall, Environmental Cleanup and Brownfields Program -- enjoyed a warm breeze and sunshine while picking up nine bags of trash and debris.
The effort actually began in 2017 when Dustin led the charge to gain approval from sister Commonwealth agency, PennDOT, for volunteers from DEP’s Northwest Regional Office to adopt a two-mile stretch of highway under PennDOT’s Adopt-A-Highway Program. The segment of road in Crawford County is Dickson Road, starting at Route 77 and ending at North Wayland Road. This section of highway is widely used throughout the year by those participating in events at the Crawford County Fair Grounds.
Volunteers are provided with pertinent safety information, safety vests, gloves, trash bags, and temporary caution signs for the road during the cleanup.
Jim Miller, DEP Northwest Regional Director, called this team effort “typical” of the employees at the Northwest Regional Office. “These employees often go above and beyond their required duties to help out the community at large,” he said. “I am proud to work with the caliber of people who work in the northwest region, they really care about what they do.”
Commonwealth employees participating in the “Adopt-A-Highway” program do so on their own time as volunteers under their own initiative. Participation in the “Adopt-A-Highway” program is not a Commonwealth work assignment.