PALS to visit Butler County

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 6, 2002

Last summer,

several residents and organizations of Butler County expressed interest in the Adopt-a-Mile Program sponsored by the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT).

Interest in the program has once again been expressed and representatives from the program will be present at Thursday's meeting of the Butler

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County Commission (BCC).

Margaret McElroy, a representative of People Against A Littered State (PALS), who oversees the Adopt-A-Mile program, was asked by the commission last summer to come to the workshop to explain to the BCC the programs and procedures of the organization.

"PALS was founded in 1986 and its first major program was Adopt-a-Mile. Since then, we have had a clean campus program, an adopt-a-stream program and a coastal clean-up," said McElroy.

The Adopt-A-Mile program is open to anyone who is interested in the program, including service organizations, family, churches, businesses and friends. "You just have to agree to keep the mile clean for two years," said Lee Helms, executive assistant and Clean Campus coordinator for PALS. "The Department of Transportation supplies the sign and then it is put up by the city or county engineer."

Another program sponsored by PALS is Adopt-an-Area. "We provide the signs for this program and it is intended for those who can't take on a whole mile," said Helms. "School children who shouldn't be on the highway or the elderly who can't complete a whole mile often fit into this program," said Helms.

Helms said that this program could be any area, such as where two roads cross and trash tends to pile up. This program also requires a commitment of two years.

Volunteers for the Adopt-a-Stream

program make a two-year commitment to keep stream crossings clean. PALS also provides a sign which is put up by a city or county engineer.

The Clean Campus Program is for schools throughout Alabama which make a commitment during the year to keep their campus clean. The three requirements for this program are that students must agree to keep the campus clean, a contact person must be available to keep records and some form of recycling program must be in effect on campus.

"We send all of the supplies, and the school must fill out a simple form," explained Helms. "We provide all of the supplies such as the trash bags and forms. At the end of the year, a panel of judges decides who made the most progress on their campus and then we award the first place winner $1,000, the second place winner $750 and the third place winner $500."

PALS also sponsors an annual spring clean-up, which this year will be held April 13 – 20. This year's slogan is "Don't drop it on Alabama" Spring Clean-Up. Organizations interested in the program will be sent materials such as trash bags and forms.