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It’s a dirty job: Rotary participates in Adopt-A-Highway program

By Staff | Apr 5, 2019

Members of Shepherdstown Rotary and Shepherd University Rotaract Club were part of a clean up crew in the Adopt-A-Highway program. Shown from left are Dana Orsini, Terry Anderson, Elana Gutmann, Alyssa Garagiola and Tom Miller. Toni Milbourne

SHEPHERDSTOWN — Rotarians of Shepherdstown helped beautify the entrance to town on Saturday as they gathered to clean up a two-mile stretch of Route 230 from the intersection with Flowing Springs Road to the Taphouse.

According to club treasurer Rick Caruso, the group began cleaning the stretch of road back in 1987, the year before the official Adopt-A-Highway program went into effect.

“We are the oldest running Adopt-a-Highway” group in the state,” Caruso said. “It was one of our Shepherdstown Rotary] initial service projects.”

Club member Dana Orsini attributed the activity to the late Connie Hamman, long-time club member.

The clean up crew, topping out at 26, included club members as well as Jefferson High School Interact Club students and Rotaract members from Shepherd University.

“We heard from Terry [Anderson] that this was happening and as the Rotaract, we came to lend our support,” said Shepherd University student Elena Gutmann.

Workers were separated into groups and given approximate quarter-mile segments of the highway to clean.

The group gathered trash into bags provided by the West Virginia Department of Highways. DoH officials were to collect the bags on Monday.

Providing assistance for the safety of the workers were members of the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Reserves, who maintained a presence at the beginning and end of the designated Adopt-a-Highway portion maintained by the Rotarians. The flashing lights of their vehicles encouraged drivers to slow down and use caution as they passed the clean-up crews.

“The area was heavily inundated with trash this year,” Caruso said, mentioning the club does trash pick up on the highway two times per year, once in the fall and once in the spring.

Several passers-by made a point to stop and thank the participants for their efforts in gathering everything from paper, cans and bottles to tires.

“It’s pristine and will stay that way for about an hour,” Caruso laughed.