ATLANTA ­– An Adopt-A-Highway group in Cass County has been named 2022’s Group of the Year.

The group, Atlanta State Park Employees, was recognized for showing remarkable dedication to the program. “This group has been on a mission since they formed in 2006,” said TxDOT Atlanta District Adopt-A-Highway Coordinator Stephanie Fahrney. The 11-member group adopted the road leading to their park’s entrance on FM 1154, starting at FM 96. “Members of this group not only put in the work, they’re also a voice for the Adopt-A-Highway program,” Fahrney said. “Each day they are visited by many people, young and old. Each time they receive a compliment on their beautiful park, they use that as a stepping stone to share how and why their park is indeed beautiful.”

Back row, left to right: Jack Cox, Glenn Dorough, Norman Shumaker, Kenneth Tickell, Steve Propes, Orion Allen
Front row, left to right: Darlene Tickell, Kathy Shumaker, Kayla Williams, Rebecca Allen, Sarah Dorough

The Adopt-A-Highway program began in Texas in 1985 and since then, has grown into a nationally and internationally recognized litter-prevention effort. The program allows volunteers to adopt stretches of state-maintained roadway to conduct litter pickups. Adopt-A-Highway currently has about 3,400 volunteer groups across Texas.

“This group treats each visitor like family and encourages everyone to take part in the beautification process. They make it easy by making sure the park is fully supplied with trash cans, barrels and dumpsters. Their commitment shows others they won’t give up. They will always be there to clean up the mess, literally, that others make, without hesitation,” Fahrney said.

If you’re interested in volunteering in the Adopt-A-Highway program, contact Stephanie Fahrney at (903) 799-1201.