Jason Bond 540-387-5493
Jan. 13, 2016
Nine-Year-Old Asks to Adopt Highway for Christmas
When 9-year-old Jameson Vaughan was asked what he wanted for Christmas, he told his grandmother Winky Vaughan that he would like to adopt a highway.
Jameson attends Mason Cove Elementary School and enjoys helping people and the environment. He got the idea after passing an Adopt-a-Highway sign on the way to a family reunion. “It sounded pretty cool to me, so I asked my grandmother if she could make that happen, and it wouldn’t cost anything,” Jameson explained.
Jameson’s request prompted Vaughan to contact the Virginia Department of Transportation to inquire about the program for individuals, businesses or civic groups to clean up litter and have their efforts recognized with a sign along the roadway.
Vaughan connected with Brenda McGuire, VDOT’s Adopt-a-Highway coordinator for Roanoke, Botetourt and Craig counties, to pursue making Jameson’s Christmas wish a reality. “I was blown away when I found out someone so young was interested in the program,” McGuire recalled.
Only individuals age 18 and older may adopt highways but those under age 10 can participate in cleanups with adult supervision and permission from VDOT’s local residency administrator, who determines if the pickup location is safe for children.
Vaughan was pleased to learn that Route 912 (Absolom Smith Road) in Roanoke County near her home was available for adoption. A blue Adopt-a-Highway sign denoting a portion of Route 912 as adopted by “Jameson Vaughan & Family” will soon appear there.
After a recent visit to VDOT’s Salem Residency Office to receive his safety vest, trash bags and highway cleanup signs, Jameson is ready to begin picking up litter on his newly adopted road.
“I was going to ask a couple of my friends to help,” he said with a smile.
“I have 12 grandchildren and all they usually want is video games,” Vaughan explained. “Jameson is so excited.” In addition to his adopted roadway, Jameson’s Christmas gifts also included two trash grabbers and a sign to display in his room.
Anyone interested in adopting a highway on VDOT maintained roads can learn more on VDOT's website.