By Ann Roberti

We are having another year of peek-a-boo roadside litter, as this winter’s snow is here today, gone tomorrow, maybe back the day after that. It is constantly reminding us that it is almost time to get out there and do something about it— and we will! The Annual Andes Litter Pickup is scheduled for Saturday, April 21st (rain date April 28th) and Wednesday, April 25th (rain date May 2nd) 9 am to 1 pm both days. We are again looking for volunteers to help in this rewarding, and in the words of several regular volunteers, “surprisingly fun,” annual endeavor.

We will meet at 9 am at the Andes General Store. Bring work gloves, clear plastic garbage bags, a pack to carry your bags and water, and any “reacher” tools you might have. Wear boots, a bright shirt or jacket or orange vest and/or orange hat.

RSVP if you can come, to Nancy at 676-3534; njm331@catskill.net or Ann at 676-3643; aroberti@catskill.net. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you would like more information.

Last year we covered an amazing amount of roadway in our two-day event – 20.5 miles in total. Each year things are easier as cleaner roads inspire more people to keep their trash in their cars until they get home. And that brings me to the title story.

For the second time since the beginning of the Annual Andes Litter Pickup in 2009, we got “busted.” Last year, as volunteers wearing florescent orange vests picked up litter on Route 28 heading towards Margaretville, they were stopped by a DOT Supervisor asking what the heck they were doing there. The volunteers helpfully offered up my name and phone number as one of the organizers of this outing and by the time I got home from the pickup I had a message from the DOT. After many conversations with several people at the DOT, we’ve agreed to “adopt a highway,” even though our efforts don’t fit neatly into the adopt-a-highway model. I told the DOT supervisor that we’ve been doing this for 8 years and never had a problem before, and she told me that she’s been seeing our bags for years and been wondering where they came from. Now she had us! All kidding aside, becoming part of the adopt-a-highway program means they’ll supply us with visibility vests and will pick up the garbage bags we leave along the road, and we’ll get official recognition with an adopt a highway sign.

Become a part of the Andes Volunteers and join us on April 21st and/or April 25th. You’ll be happy you did!~