Spring cleaning begins this Saturday for highway roadsides in lower Michigan. Volunteers participating in the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) Adopt-A-Highway program will pick up litter along state highways from April 13-21, the first of three scheduled pickups this year.

State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle said "the spirit of Adopt-A-Highway volunteers is Pure Michigan. They keep our roadsides looking great, and help MDOT direct its limited resources to fixing our roads."

In 2012, Adopt-A-Highway volunteer groups reported collecting about 65,000 bags of trash, a cost benefit to the state of $5.6 million. Volunteers wear high-visibility, yellow-green safety vests required by federal regulations when working within a highway's right of way. MDOT provides the vests and trash bags for free, and arranges to haul away the trash.

Current volunteers include members of various civic groups, businesses and families. Crew members have to be at least 12 years old and each group must number at least three people.

Sections of highway are still available for adoption. Interested groups should check the MDOT website at www.michigan.gov/adoptahighway for more information. Groups are asked to adopt a section of highway for at least two years. There is no fee to participate and Adopt-A-Highway signs bearing the group's name are posted along the stretches of adopted highway.