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Adopt-a-Highway back in action in Whistler

RDC Fine Homes first to sign on for highway clean-up program
DRIVING CLEANLINESS RDC Fine Homes President Bob Deeks stands on the section of Highway 99 adopted by RDC. By Braden Dupuis

If the highway heading into Whistler Village appears cleaner in the coming months, you're not imagining things.

The Adopt-a-Highway program is back on the Sea to Sky.

"We thought that it was a really good fit for our company," said Paul Nicholas, operations manager at RDC Fine Homes.

"We thought this would be a great way to give back to the community a little bit and do something that kind of gets the staff team building."

During the construction of the Sea to Sky Highway, the ministry stopped accepting applications on Highway 99 from Horseshoe Bay to Whistler.

The program was revived in 2012.

But what kind of work is involved with adopting a highway?

"We're about to learn that," Nicholas said.

"From what I understand, mostly it's scheduling a number of times throughout the year to do garbage pickup and clean along the highway."

RDC's section of adopted highway runs just over two kilometres, from Alta Lake Road to Alpha Lake Road.

"We're urging everyone to not throw very much litter on that section of the highway, please," Nicholas said with a laugh.

"Or any section for that matter."

According to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, there are approximately 120 volunteer groups actively involved with the program along the provincial highway system.

While the program was developed for litter pick up, adopters can also take responsibility for reporting non-toxic invasive plants and conducting basic landscaping.

Since the program was reopened, the ministry has received a number of applications.

There are currently seven applications under review for adoption on the Sea to Sky.

"I think it's a great initiative, and we'd love to see businesses from Squamish right through to Pemberton adopt so that all of the highway is covered," Nicholas said.

"I think it's good because probably it alleviates some of the cost to the taxpayer... and I think it just makes people more involved."

And while cleaner highways are certainly an incentive to get involved, Nicholas thinks it will be something else that attracts more willing volunteers.

"People will probably see us in our snazzy orange vests and want to join that fashion trend, I'm sure," he said.

"I suspect maybe we'll see more and more as we go along."

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