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Beautification History

The Beautification Office of the Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) was established in 1985. The office oversees the Adopt-A-Highway (AAH) Program which was the fourth in the nation to be established. ODOT hosted the first National AAH Coordinator’s Convention. Other ODOT litter prevention activities include the popular Trash Poster Contest which receives 13,000+ student entries annually. From that, 35,000 calendars are produced and distributed to schools and other venues to remind everyone not to litter. A statewide Litter Hotline (1-888-5-Litter or 1-888-554-8837) provides motorists a place to report litterers who then receive a letter asking them to help keep Oklahoma clean. The annual spring TRASH-OFF has individuals, groups, organizations, churches, communities, counties, state parks, Corps of Engineers Lakes and AAH groups pitching in utilizing hundreds of volunteers.

Landscaping programs include a $500,000 Tree Grant Program (currently on hold due to budgetary constraints), a past $648,000 grant for Oklahoma's share of the six state Prairie Passage wildflower trail and the long standing Roadside Wildflower Program in which ODOT has planted approximately 2,500 acres of wildflowers since the programs inception in 1990. An additional past venture also included a highway art program with the first project completed being an 18 foot buffalo and calf statue, surrounded by Oklahoma native grasses, on I-235 and 23rd Street in Oklahoma City. The sculpture was paid for by private donations.

Oklahoma DOT beautification efforts were previously recognized nationally by Keep America Beautiful and the Federal Highway Administration with first place awards in 1996, 1998, and 2000. ODOT and Retired Beautification Coordinator Joanne Orr were 1999 winners of the Excellence in Roadside Management Award from the National Roadside Vegetation Manager’s Association.

2007 was the first year ODOT partnered with Keep Oklahoma Beautiful (KOB), and included all TRASH-OFF registrants in the "Great American Cleanup" (GAC) National Project. Each fall, one major award is presented to a winner for the "Best Overall ODOT TRASH-OFF Effort", and one award is presented to a winner for the "Best 1st Time Rookie ODOT TRASH-OFF Effort".

Oklahoma DOT first won the Keep America Beautiful (KAB) "Great American Cleanup" (GAC) and the "U.S. State Departments of Transportation 2012 Partnership Award" for exemplary contributions and support in the nation's largest Community Improvement Program. ODOT again won the same award a second time in 2014. Both awards were presented in Washington, DC.

Last Modified on Oct 08, 2021