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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

March 14, 2008

Keeping ISU beautiful starts with you

by Paula Van Brocklin

Iowa State's campus is recognized as one of the most beautiful in the nation. To keep it that way, the university has launched an Adopt Campus Program (similar to the national Adopt-A-Highway initiative) in conjunction with Keep Iowa State Beautiful. The program's goal is to attract volunteers to help keep campus clutter-free.

Jennifer Garrett, coordinator of leadership and service in the Memorial Union and chair of the Keep Iowa State Beautiful Committee, provided Inside with details of the new program, and how you can get involved.

Who can volunteer?

Anyone. It's open to students, faculty, staff and community members. We're hoping to recruit people from all areas of campus.

How do people register?

Go to Click "K" in the index and select "Keep Iowa State Beautiful." Then select "Adopt Campus Program" on the left side of the page. You can register online.

Once you volunteer, how long is your commitment?

There's no definite end. But with student groups, in particular, members will change. We're flexible.

How large an area will volunteers typically have to clean up?

They are relatively small areas. It just depends on the interest of the team leader and the group.

How often do volunteers need to clean up their assigned areas?

We ask that people organize a monthly cleanup, and also monitor the area on a weekly basis.

How soon will the volunteers start cleaning up their areas?

When the snow melts, we're hoping people will get out and start picking up things. Also, we want people to get involved with Veishea Service Day on March 29, when there will be many opportunities to clean up campus and the Ames community (see related story on page 5).

Do you have suggestions for picking an area to monitor?

We anticipate that people will pick the buildings they work or live in. Some people walk to work, so they might consider choosing an area they walk by every day.

Do the volunteers need to clean up everything they come across?

No, definitely not. In the process of signing up a team, the team leader will get information about what to do if they run across something they feel is unsafe or too heavy to remove. They need to contact Facilities Planning and Management.

Central Stores and FP&M are providing trash bags and gloves to the team leaders to give to their groups. Also, there's a safety document team leaders will share with their groups so everyone is aware of safety hazards.

Based on the size of our campus, how many volunteers should be in a group?

The program is designed for groups, but we will place individuals on teams. We think we have very manageable areas. We have it divided by buildings and parking lots. We expect teams to rotate people within their groups to monitor their areas.

Are other campuses participating in this program, or is it specific to Iowa State?

Iowa State is the only campus in Iowa that's affiliated with Keep Iowa Beautiful. But there are some other campuses around the nation that have Adopt-A-Highway-style programs.

Why is this program needed at ISU?

It takes everyone to manage litter on campus. We want people not to litter in the first place, but also to remove litter when they see it. We hope to create a positive culture shift toward a litter-free campus.

Who should people contact with questions?

You can e-mail questions to


Iowa State has launched an Adopt Campus Program, in partnership with the Keep Iowa State Beautiful initiative. Campus members are encouraged to join in the project.