Maui News

Love for neighborhood spurs Adopt-A-Highway awardees at Maui Lavender

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Robert Spangler and Cathy Toda receive a certificate of recognition from Highways Maui District in appreciation of their nearly 20 years of service to Maui’s Adopt-A-Highway program. Courtesy of Highways Maui District

Mauiʻs Cathy Toda and Robert Spangler of Maui Lavender are the latest recipients of the Nō Ka ʻOi Highway Hui Adopt-A-Highway award from the state Department of Transportation, Highways Maui District.

For nearly 20 years, the two have helped clean a two-mile section of Haleakalā Crater Road, located approximately 4,000- to 4,600-feet above sea level.

“It’s love for the neighborhood,” Toda said, when asked about their long-standing volunteerism for the Adopt-A-Highway program. “We drive our mule or the truck and we go up and do our thing and we just really enjoy it. We take pride in the area and want to revere Mt. Haleakalā.”


While Adopt-A-Highway groups commit to conducting four cleanups a year, Toda and Spangler have been picking up trash along their adopted route monthly – one reason the State of Hawaiʻi Department of Transportation, Highways Maui District wanted to recognize the twosome’s public service.

“Regardless of whether our Adopt-A-Highway groups are comprised of two persons or two dozen plus volunteers, we’re grateful to each and every one of them for their individual and collective contributions,” said Ty Fukuroku, program manager of Environmental Management, Highways Maui District. “We’re very pleased to recognize Ms. Toda and Mr. Spangler for their dedication to their community and environment.”

In commemoration of Earth Month, Highways Maui District is also promoting a just-for-fun “Dash for Trash” competition and encouraging all Adopt-A-Highway teams in Maui County to hold one or more highway cleanup events in April. Adopt-A-Highway groups have until the end of April to notify Highways Maui District and complete their cleanups.


Adopt-A-Highway is a public service program that works with volunteers to remove trash from along Hawaiʻi’s state highways and help prevent litter and other pollutants from blowing or flowing into the ocean and other bodies of water. Volunteer groups commit to adopting a two-mile segment of a state highway for a minimum of two years, pick up litter on their section of the highway at least four times per year, and undergo safety training before each cleanup event.

Organizations in Maui County interested in signing up for Adopt-A-Highway can search for available highway segments at Highways Maui District’s stormwater website, Applications, cleanup forms, a safety training video, and program information are also available on the website. Adopt-A-Highway groups receive support from Highways Maui District in the form of cleanup supplies, safety training and the group’s name printed on a highway sign.


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