Adopt a Road, Adopt a Way of Life

Michael & Christine adopt-a-road photo | Windermere Stanwood Camano

I was raised to never throw litter out the window of a moving car.  The consequence would be that my Dad or Mom would slam on the breaks of our wood-paneled station wagon “Bessie”, and we would have to jump out and retrieve whatever we were too lazy to pack out later.  Pack in, Pack out (PIPO) was another early childhood lesson of mine, as nobody likes to see trash along a highway, or anywhere it shouldn’t be.  It’s a Testament about the person who lacks care in others enough to litter.  Just don’t do it.  Fight the urge.

Adopting a Road

My husband Michael and I moved up to Camano Island 6 years ago.  We love it here.  We love the beaches, the trails, the trees.  Beauty abounds!  What isn’t so beautiful is litter on the side of the road or anywhere for that matter.  It was my husband’s idea to research the local “Adopt a Road Program” through Island County supporting our passion for keeping the island clean of debris. We commit to a minimum clean up of 4 times/year in coordination with Island County’s supplies of bags, grabbers, hard hats, safety vests, and signage.  We have been known to set out on a weekend day to pick up trash if we see it on our stretch.  We take great pride in cleaning the 1.2-mile section between Terry’s Corner Windermere Office and East Cross Island Road.

The job is extremely satisfying.  I like to think of myself as a “Fancy Lady”, a sentiment my Dad coined for me.  This Fancy Lady cleans up trash on the side of the road, and I am not too proud to do that.  This is my gift back to the residents and visitors of our island.  This stretch is at the Portal to Camano Island, and like a clean entrance mat, sets a tone for the passage inward!  By doing this work, we hope to inspire others to keep the island clean of debris.  We love hearing your honks, and the occasional “Thank you looks great!”, as we are focused on picking up all the “goodies” littering our roadway.  We will try to wave and acknowledge the appreciative sentiments, but know if we don’t it is because we are putting ourselves at risk every time we engage in a clean-up, and our goal is to move as quickly and safely as possible.

Get Involved

The Adopt a Road program is an excellent way to give back to the community.  It’s great exercise, and extremely satisfying with immediate results!  We have noticed many stretches that could still be adopted and make a huge impact on the visibility of our beautiful island.  If you would like to research more about this program, please visit Island County Adopt-A-Road.  Like us, you’ll be proud of the decision!  While the saying “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” may not be glamorous physical treasures in this case, the glamour can be attained by the satisfaction and a full heart at the end of the day knowing we were raised right to do the right thing

Written by Christine RussellWindermere Real Estate Agent | Christine Russell


Windermere Stanwood & Camano Island

(206) 963-0768