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Does anybody volunteer to improve the appearance of the MLK Parkway?

Brian Freskos

Not to anyone’s knowledge.

Officials with the N.C. Department of Transportation said volunteers had so far steered away from helping to maintain the appearance of the Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway in Wilmington.

In her 12 years as the DOT Adopt-A-Highway program coordinator in New Hanover County, April Lockamy said not a single individual had enrolled in the state program that mitigates litter build-up along state roadways such as the MLK, which connects Eastwood Road to downtown Wilmington.

Lockamy did say, however, that two organizations are currently eyeing portions of the MLK and may adopt it soon. She also said inmates are regularly engaged in roadside trash pickup on the MLK.

Under the Adopt-A-Highway program, groups or individuals enter a four-year contract, agreeing to sweep litter a few times per year from a designated portion of a state highway. Lockamy declined to name the organizations eyeing the MLK because they had yet to sign a contract.

Stoney Mathis, a DOT division roadside engineer in Wilmington, said any official volunteer requests to landscape MLK would have come through him, but none had. “If somebody did do some volunteer work, I wasn’t overseeing it,” he said.

By 1999, the road now titled the MLK had opened between Market and 23rd streets, according to Katie Hite, a DOT division traffic engineer in Wilmington. Back then, the road lacked an official title, but was known around town as the Smith Creek Parkway. It wasn’t officially named and dedicated as the Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway until 2001, at the city of Wilmington’s request.

To volunteer in the Adopt-A-Highway program, call 341-0500.

User-contributed question by:
Henry Duncan

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One Response to “ Does anybody volunteer to improve the appearance of the MLK Parkway?”

  1. On October 26, 2010 at 10:13 pm Mark Umsched wrote:

    Although there may be no volunteers cleaning up the MLK, as you stated the Department of Corrections does have inmates (from the Wilmington based prison camp) pick up trash there on a rotating schedule. These “road squads” walk along portions of New Hanover’s major roads and I-40 and pick up litter on a rotating, recurring schedule.

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