Geo Club Adopts a Highway

Posted: December 15, 1999 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Sabrina Tillman

The Geo Club, which includes students with interests in geology, geography, and the earth sciences, is joining the tradition of other student organizations across the country by maintaining its very own section of a highway. The site on Braddock Road stretches from Tapestry Lane to Guinea Road. Papers are being prepared for signing, and next semester club members will devote time to keeping the roadside, sidewalks, and grass free of debris.

Florence Katrivanos, president of the Geo Club, recalls traveling through Colorado and seeing several signs indicating that certain roads were maintained by local university organizations. Katrivanos hoped to implement a similar program for George Mason’s Geo Club. This hope became a reality with the help of Brennan Snyder, a recent George Mason graduate. Snyder, who works for the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), facilitated the application process and helped the Geo Club acquire the two-mile stretch of highway used for this service activity.

VDOT supplies all equipment needed to clean roadsides, and posts blue signs that detail ownership of the different highway stretches. Families, businesses, and civic groups volunteer to maintain the outer perimeters of roads for a period of at least two years, and must pick up litter on both sides of the highway at least four times a year. According to the VDOT website, the Virginia Adopt-a-Highway program began in 1988 and blossomed from about 100 groups to 8,000 groups, which currently clean 14,000 miles of highway.

Along with other student organizations at George Mason such as the Sigma Chi fraternity, the Geo Club is contributing to an effort that VDOT says provides the equivalent of $2 million of litter control annually. Katrivanos is very excited to head such a useful activity. “I am pleased that this brings attention to the university and our club, and I obviously think it’s a very worthwhile program,” she says.

The Geo Club is an events-centered organization designed for nature lovers. Many of the group’s activities are off-campus field trips to places such as Millboro Springs, Crossroads Cave, and the New River for hiking, caving, and rafting trips. Of course, geology field trips where students view sediments are also included. The Geo Club also brings environmentalist speakers to the university, hosts mineral shows, and organizes events to celebrate Geography Week.

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