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Delaware Department of Transportation

Adopt-A-Bike Path Program

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What is the Adopt-A-Bike Path Program?

The Delaware Department of Transportation’s Adopt-A-Bike Path Program (AABP) is a partnership between the Delaware Department of Transportation (DelDOT) and volunteers, working together to make Delaware’s bike paths cleaner and safer for pedestrians and bicyclists. More than a clean-up campaign, the AABP Program works to educate citizens of all ages about the responsibilities of land stewardship, alternative forms of transportation and brings the community together to help maintain the beauty of bike paths in the state so all can continue to enjoy them.

Another objective of the program is to remove dangerous debris from paths in order to protect the safety of those who use them. AARP volunteers remove loose gravel, pebbles, sand, dirt, sticks and other debris that may impede the directional path of a pedestrian or bicyclist as well as pick up any trash along the path. Participants have the option of turning any trash collected into cash through recycling. Many organizations volunteer for clean-ups often to fund group outings, special activities or even to purchase uniforms.

The AABP Program allows volunteers to adopt bike paths owned by the State of Delaware. Participants agree to care for their designated bike path or portion of a path at least three times a year. After each clean-up, groups are responsible for completing an activity report and submitting online, via e-mail or by mail to DelDOT. DelDOT provides safety vests, trash bags, gloves and “Trail Clean-up in Process” signs. In addition, we will create and install one sign along the middle of the adopted bike path or portion of path indicating the group’s involvement in the program in recognition their efforts.

Each time a group is seen cleaning up a bike path, it is our hope it will remind the public that alternative forms of transportation exist and that there is an ongoing need to keep our environment, specifically roadways, walkways and bikeways cleaner. DelDOT believes in fostering a working relationship with walkers, pedestrians, bicyclists and anyone who is interested in helping us keep these areas well maintained. As our network of bike paths continue to grow in the state, as does the need to keep them operational for all to enjoy. Hopefully, it will deter others from littering as well.

Q. Why should an individual, group or organization adopt a bike path?

You should adopt a bike path to make your state and local community better. By participating in AABP, you can make at least one area of the state cleaner, better looking, and healthier for everyone. Your sign will remind motorists not to litter, and that your group cares about the safety of those who use the bike path.

Q. How much does it cost to Adopt-A-Bike Path?

The AABP Program is free for all interested in volunteering and offers a way for individuals, companies, businesses, civic groups and other organizations to help visually improve their community, save taxpayer dollars, and keep our paths safe for everyone to enjoy all while generating positive publicity for your group.

Q. Who can Adopt-A-Bike-Path?

Individuals, businesses, community organizations, schools and all other organizations in the community are encouraged to participate. Participants must have approved applications on file prior to conducting first clean-up

Q. How do we apply for the Adopt-A-Bike Path Program?

You can apply online or print out application, complete and e-mail to AABP Coordinator at or mail to:

Department of Transportation
Adopt-A-Bike Path Program
PO Box 778
Dover, DE 19903

Q. Can we adopt more than one bike path?

When available, groups may adopt more than one bike path or more than one portion of a larger path.

Q. Can we adopt a specific path or portion of a path?

It is best to have a particular path in mind when you apply. DelDOT will confirm if the bike path is indeed state owned and/or maintained and if it is eligible for adoption. If the bike path is not state owned or maintained or is owned by another entity (Dept. Natural Resources & Environmental Control (DNREC), etc.) or is unavailable for some other reason, DelDOT will work with you to provide a suitable bike path as close as possible, refer you to the owning entity or advise participation in DelDOT's Adopt-A-Highway Program (if desired). For paths over 2 miles in length, DelDOT may break the path into 2-mile (approximate) sections in order to accommodate multiple sponsorship requests.

Q. How long is the Adopt-A-Bike-Path program?

Adopting a bike path is a big commitment. Participants in the Adopt-A-Bike-Path Program agree to adopt one state-owned bike path for a minimum period of two years.

Q. Is there any recognition for individuals, businesses or organizations participating in the Adopt-A-Bike Path Program?

In exchange for participation in the AABP program, each group will receive one Adopt-A-Bike Path sign posted midway on the path or portion of path sponsored at no cost to the organization. The organization/business name will be a maximum of 28 characters in length, including spacing and punctuation. Logos are not permitted. Where possible, signs may be co-posted with other existing signs.

Q. Are there any age restrictions for volunteers participating in the Adopt-A-Bike Path Program?

Group members younger than 15 years old must be supervised by adults 18 years or older. Individuals under 12 years old are not permitted to participate. There will be at least one adult per eight underage members (12 to 18 years of age.) Large groups should stay together as they clean the path.

Q. Do members of our group need to fill out any type of waiver?

Yes, adult volunteers need to complete a waiver prior to each clean-up. A parental guardian will need to complete a waiver for any child 15-18 years of age. The waivers can be found under the forms tab.

Q. Is there a limitation on how many times a year we can clean up our sponsored bike path or portion of a path?

Litter pick up must be done on the assigned bike path at least three times per year, more if necessary or desired. Each group agrees to complete and submit at least three clean-up activity reports per year to the AABP Coordinator.

Q. How to we submit an activity report?

Activity reports can be submitted online, printed, completed and e-mailed to AABP Coordinator at or by mail to:

Department of Transportation
Adopt-A-Bike Path Program
PO Box 778
Dover, DE 19903

Q. How do we get supplies needed for cleanup?

Groups must contact AABP Coordinator at least one week prior to litter pick-up. AABP Coordinator will arrange for groups to pick-up safety vest, trash bags and “Crews Working” signs. Gloves are also available upon request. These materials should be picked up by you (or a member of your group) at the DelDOT District Maintenance Office during working hours one week before the cleanup.

Q. What do we do with the trash we collect?

Filled trash bags may be left under your AABP sign. Please make sure they not on the path itself. The contact person for the group should notify DelDOT on the next business day to let us know that the bag(s) needs to be picked up. You are welcome to dispose of the trash with your personal trash, but you will not be reimbursed for any personal disposal services. If applicable, participants are encouraged to separate and recycle appropriate materials for their benefit and to further help the environment. However, it is not a requirement of the program. If participants recycle the trash, they are entitled to keep the money for their group or personal benefit.

Q. How do we stay safe during the cleanup?

We have compiled a list of best practices. Please make sure everyone in your group reviews them prior to cleanup. The Safety Tips document is under the forms tab on this website.

Q. What if we must reschedule our clean-up?

Cleanups during bad weather or when visibility is reduced or restricted is prohibited. The adopting group will be responsible for rescheduling.

Q. Who do we contact if we discover an issue during our cleanup?

Please contact AABP Coordinator with any specific questions or concerns regarding bike path conditions in your area.

Q. How do we renew our sponsorship?

Groups are responsible for notifying the AABP Coordinator of any changes in the status of their application. If group completes three cleanups per year and completes three activity reports per year for two years, their sponsorship will automatically renew. DelDOT reserves the right to terminate participation if we are unable to contact you and/or we do not receive at least three activity reports per year from group. DelDOT reserves the right to revise these conditions as needed and deny any applications from unqualified volunteers.

Q. What is the history of DelDOT’s Adopt-A-Bike Path Program?

The program was initiated in the early summer of 2004 and was announced to the public in May 2005. It resulted from the need for the Department of Transportation to find a way to keep bike paths free of debris that may impede the safe travel of a bicyclists or pedestrian.

The program is mirrored after the highly successful Adopt-A-Highway Program, which DelDOT has administered for 15 years.

Printable Version of Adopt-A-Bike Path (AABP) FAQ 

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