Safe Digging Month is a monthlong collaborative project throughout April to educate and raise awareness for safe digging and utilizing the 811 “call before you dig” system. Stakeholders from across the country in public and private organizations come together to unite around the importance of excavation safety. For Aii, Safe Digging Month starts even earlier with Modern Roots March.

This campaign helps lay the groundwork for Safe Digging Month by building the public’s intuition about why we must dig safely and what the consequences are for failing to follow safety procedures when moving dirt and breaking ground.

Just as anyone – even a child – can look at a tree or garden plant and know it has a root system below the surface, at Aii, we want every citizen to have the same understanding of our modern infrastructure. If a tree is supported and sustained by its roots, how does the light from a street lamp get its power? Surely there is a system of cables and wires below the surface transporting the energy it is using. 

When you see a fire hydrant, a storm drain, a gas station – you know there must be subsurface roots enabling it to work, store, or transport resources or waste. Now how about a home or business?

Does it have gas, electric, internet, cable, water, sewage, or any other services? These are all connected to the modern root system of modern infrastructure running below the surface of our streets, parks, neighborhoods, and even ranch land.

We believe that when people have a more intuitive understanding of our modern infrastructure, they are equipped to make better decisions. That will mean safer, more efficient, more environmentally friendly decisions in many cases, but the chief concern is safe digging and avoiding striking a dangerous buried utility line.

Help us get the word out and make our friends, family, and communities more aware of the infrastructure beneath their feet – the modern roots of society! You can Join the Campaign by sharing resources or simply learning more yourself!


Written by Benjamin Dierker, Executive Director

The Alliance for Innovation and Infrastructure (Aii) is an independent, national research and educational organization. An innovative think tank, Aii explores the intersection of economics, law, and public policy in the areas of climate, damage prevention, energy, infrastructure, innovation, technology, and transportation.