What is the Adopt-A-Spot Program?
Residents, businesses, and neighborhood groups volunteer their time to help maintain the City's pocket parks, squares, traffic islands, and other green spaces. Maintenance responsibilities range from weeding and mowing to litter control and planting, depending on your interests and the needs of the particular spot you adopt.
The Five ‘W’s’ of Adopt a Spot and Frequently Asked Questions:
Adopt A Spot (AAS) would not be possible without the volunteers who give their time and effort in order to maintain green spaces around Portsmouth. AAS volunteers consist of neighborhood groups, businesses, local organizations, children’s groups, single volunteers, partners or groups of people, etc.
Volunteers’ duties vary, based on the specific location of the AAS, their interests and desired level of involvement. So one AAS location tends not to look like the next. Some volunteers plant flowers and greenery and maintain a garden while others more simply clean up litter and mow the grass or any combination of these tasks.
Each AAS location is unique to its specific geographical location but all exist within Portsmouth City limits. Mostly, AAS locations consist of traffic islands, sidewalk extensions/bump outs, tree boxes, extensions of yards or parks, etc.
AAS involvement happens all year round! AAS maintenance obviously stops in the heart of winter when there is snow on the ground; but from spring until late fall there is ample opportunity for planting, pruning, mowing and so on.
So many reasons! Everyone involved in AAS benefits in a number of ways and there are so much incentive to participate. Some of those include:
- Volunteers build a stronger relationship with their community. Both the AAS community and their local, Portsmouth community
- Learn and/or strengthen their gardening skills
- Have some time to connect back with nature and Mother Earth
- Gardening helps reduce stress
- Gardening and yard work burn calories
- Being exposed to the sun outside allows our body to absorb some Vitamin D which is good for our bones
- Maintaining green spaces helps keep the air clean because flowers, plants and trees absorb carbon from the air
- Planting flowers attracts bees and other pollinators
Some Adopt A Spots are also suitable for raingardens to help reduce stormwater runoff.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Is there a cost involved?
No! There are no fees associated with AAS; however volunteers are responsible for the cost of any flowers, annuals, plants or anything they would like for planting or beautification of the spot they maintain.
What are my responsibilities of a volunteer?
Responsibilities are dependent on the specific location of the AAS, volunteers' interests and their desired level of involvement. Volunteer responsibilities are as follows but not limited to: Planting, watering, grass maintenance, litter clean up, leaf clean up and weed maintenance.
What can I plant?
Volunteers can plant anything in their spot EXCEPT fruit or vegetable-producing plants, bushes or trees. Herbs are ok.
What does The City provide?
The City of Portsmouth can provide raw materials such as compost, loam and mulch.
Who can adopt these spots?
Anyone who lives in Portsmouth and is 18 years or older!
What are my responsibilities as a volunteer?
Complete an application form and a general release form, and make a two-year commitment to maintain a spot.
Will the City have any involvement?
The Public Works Department can provide volunteers with safety equipment such as safety vests and goggles as requested. DPW will also provide mulch and loam as requested and collect yard waste and trash as needed.
The City posts signs at each Adopt A Spot to recognize the service of the volunteers who are responsible for adopting the spot.
How do I Adopt-A-Spot?
Contact Public Works (603) 427-1530