Creating an Adopt A Spot Program
Why an adoption program?
Adoption programs can be an affordable way to gain group buy-in and long-term assistance from your community. Contracts usually ask the adopting group to conduct at least four cleanups per year in exchange for signage and supplies. Adopting groups take pride and ownership in their area and will often adopt the same spot for many years.
Adoption programs are great for areas in your community that often have continuous litter problems, such as local parks, creeks and roadsides. These programs insure regular attention for your problem areas and not just a big sweep once or twice a year.
Before you start your own Adoption program, you should contact your state and local government to make sure there is not an existing program already in your area. These programs are often run by City and County governments or the State of Texas itself. Here are a few larger programs that already exist in Texas.
Do your research
If you decide that an adoption program is right for your affiliate you can get started by researching some successful programs fellow affiliates are already offering. Check out these great programs for some ideas and contact information. Call the affiliate and talk about what they are doing, what has and has not worked for them and don’t be afraid to ask for sample materials.
- Keep Austin Beautiful - Adopt A Street
- Keep Austin Beautiful - Adopt A Creek
- Keep Denton Beautiful - Adopt A Spot
- Keep Flower Mound Beautiful - Adopt A Spot
- Keep Hutto Beautiful - Adopt A Spot
- Keep Lewisville Beautiful -Adopt A Spot
- Keep Midland Beautiful - Adopt A Spot
- Keep Pearland Beautiful -Adopt A Spot
- Keep Sugar Land Beautiful - Adopt A Spot
Tips to get you started
- Don’t reinvent the wheel! Reach out to those that already have a successful program. People love to share their success with others.
- Make sure you have a plan in place for signage. What type of sign? How big will it be? Where will it be installed? Make sure you have permission to install on whoever’s property the signs will be located. Who will be responsible for the actual install and maintenance of the signs?
- Make sure you have a plan in place for supplies. Volunteers will expect you to provide trash bags and gloves at the least. You might also include bottled water, recycle bags, litter grabbers and safety vests for roadside cleanups. Consider local sponsors to donate these items or utilize your KTB stock.
- Make sure you have a plan in place for event logistics. How do the groups alert you that they are holding a cleanup? Where do they pick up their supplies? Where do they leave full trash and recycle bags for pick up? How do they alert you that they are done and provide you with data?
- Make sure you have a plan in place for tracking the program. Collect data from the groups. How many bags did they pick up? How much recycling? How many volunteers attended and how long did they work? Do they have pictures to share for your social media and website?
- Make sure you have a plan in place for tracking groups. Who is in your program? What area did they adopt? Have they done their required cleanups? When did each one occur? Do you have a renewal ask ready for when they complete the contract?
Every adoption program is a little different. Each affiliate has the possibility to make these programs their own and we encourage you to consider offering one in your community. Good luck!