Five Rivers MetroParks’ annual Earth Day celebration, Adopt-A-Park, will return this year — but in a different way. The public is invited to participate and help MetroParks protect the region’s natural heritage by registering for and picking up free Adopt-A-Park service kits.
Each Adopt-A-Park service kit includes enough materials for a family of four to participate. Materials are packed in a reusable MetroParks bag and include:
- Bags for trash and recycling
- Face coverings
- Litter pick-up tool
- Tag made from wildflower seed paper (for an at-home gardening activity)
- Step-by-step directions
Rather than hosting an in-person event, MetroParks chose to offer the Adopt-A-Park service kits as a safe alternative. This year’s event follows the national Earth Day theme, Restore Our Earth. Using the service kit materials, volunteers can mask up and clean up their favorite parks, trails and greenspaces.
While the kits are free, registration is required and available at metroparks.org/adopt. Registration runs through April 16. Kits will be available for pick up during the following dates/times at Cox Arboretum and Wegerzyn Gardens MetroParks:
- Thursday, April 8: 11 am to 1 pm or 5 to 7 pm
- Saturday, April 17: 11 am to 3 pm
After participants clean up outdoor spaces on their own time, they’re asked to report how much they collected so MetroParks can track the impact of the Adopt-A-Park service kits.
“While this year’s Adopt-a-Park celebration will be different, it’s important for MetroParks to offer volunteers safe, fun ways to be a part of MetroParks’ mission to protect the region’s natural heritage,” said Jenny Hymans, human resources and volunteer services manager. “I think the flexibility that the service kits provide will encourage people to beautify their favorite greenspaces and maybe find new places in the parks to explore.”
Five Rivers MetroParks is a conservation agency protecting more than 16,000 acres of land. The public’s participation in the Mask Up, Clean Up Challenge helps MetroParks meet its mission and improves our local environment.
Traditionally a one-day clean up event, MetroParks’ Adopt-a-Park is its largest annual day of service, attracting 2,000 volunteers who collect thousands of pounds of trash and recyclable materials. Due to the pandemic, MetroParks had to cancel Adopt-a-Park in 2020. For the safety of its staff, volunteers and the public, MetroParks has engaged its volunteers in a limited capacity during the past year.
“Our volunteers are a part of the MetroParks family,” Hymans said. “We look forward to welcoming returning and existing volunteers back to our parks and facilities when it’s safe to do so.”
For more information about becoming a MetroParks volunteer, visit metroparks.org/volunteer.