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Adopt A Park

What is the Adopt-A-Park Program?
Gaston County Parks and Recreation’s Adopt-A-Park Program is designed to encourage the community be hands-on in helping keep Gaston County parks clean, safe and attractive. This program provides citizens, citizen groups/agencies and organizations an opportunity to contribute to the County by "adopting" a park, and agreeing to improve it through litter pick-up, maintaining flower beds, painting, spreading playground mulch and other beautification projects. The program allows people to take ownership in their community promoting pride, appreciation and awareness. Gaston County Parks and Recreation manages over 800 acres of parkland in 19 parks. The assistance we receive from adopters is greatly appreciated as we make every effort to care for our natural resources.

Who Can Participate?
The Adopt-A-Park program is open to individuals, youth groups, neighborhood associations, civic groups, faith based organizations, athletics organizations, service organizations, schools (groups and teams) business and other community organizations throughout Gaston County that have an interest in improving our parks.

What is the Adopt-A-Park Time Commitment?
Adopting individual/organizations are asked to make a one-year commitment completing a minimum of four (4) projects per year. Each year, the adoption commitment begins at the beginning of a quarter (January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1) and lasts for a period of one or two years. Applications may be taken anytime during the year and the number of expected cleanup projects may be prorated according to the adoption approval date. It is the responsibility of the Adopt-A-Park’s contact person to organize the projects and log volunteer service hours; log sheets and projects report form will be provided by Gaston County Parks and Recreation.  The contact person is also responsible for the following:

1. Inform the Parks and Recreation Department of your scheduled project date no less than two (2) weeks in advance so that any necessary arrangements can be made and we can let you know of any potential conflicts;

2. Pick up litter/debris and place the filled trash bags in the designated areas;

3. Adhere to the Safety Guidelines as provided to you by the Parks and Recreation Department;

4. Report any vandalism or potential safety hazards found in your adopted space;

5. Complete and return Adopt-A-Park Progress Report, Volunteer Applications, Photos and Volunteer Service Record within 14 days of project completion. These can be returned in person, by mail or electronically.

Can I complete other Special Projects?
Groups, individuals or organizations interested in performing special projects that will materially change their adopted space, such as landscaping or facility improvements, should be submitted to the Parks and Recreation Department in writing at least one month in advance of the desired project date. We are excited that you wish to improve the park and we want to work with you to ensure that your efforts leave a lasting positive effect. The appropriate County departments will review your request to ensure that the project complies with applicable safety, environmental, and legal restrictions, that it is consistent with the overall design, use, and maintenance of the park or trail, and that the date does not conflict with activities scheduled for the facility. The Parks and Recreation Department will respond to your organization with required guidelines for that special project.

What kind of equipment will I need?
Gaston County Parks and Recreation provides trash and recycling bags, recycling information, safety guidelines, and trash removal. It is suggested that volunteers wear work gloves, long pants and boots.

How will my organization be recognized?
A service a sign will be displayed in a prominent part of the adopted park acknowledging your organizations/individual service to the parks. Adopters can also be issued Certificates of Appreciation, have their agency/organization or individual name highlighted on Gaston County Parks and Recreation web site and letters of recognition written on behalf of the adopter by the department’s director.

How do I get started?
If you are a group, appoint a contact person to ensure clear communication. Contact the Parks and Recreation Department to discuss the parks and trails currently available for adoption and any questions you may have about the program. Complete the Gaston County Adopt A Park Registration Form for the specific park or trail you wish to adopt. Register your volunteers, contact the Parks and Recreation Department to schedule your first event and reserve any equipment or supplies you may need. At the event, review the Safety Guidelines and instructions for where to leave trash and recycling with your volunteers.

Complete your project and submit progress report. You’re on your way!