In order to enhance the quality of our parks, the Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department encourages volunteers to assist with litter pickup, preservation and maintenance of landscaped areas, increased landscaping and general upkeep and repair of equipment and facilities.

The Adopt-A-Park program allows individuals or groups to adopt a specific park. Through adoption, these individuals or groups may assume the responsibility for any or all of the eligible activities, which will lead to:

  • reduced litter in parks;
  • enhancement of the environment;
  • beautification of green space; and
  • broad-based community support for anti-litter and park beautification programs

Potential Adopt-A-Park activities

The following activities are eligible to be included in Adopt-A-Park sponsorships:

  • litter control
  • landscaping and landscape maintenance (including weeding and watering)
  • facility and equipment upkeep and maintenance
  • other improvement ideas as suggested and approved

Program requirements

The City of Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department ("Department") will work with the adopting group ("Sponsor") to determine the specific park to be adopted. Street medians and other green space areas may also be eligible for sponsorship.

The main focus of the program is litter control. The Sponsor will agree to pick up litter in the adopted park at least twice monthly. Other activities such as plantings, repair projects and installation of new equipment must be approved by the Department prior to any work being undertaken. Plant species must be approved by the Department. Sponsor will water the plantings sufficiently where water is available, and will control weeds as necessary using Department approved methods. Chemicals are not to be applied by the Sponsor.

The Sponsor will sign an indemnity and hold harmless agreement, which is part of the application to Adopt-A-Park.

Sponsorship will generally be for a minimum of one park season (i.e. April-October). Sponsor must request a renewal extension permit by Dec. 31 of each year.

If in the sole judgment of the Department, it is found that the Sponsor is not meeting the terms and conditions of the agreement, the Department may terminate the agreement and remove sponsorship signs.

Sponsor responsibilities

The Sponsor will be responsible for:

  • completing and submitting an Application to Adopt-A-Park for approval
  • obtaining the required supplies and materials from the Department during regular business hours (8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.), Monday-Friday
  • keeping track of the number of volunteer hours performed, and submitting this information to the Department on a monthly basis
  • insuring youth participants are furnished with adequate adult supervision
  • placing filled trash bags near existing trash containers for pick up and disposal by the Department
  • returning unused materials and supplies furnished by the Department within one (1) week following clean up, unless other arrangements have been made
  • notifying the Department at 356-5100 of items or grounds in need of attention or repair, especially when a safety concern exists

Department responsibilities

The Department will be responsible for:

  • erecting a sign with the Sponsor's name or acronym displayed
  • providing report forms and envelopes
  • supplying certain materials and equipment when necessary (e.g., trash bags, paint supplies, flowers, mulch, etc.) Please note: Sponsors are encouraged to provide their own tools when possible
  • removing filled trash bags from the premises and removing large, heavy, or hazardous items when found in a park
  • following up on necessary repairs as reported by the Sponsor

Procedure for adopting a park

A representative of an interested group or an individual should contact the Iowa City Parks and Recreation Department at 319-356-5110, and request a sponsorship application.

The Sponsor should select a park or green space to be adopted, complete the sponsorship application and return it to the Department. When possible, the Sponsor should identify two alternate parks in case their first choice is not available.

Once the application has been approved, the Department will erect signage identifying the Sponsor.

Completion of sponsorship

After the Sponsor has performed the necessary activities, the Department will, at the end of the park season, present the Sponsor with a certificate of recognition for the work completed, if one is desired.