Adopting What We Love

Adopting what we love

Last year I got married and in addition to a wonderful husband, I got a now 6 1/4 year-old son (don't for get the quarter) as part of the package deal. I am formally adopting him today. Yesterday we had a family/close friends celebration and today is the court hearing to make it official. During the assessment interview for our application the social worker asked Lubbock if he understood what adoption was. He said, "Sure it's when you love someone and promise to take care of them." Clear enough.


Below are a list of, not 6 1/4 year-olds, but places and things that are up for adoption and could use some of your care and love. Below I have listed programs (and the organizations that offer them) that will facilitate your adoption of local parks, creeks, bus stops, streets and highways. And I guarantee they will make it is a much easier process than adopting a child. Below our local list are some programs from other cities that might inspire whole new adoption programs in Austin.  

Go share your love!



Adopt-a-park, (Austin Parks Foundation)

If you would like to adopt a park, please call the good folks of Austin Parks Foundation at 477-1566. They will talk with you about your goals for the park, then give you the number for your Parks and Recreation Department District Manager. You and the District Manager will meet at the park to talk over the specifics of what the park needs and how it can be accomplished. Then you will sign an informal, non-binding contract spelling out what each party will undertake over the next year.

Adopt-a-Creek (Keep Austin Beautiful)

Partner Groups preserve and improve their adopted waterway by:

·      “Adopting” a ¼ mile of an Austin creek for at least 2 years

·      Conducting at least 4 creek cleanups per year

·      Marking storm drains (optional) 

·      Restoring creek habitat (optional)

What Keep Austin Beautiful Offers Adopt-a-Creek partners:

·      An Adopt-a-Creek certificate and tile recognizing your group’s creek segment

·      Guidance with the planning of your cleanups

·      A Cleanup Kit that includes: trash bags, gloves, pickup tools, poison ivy block, and a first aid kit

·      Trash collection arranged by KAB

·      Fun giveaways to thank volunteers for their participation

·      Storm drain marking kits

·      Gardening tools and technical assistance for restoration projects 

·      Educational presentations and activities 

·      Recognition of your group’s commitment on the KAB and Watershed Protection websites

Contact or 512.391.0622 with any questions.      


Adopt-A-Street (Keep Austin Beautiful) 

Groups adopt at least 1/2 a mile within the City of Austin for2 years

·      Groups agree to have at least 4 cleanups per year

·      Groups pay an adoption fee of $152 to have the Adopt-a-Street sign produced and installed and to cover all administrative costs for the street adoption. 

·      As an Adopt-a-Street group you will receive:

·      Guidance planning your cleanups

·      An Adoption Packet that includes: a first aid kit, three Team KAB t-shirts, KAB decals, hand sanitizer and sunscreen

·      FREE Cleanup Supplies including: bags, gloves, litter pick-up tools and giveaway items as available

·      Trash collection arranged by KAB 

·      A REALLY cool street sign!

Contact or 512.391.0622 with any questions.      


Adopt-A-Highway (Department of Transportation)

·      You adopt a two-mile stretch of highway for a minimum of two years.

·      You agree to pick up litter four times per year (more in some areas due to traffic count)

·      Adopt-a-Highway signs will be posted with your group’s name at your adopted section.

·      Adopt-a-Highway will provide your volunteers with safety vests, litterbags and safety training.

·      You bask in the glory of claiming a piece of Texas pride.

Interested in participating in the program? Contact or contact a local coordinator for an application.


Adopt-A-Stop: bus stop (Cap Metro)

By participating in the Capital Metro Adopt-a-Stop Program, you agree to:

·      Give your stop a little TLC now and then, between Capital Metro-scheduled cleanings.

·      Contact Capital Metro to inform us of graffiti or other concerns with your adopted stop.

·      Commit to participating in the Adopt-a-Stop Program for one year.

Additional guidelines apply.

What role does Capital Metro play in the program? For only $35 Capital Metro will place a sign at your adopted stop recognizing your efforts. You can include your name or the name of your business or organization.

To get involved: Contact: Juan Wah, (512) 369-7720 or


Programs from other cities:


Adopt-a-garden [Locally you can plug in to the Coalition of Austin Community Gardens or the Sustainable Food Center to get started.


Adopting your watershed



Adopt-a-storm drain [Note: in Austin you can volunteer to mark storm drains but it’s not a longer-term commitment than that.]

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