Adopt a Park

Adopt-a-Park is a public service program that allows volunteers to aid in beautification, identify safety hazards and help maintain the City of Northfield park system. It is an excellent way for citizens and organizations to make a personal contribution to the community. This is an effort by the City of Northfield to implement a program utilizing volunteers’ expertise and experience to supplement the work of city staff. By working together we hope to help citizens become better connected to their community.

How It Works

  • A group of citizens, through common interest, agrees to discuss the opportunity to adopt a particular park that may or may not be in their neighborhood.
  • This particular group then discusses the opportunity with city staff in order to understand the responsibilities and limitations on adopting a park.
  • The Adopt-a-Park group agrees to a minimum of a three-year commitment to the project.
  • Park sites are chosen by city staff and are then available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • The frequency of cleanup is once during the spring, once during the summer and once during the fall.


The City of Northfield agrees to be responsible for:

  • Approving the size and scope of any projects to be undertaken by the volunteer group.
  • Disposing of garbage and brush collected by volunteers for the three park cleanup days each year.
  • Providing trash bags and safety information for the three park cleanup days each year.
  • Providing safety equipment necessary for completion of the project.
  • Posting recognition on the city’s website.

Note: The city will not be responsible for watering of any additional plantings.

The volunteers/volunteer group is responsible for:

  • Providing supervision of individuals to maintain their designated area.
  • Reporting signs of vandalism or broken equipment to the Street and Parks Division (Public Works Dept.).
  • Contacting the Street and Parks Division (Public Works Dept.) at least one week in advance to schedule a cleanup date.
  • Identifying in writing the projects the group desires to complete, as well as equipment and supplies needed.
  • Receiving approval from the Street and Parks Division (Public Works Dept.) before undertaking a project involving the beautification or maintenance of any park.
  • Coordinating with Master Gardeners if the group desires to do any planting.
  • Funding of any plantings. Preference will be given to perennials, natives and drought-tolerant plants.
  • Watering, weeding, separating and dividing any new plantings as needed.
  • Disposing of any garbage or brush collected outside of the three cleanup days.
  • Returning borrowed and unused supplies and equipment to the Maintenance Facility at 1710 Riverview Drive.

It is suggested that the cleanup activities occur on Monday following a busy weekend or days directly following a holiday.

A full listing of city parks can be found here. A listing of those parks that have already been adopted can be found here.

Possible Tasks

  • Litter pickup
  • Raking
  • Sweeping
  • Weeding
  • Painting
  • Planting and watering flowers
  • General park maintenance
  • Buckthorn removal
  • Mulching
  • Other projects as agreed upon (e.g., city welcome sign)

Safety Tips

  • Participants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Participants should never pick up heavy, large or hazardous materials or equipment.
  • Participants should be aware of extreme conditions under which they may be working, including heat, insects, sun and severe weather.
  • Participants should wear clothing that is appropriate to the weather and work being performed.
  • Sunscreen, insect repellent and work gloves are appropriate and are the participant’s responsibility.
  • Participants should avoid all open water.
  • Groups are encouraged to carry a first-aid kit for the participants.
  • Participants should know the location of the first-aid kit and local emergency phone numbers.

Sign Up

Before adopting a park, you must first read the terms and conditions and sign a waiver.

For more information, to schedule a project, or report graffiti or other vandalism, contact the City of Northfield Maintenance Facility at 1710 Riverview Drive, Northfield, MN 55057, or by phone at 507-645-3032.