In an effort to enhance the quality of our parks, the City of Joplin encourages the community to assist with the maintenance and beautification of our parks by facilitating the enhancement of park/playground amenities and providing general upkeep and repair equipment, recreation facilities, and trails through an “Adopt-A-Park” program.

The Adopt-A-Park Program allows individuals or groups to assume responsibility for one or more eligible activities at their adopted park.  The benefits of this program include:

  • Enhancement of the environment
  • Beautification of parks, trails, and green spaces
  • Greater public education and awareness of parks, recreation and community services
  • Community and/or corporate support of park-related capital improvements

Who can Adopt-A-Park?

Individuals, businesses based or operating in the City of Joplin, non-profit groups, schools, government entities, or faith-based groups, whose goals and activities reflect the City of Joplin’s core values and goals, are eligible to participate in the Adopt-A-Park program.  The organization must be free from discrimination based on race, color, creed, nationality, sex, marital status, disability, religion, or political affiliation.  Parties currently involved in a lawsuit whose position is adverse to the City, and organizations that create a conflict of interest for the City will not be eligible to participate in the Adopt-A-Park program. 

Potential Adopt-A-Park Activities

Activities which enhance the quality of the City’s parks and trails may be eligible to be included in the Adopt-A-Park program.  

The program is divided into three broad participation levels:

Level 1 Park Adoption

  • Park Cleanup
  • Graffiti/Gum Removal
  • Length of contract – one year renewable

Level 2 Park Adoption

  • Park Cleanup
  • Graffiti/Gum Removal
  • Park Enhancements - Landscape planting/mulching/watering/weeding
  • Length of contract – three years renewable

Level 3 Park Adoption

  • Park Cleanup
  • Graffiti/Gum Removal
  • Park Enhancements – Landscape planting/mulching/watering/weeding
  • Amenity Donations (e.g., benches, trashcans, bike racks, doggy bag receptacles, etc.)
  • Length of contract – five years renewable

Program Requirements

The City of Joplin Parks and Recreation Department will work with the adopting group (“Adopter”) to determine the specific park to be adopted and eligible activities or donations.  The main focus of the program is park maintenance, beautification, and improvement.   All projects must be pre-approved by the Parks and Recreation Department prior to any work being undertaken.  This approval process includes donations of items, supplies, and labor.  If the approved project includes planting, all plant species must be approved by the Park Maintenance Division of the Parks and Recreation Department.

The Adopter will sign an indemnify and hold harmless agreement, which is part of the Application to Adopt-A-Park.

The term of the Park Adoption will be January-December of each year unless otherwise agreed.  Adopter must request a renewal extension by December 1st of each year for the following year.

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

Basic Requirements for Adopting Group

  • Adopter leaders must be at least 18 years of age and be present at the on-site meeting  at the start of the adoption period.
  • Cleanup/maintenance will be done by members of the adopting organization.
  • Cleanup/maintenance will be scheduled and performed at the mutual agreement of the Department and the individuals or       organization, for a designated period of time (dates to  be set by a Parks representative). All work shall be performed during             daylight hours. Cleanup may be performed more often if it is determined that the park or facility is in need of additional improvements.
  • Adopted parks will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Adoption by one organization does not preclude adoption of another area of the same  park or donation to the same park from         another organization.
  • Adopters must comply with safety rules.

Adopter Responsibilities

The Adopter will be responsible for:

  • Completing and submitting an application to Adopt-A-Park for approval
  • Obtaining the required supplies and materials from, as approved by the Department or through the Department, during regular         business hours (8:00 am-3:30 pm), Monday-Friday
  • Keeping track of the number of volunteer hours performed, and submitting this  information to the Department on a monthly basis
  • Ensuring your participants are furnished with adequate 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; and 
  • Notifying the Parks and Recreation Department at 625-4750 of items, equipment or grounds in need of attention or             repair, especially when a safety concern exists

 City Responsibilities 

The City will be responsible for:

  • Provide training that includes maintenance methods, techniques, and safety issues.
  • Support the efforts of the Adopter to keep the park clean and well-maintained.
  • Assist the Adopter with the planting of trees and shrubs and provide technical help when requested.
  • Work together with the adopting organization for the betterment of the park.
  • Publicly acknowledge the Adopter on the City web page, signs, etc.
  • Erecting a Park Adoption sign with the adopter’s name or acronym displayed
  • Meeting with the Adopter (or its representatives) at the adopted park site at the start of  the sponsoring period to discuss                 cleanup and maintenance priorities and to provide general guidance
  • Supplying certain materials and equipment when necessary (e.g., trash bags, paint supplies, flowers, mulch, etc.)                              NOTE: Adopters 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 Adopter

 Safety Rules

Participants and/or parents bear individual responsibility for personal safety and appropriate behavior in the park.  Each participant must complete the Volunteer Waiver of Liability Form.

Adopting organizations will work without direct City of Joplin supervision.  One adult supervisor (aged 18 or older) must be present for every five minors over the age of seven years and one adult supervisor must be present for every two children under the age of seven years.

Adoptable areas will be selected for safety and appropriateness for the participants. We urge you to remember:

  • The program depends upon the common sense and responsibility of individual  participants.
  • For the protection of our participants, the use of power tools such as mowers, tractors  or chain saws will not be permitted.
  • Wear comfortable clothes and closed-toed shoes
  • Wear gloves
  • Secure all bagged trash (placing filled trash bags in/near existing trash containers for    pick up and disposal by the Department)
  • Be aware of traffic and remain alert to your surroundings at all times
  • Do not pick up broken glass without adult supervision
  • Do not touch anything that may be toxic/hazardous i.e., oil, paint, gasoline, needles, etc.
  • Report all suspected toxic/hazardous materials to the Parks and Recreation Department

 Suggested Tools

  • Garbage bags
  • Leather gloves
  • Shovels
  • Rakes
  • Brooms
  • Water for drinking (especially groups with young children)
  • Trash “grabbers”

Procedure for Adopting a Park

A representative of an interested group or an individual should fill out an the Adopt-A-Park Application form below. The Adopter must complete the Adopt-A-Park application and submit it online or return it to the Parks and Recreation Department (when possible, the Adopter should identify two alternate parks in case their first choice is not available).

Once your application has been approved, a Parks & Recreation representative will contact the applicant to finalize the adoption. For questions please contact the City of Joplin Parks and Recreation Department at (417) 625-4750.

Completion of Park Adoption

After the Adopter has performed the necessary activities, the City will, at the end of the adoption term, present the Adopter with a certificate of recognition for the work completed, if one is desired.