BRUNSWICK -- The Brunswick City Council considered Tuesday whether to approve a plan that would allow residents and interested groups the ability to maintain and care for the city's parks and open spaces.
Kim Mezzanotte, development review coordinator for Brunswick, said a few months ago, the city was approached by a group of residents that wanted to create a formal program whereby individuals and groups could "adopt" one of the city's 21 parks, recreational areas and other open spaces. Many in the group already care for some of the parks on their own.
"We have interested and motivated individuals in Brunswick that do take pride in the amenities that the city has to offer," she said.
Through the program, interested faith-based or civic groups, families and individuals would work to keep these spaces clean and attractive, Mezzanotte said. Aside from upkeep, the Adopt-a-Park program could free up city public works employees to spend more time on major renovations, water and sewer infrastructure repairs and upgrades, and other maintenance.
Sponsors unable to volunteer their physical efforts could offer donations that would include purchases of park furnishings and plant materials.
Mayor Karin Tome and city staff have also helped establish a committee that would help the city with decisions regarding park upgrades and volunteer training, Mezzanotte said.
The city would ask volunteers to maintain a park or area for at least one year, monitor the park weekly or on a regular basis, Mezzanotte wrote in a report about the program to the city. Volunteers would look for signs of vandalism or destruction and report issues to the city. They'd also weed and maintain plantings as needed, pick up and dispose of litter and submit a plan to the city before adding plantings, artwork or other features.
Adopters would not mow grass or perform major repairs or equipment maintenance, she said.
Participants would be recognized at an annual event, and the city would post their names on the city's website if participants agreed, the city document states. Also, participants would be able to put up a 5-by-8-inch sign in their adoptive park at their own expense.
The City Council plans to vote on adopting the program next month.