Our Upcoming Events
Adopt a Spot
Through the Oakland Adopt a Spot program, individuals, neighborhood groups, civic organizations and businesses can play an active and ongoing role in cleaning, greening and beautifying parks, creeks, shorelines, storm drains, streets, trails, medians and other public spaces. Volunteers have adopted hundreds of sites around Oakland. Public Works supports these efforts with tool lending, debris collection services and technical assistance.
Activities can include:
- Planting/pruning/weeding (with pre-approval from Public Works staff)
- Beautification of litter containers and utility boxes with mosaics and murals
- Litter pick-up
- Graffiti removal
- Keeping storm drains free of debris (check the Adopt a Drain website and helpful tips)
See what it's like to be a member of the Oakland Adopt a Spot program. Check out this video featuring a few of our adopters doing amazing work:
Interested in joining the hundreds of residents, businesses and community groups who are already participating? Please review the Adopt a Spot Application Packet for a detailed program description and application. You can also contact an Adopt a Spot coordinator at (510) 238-7630 or via email@example.com.
Downloadable volunteer forms and materials are linked below:
- Adopt a Spot Application Packet, español, Chinese
- Volunteer Guidelines, español, Chinese
- Group Waiver; español, Chinese
- Individual Waiver; español, Chinese
- Tool Request Form
- One-Time Community Cleanup Proposal
- Mosaic and painting agreement
- Volunteer Opportunities Flyer; español; Chinese
Report Volunteer Hours
Litter Container Mosaics
Oakland volunteers add beauty and character to the streets by adopting and adorning city-owned litter containers with tile mosaics and painted murals. See http://oaklandwiki.org/Mosaic_Tile_Trash_Cans for examples of some of these projects.
If you would like to adopt a litter container, please complete the Adopt a Spot form and the Litter Container Rules form. Send these back with a description or drawing of the art to be installed. Once your application is approved you can begin work on the project. Here is a video that shows you how it's done http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCL4I7shWx8.
Other Volunteer Opportunities
One-Time Community Cleanups
We also support One-Time Community Cleanups. If you would like to host one, please complete the One-Time Community Cleanup Proposal form and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. We may be able to provide you tools, post-event debris collection services and other logistical support.
City-wide Cleanup & Beautification Events
Public Works coordinates two city-wide volunteer events each year involving thousands of participants. Come join the fun!
- Earth Day is typically held the third Saturday in April. Mark your calendar for Saturday, April 18, 2015!
- Creek to Bay Day is held the third Saturday in September. Mark your calendar for Saturday, September 20, 2015!
Clean Lake Initiative
Are you passionate about Lake Merritt? Oakland's Clean Lake Initiative supports volunteer cleanup, maintenance, monitoring and education at the Lake. For information on how you can participate in these efforts, please contact the Lake Merritt Institute at (510) 238-2290 or email@example.com.
Keep Oakland Beautiful and the Oakland Parks Coalition are active local organizations that also promote and support volunteer efforts at Oakland's parks, creeks, streets and other public places.
County, Regional & State Property
Some of Oakland's public spaces are owned and managed by other government entities. Please visit the following websites for volunteer opportunities offered by these organizations:
- Alameda County Adopt-A-Creek/Adopt-A-Spot (county-owned land and flood control channels)
- Caltrans Adopt-A-Highway (highway overpasses, underpasses, on-ramps and off-ramps)
- East Bay Regional Parks District (regional parks, trails, botanical gardens and shorelines)
Opportunities with Adopt a Spot Volunteer Groups
The Friends of the Gardens at Lake Merritt are looking for interested, qualified people to join their Volunteer Leadership Team! Find out more about these positions at http://gardensatlakemerritt.org/volunteer-opportunities.
Follow us on the Sustainable Oakland Facebook page for information on volunteer events, news on sustainability, going green and more!
News & Events
Oakland Earth Day Saturday, April 18, 2015
Join thousands of volunteers to clean, green and beautify Oakland. Register and find more information at www.oaklandearthday.com.
Only Rain Down the Drain - Adopt a Storm Drain
By helping to keep storm drain inlets clear, you help prevent flooding during storms and help protect water quality by keeping trash from storm drains and connected creeks and water bodies (such as Lake Merritt, San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean). To adopt one or more of the City’s more than 10,000 storm drains, visit adoptadrainoakland.com. Click here for practical info and tips for storm drain volunteers.
A Successful Creek to Bay Day!
City of Oakland Public Works thanks all the volunteers, sponsors and partners who helped make Oakland’s 19th annual Creek to Bay Day a success! Approximately 1,000 Oakland volunteers removed over 500 bags of trash and over 150 cubic yards of invasive weeds from Oakland’s creeks and bay shoreline. Throughout California there were more than 850 cleanup projects and over 54,000 volunteers who removed 576,571 pounds of trash and 109,494 pounds of recyclables! Information about the day. Read more at www.oaklandcreektobay.org.
Oakland Adopt a Spot Program receives the Northern California APWA 2013 Sustainability Practices Award
Congratulations to the Adopt a Spot Program for receiving the 2013 Sustainability Practices Award from the Northern California Chapter of the American Public Works Association! This award is given to "individuals, teams or organization that have made an outstanding contribution to promote sustainability in public works."
We thank the many individual volunteers, neighborhood groups, civic organizations and businesses who are cleaning, greening and beautifying adopted spots around Oakland (currently there are about 400). These efforts contribute to a cleaner, healthier, more beautiful, livable and sustainable City. Together, through Adopt a Spot, we're building community, raising environmental consciousness and participation, improving the quality of life in Oakland while also supporting broader regional and global environmental initiatives.
ADA Volunteer Policy
City of Oakland Public Works offers a wide variety of volunteer opportunities. We encourage individuals with disabilities to volunteer their time and efforts. Some volunteer opportunities may be located in areas without a designed path of travel and may require significant physical labor. To discuss available volunteer opportunities, please contact the person listed as the main contact for the event or call (510) 238-3254 (TTY).