Our Upcoming Events
Oakland 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 a growing list of almost 400 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)
- Installing mosaics on litter containers
- Picking up litter
- Removing graffiti
- Keeping storm drains free of debris (check out our new Adopt a Drain website to get started!)
See and hear 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
- Volunteer Guidelines
- Group Waiver (English)
- Group Waiver (Spanish)
- Individual Waiver (English)
- Individual Waiver (Spanish)
- Tool Request Form
- One-Time Community Cleanup Proposal
- Volunteer Opportunities Flyer
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!
- Creek to Bay Day is held the third Saturday in September. This year's will be September 20, 2014.
- Earth Day a Saturday close to April 22.
Clean Lake Initiative
Are you passionate about Lake Merritt? The City of 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's 19th Annual Creek to Bay Day Saturday, September 20, 2014 - Recruiting Site Coordinators!
Oakland Creek to Bay Day is part of California and International Coastal Cleanup Day, the largest volunteer day in California and the world - when thousands of volunteers beautify and clean trash from shorelines and waterways across California, the nation and in about 100 countries. Join thousands of volunteers to clean and beautify Oakland's creeks, shorelines and Lake Merritt. Groups of all ages are welcome to participate and are encouraged to gather friends, family and co-workers to have fun and improve the health of our community and environment.
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.
Website to Adopt Oakland Storm Drains and Prevent Flooding and Water Pollution
The City of Oakland has released the Adopt a Drain website that empowers smart phone and computer users to adopt City storm drains. Oakland Public Works, partnering with Code for America affiliate OpenOakland, developed the website to help volunteers clear storm drains.
By keeping storm drains clear, volunteers help prevent flooding of roads and sidewalks during winter storms. Keeping drains clear throughout the year also boosts water quality by reducing the amount of debris and trash flowing through the storm drains and out to the City’s creeks and ultimately, San Francisco Bay and the ocean beyond. To adopt one or more of the City’s more than 10,000 storm drains, visit adoptadrainoakland.com.
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).