Confessions of a First-Time Adopt-A-Blocker: Part 1
The snow has melted, spring is here, and the one thing I want is to be outside. But recently, a stroll in the neighborhood became not so pleasant when I saw the pop bottles, candy wrappers, and grocery bags littering my street. Not content to look after only my own yard anymore, I knew what I needed to do: I had to adopt my block.
What is Adopt-A-Block?
Since 2002, Keep Indianapolis Beautiful has helped neighbors reduce litter, meet their neighbors, and build community through the Adopt-A-Block program. By becoming an Adopt-A-Block coordinator or block captain, you pledge to keep your block clean throughout the year by cleaning up litter. KIB helps by providing tools (such as litter grabbers, brooms, and gloves) and resources (free perennials and trees and trainings).
Making the Pledge
Once I found the Adopt-A-Block page on our website, signing up was a breeze. I just filled out some information about myself, the block I wanted to adopt, and my t-shirt size. There was one question that puzzled me at first: “Are you willing to share your email or phone number to AAB Coordinators only?” KIB’s Community Engagement Coordinator, Matt Wakefield explained: one of the neatest parts of being an Adopt-A-Blocker is that KIB staff can put you in touch with other block captains in your area, so that you can network or apply for a Little Big Award (a small block improvement grant available only to AAB coordinators). In some neighborhoods, Adopt-A-Block coordinators have banded together to join a Crime Watch group or organize a block party.
After submitting my application, I was unsure of what I should do next. When should I pick up my supplies? Would KIB contact me, or should I get in touch? My questions were answered shortly when a Welcome Newsletter and the Adopt-A-Block handbook was delivered to my email.
This year, Adopt-A-Block (as well as Great Indy Cleanup) supplies will be distributed March 18th from 3 to 6 p.m. and March 19th from 10 a.m. to noon at the KIB Headquarters (1029 E Fletcher St.). In the next installment, I will discuss Adopt-A-Block supply distribution and reveal which cleanup supplies I chose!