Adopt-A-Spot program aims to beautify downtown Lansing

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Each year, hundreds of volunteers step up to help keep the downtown areas of Lansing clean, and in return, they get to claim a little piece of the city for their own.

It’s called the Adopt-A-Spot program.

While traveling through the Capital City, you may notice it’s unique charm, the tall buildings, mixed with scenic river trails and parks, making for a fun and exciting place for people to live, work, and visit.

It’s all about the details, like pretty flowers int he summer, or nice landscaping in the spring, and it’s all made possible by volunteers.

“It just gives me an opportunity to do something that I enjoy for the community that I work in,” says volunteer, Valerie Novaes.

Novaes is one of the hundreds of people who volunteer each year with the Adopt-A-Spot program.

“It’s important for me to have our city be looked at as a clean place to live,” says volunteer, Robert Ovalle.

The program provides organizations and individuals the opportunity to choose an area downtown, and create a flower or rain garden of their choice.

“About a half hour we spend early in the morning, and we pull the weeds and pick up the trash and make sure that it looks great for the next few weeks,” says Novaes.

It gives community members a chance to give back to the city, and own a little piece of land they live and work, in at the same time.

“It’s a really great way to be engaged and involved in both making Lansing more eco-friendly as well as more beautiful,” says program coordinator, Mj Haynes.

Haynes says, with hundreds of flower beds and rain gardens up for grabs, downtown Lansing has become one of the largest urban rain garden projects in the country.

That means, these plants will absorb water runoff from a roof or parking lot to help cut down on pollution.

“The soil will help clean the pollutants out before it enters back into the ground water or make it way back into the sewer system and ultimately the Grand River here in Lansing,” says Novaes.

Though the idea may be simple, it’s this labor of love that volunteers say will help keep Lansing looking clean and green.

“We have dozens of spots in need of adoption for a good family or an organization that’s willing to put their name down in the city that’s willing to say keeping Lansing beautiful is important to them,” says Haynes.

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