Become a steward of the land and adopt a part of your community today!

This program gives you the opportunity to take ownership of your community and feel proud in the work you are doing! There are six different pathways to adopt an area of Durham.


The Adopt a Drain Durham program enables Bull City Citizens to "adopt" one of the city's storm drains or catch basins and pledge to keep it free of leaves and debris. The program helps reduce localized flooding and fosters community engagement by encouraging the public to take an active role in improving their neighborhood.

Code for Durham and other volunteers used a web-based platform called Github to develop the open source web application on Ruby on Rails. Github enabled contributors to work on the project from anywhere in the world. They modeled Adopt a Drain Durham on Boston's Adopt a Hydrant, for which Code for America provided initial development support in 2012.

Email questions and feedback to They also need help with the coding!

Adopt a Tree

You can take ownership of a street tree! Keep Durham Beautiful partners with City of Durham Department of General Services, Urban Forestry Division to share the cost of purchase and planting street trees and urban shade trees in other public spaces like parks and greenways.

Residents or community groups who adopt a street tree pay for roughly half the wholesale cost of the tree:  $50 for ball and burlap trees or $10 for bare-root trees. The City of Durham covers the other half as well as planting the tree.

Fill out our form detailing this proposed tree. You may request a specific location and have input into the tree type in some cases. Species are selected from proven survivors which can tolerate a range of challenging site conditions, and are matched to the site. Although we cannot guarantee that we can honor your request, you will have an opportunity to withdraw or change your request.

We handle all of the logistics of planting the tree, you simply are responsible for watering it! We will all benefit from cleaner air and water, shade for us and shelter for animals, and knowing that you have left behind the legacy of a tree!

Adopt a Street

Have a street in your neighborhood that you want to keep clean? Take ownership of it through our Adopt-a-Street program! In adopting a street, you are required to pick up trash along it for at least one-mile (exception to downtown streets) at least twice a month. Each time you go out to clean up the street, we will need you to fill out the volunteer report form to know what you accomplished and when! The clean up will be easy as  we provide you a vest, litter grabber, and gloves. As a thanks for your service, we will put up a sign on the street with your name on it! Everyone benefits from a clean street from your neighbors to the animals living in your community. People are also less likely to litter a clean street, making your job easier and easier the more you pick up!

Either fill out our volunteer interest form or email us at

Adopt a Stop

We offer this adoption program in partnership with Triangle Transit Authorities (TTA) and Durham Area Transit Authorities (DATA). Is there a bus stop that you use or is maybe near your home? Working to keep a bus stop clean affects so many people as it is often how they start and end their workdays. Help them appreciate a clean, beautiful place to wait.

Your responsibilities will include picking up litter and reporting graffiti or overflowing trash cans. You will need to clean up the stop four times a month and enter what you did into our volunteer reporting form. We will provide you all of the tools necessary such a litter grabber and gloves.

In exchange for your act of kindness and duty, we will put a sign with your name on it up and also provide you with 10 free day passes to ride public transit.

Either fill out our volunteer interest form or email us at

Adopt a Stream

Clean water starts with you and me. Currently Durham’s streams lead to two major regional drinking water sources: Falls Lake and Jordan Lake. Take ownership of a stream and keep water clean and litter-free!

This adoption program is in partnership with the City of Durham Public Works Department Storm Water & GIS Services.  This program provides opportunities for Durham residents to help protect our waterways from pollution that threatens drinking water quality, aquatic life, and the recreational value of our streams and lakes.

There are three adoption levels detailed here, choose your level based on your interest and available time. Once you're ready to adopt a stream you can fill out the application.

Learn more at the City of Durham's website and contact us with any questions at Thank you for keeping our water clean!

Adopt a park or trail

Did you know that there are over 60 parks and more than 15 miles of trails in Durham? These are areas for people to get away after work, children to grow up and play in, and to enjoy with friends and family! If you want to make a difference to your favorite park or trail why not adopt? You can also always make a donation for us to buy more tools, plants, and more to keep improving your favorite places to connect with nature.

For adopting both trails and parks, we partner with the City of Durham Parks & Recreation to give people an opportunity to take ownership of the areas they care about. Taking care of a park includes planting flowers, picking up litter, reporting damage, raking leaves, and pruning trees. You can always help take care of trails through picking up litter, reporting damage, clearing trails, and working with DPR to increase trail usage.

We can all spend a little bit more time in nature, why not have fun and it be in a way that helps other people enjoy it to? If you're interested visit the City of Durham's Adopt-a-Park/Trail Program to see how to give back today!