Get involved with the beautification of downtown Elgin! With more than 4 acres of flowerbeds, trees and park space, the city’s new Adopt-a-Garden program gives you the chance to take an active role in your community.

Groups or individuals are encouraged to select a downtown flowerbed and provide maintenance until fall, such as:

  • Mulching
  • Weeding
  • Edging
  • Planting as necessary (Volunteers will partner with the city’s land management division on garden-specific needs.)

Available Gardens & Planters

Flowerbeds and planters in downtown Elgin are available for the adopt-a-garden program. Downtown Elgin is considered to be bound by Route 31, Kimball Street, Center Street, and Lake Street (Festival Park).

Adopted Gardens & Planters

For the 2020 season, the majority of the dish planters in downtown Elgin were adopted and planted thanks to the following residents, businesses and organizations:

  • In Memory of Filiberto "Beto" Martinez
  • Adopted by U-46 Phoenix Program 2020
  • In Memory of Bill Schmitz and Cory Sanderson
  • In Memory of Karen Mathews
  • Adopted by Symonds - Madison Funeral Home
  • Adopted by Dream2be Image Photography
  • Adopted by Friends Loving Elgin
  • Explore Elgin Area 
  • State Representative Anna Moeller 43rd District
  • Elgin Knit Works
  • Soulful Sparrow
  • Brittain’s Express Oil & Lube 
  • The Haight
  • Side Street Studio Arts
  • Elgin Area Garden Club
  • Residents of 600 Prospect

Frequently Asked Questions

Who Can Adopt a Garden?

Anyone! Local community organizations and clubs, churches, businesses, families, even individuals aged 18 years or older are invited to volunteer their time and green thumbs. Groups with members younger than 18 must have adult supervision when working at their adopted location.

Contact Greg Hulke to learn more and adopt a garden at 847-931-6038.

Why Adopt?

The program gives you a way to show pride in your community. You also get recognition for your efforts on the Adopt-a-Garde­­n signs near your adopted garden. Picking up trash along a roadway and/or maintaining a garden is an easy, team-building project that takes no financial commitment and only a few hours each month.

How Does it Work?

Volunteers select a flowerbed in downtown Elgin to maintain and possibly assist in planting (depends on the time of year). We ask that each organization make a commitment to visit their garden at least once per month to weed, mulch, edge or plant, as required. If planting is required, the group will work the Elgin’s division of land management to select suitable plants.

Groups are required to provide their own tools needed for garden maintenance.

The city of Elgin will provide ongoing watering throughout the summer. Mulch can also be provided by the city. The division of land management will pick up any green waste that is left behind after the group conducts maintenance work.

What is Required of Me?

Volunteers should expect to maintain their adopted garden at least once per month, through the end of September. Please bring your own gardening tools, such as gloves, rakes or other supplies. No herbicide or fertilizer should be used. Volunteers must sign a waiver when working on city property.

Is There a Registration Deadline?

We request that groups sign up by May 15; however, we will take applications through the summer months.

Can My Group Sign Up for a One-Day Cleanup Event?

At this time, we do not have a single-day cleanup event planned. The Adopt-a-Garden program is for regular maintenance. Follow the city of Elgin on Facebook for any updates during the season.

Learn about one-time volunteer opportunities on the city’s volunteer page.