7. Adopt-a-Project - City Hall Native Garden

The City was approached by representatives of the Master Gardeners of San Mateo County in 2019 with the idea to convert the overgrown and drab landscaping in the area behind City Hall into a native garden with the intent to promote more native and natural habitats for pollinators.  This turned out to be a wonderful partnership between the Master Gardeners and the City.  Parks staff cleared much of the old landscaping, provided the soil and installed a new irrigation system, while the Master Gardeners planned the garden, obtained California native plants at specialized nurseries and planted the new Native Habitat Garden. The City created signage specific to each area of the garden with information about the wildlife that benefit from the specific plants in the garden, while plant identification markers were also placed at each plant varietal. The plants are known to attract pollinators such as hummingbirds, butterflies and bees.  The Master Gardeners will continue to be involved in maintaining and advising on the garden. If you are visiting City Hall or the Library in the future, stop by the garden and check out all the “buzz”!

Adopt-A-Project’s Mission and Vision

The Adopt-A-Project volunteer program is an example of the Parks and Recreation Department’s vision: 

Creating Community through People, Parks & Programs

Adopt-A-Project is a key component of the department’s mission to:

  • Strengthen Community Image and Sense of Place
  • Strengthen Safety and Security
  • Facilitate Community Problem Solving
  • Protect Environmental Resources
  • Provide Recreational Experiences
  • Support Economic Development
  • Promote Health and Wellness
  • Increase Cultural Unity
  • Foster Human Development

What is Adopt-A-Project?

Adopt-A-Project is a City-wide volunteer program that enables groups and individuals to assist in the general care and maintenance of public spaces in San Carlos.  Applicable training is provided.

Adopt-A-Project is a program that involves as well as educates the public in what it takes to protect environmental resources, keep our community safe, well maintained, and clean.


Adopt-A-Project helps to provide safe environments and strengthen community image and sense of place.  Our well-maintained public spaces attract and retain businesses and residents. 

Who can Adopt-A-Project?

Anyone!  Adopt-A-Project’s aim is to unite people interested in improving San Carlos’ public spaces.  Our volunteers include businesses, individuals, neighborhood associations, schools, church groups, service clubs, seniors, youth groups, and scouts.

What can be adopted?

Areas within the city that can be adopted include:

  • Signs
  • Recycle Coordination
  • Tree Planting
  • Public Spaces
  • Landscape Areas/Medians
  • Pedestrian Zones

How can volunteers help?

Volunteers can help care for their adopted areas in the following ways:

    • Painting and Cleaning Projects:  signage, planters, sidewalks, litter collection
    • Planting and Maintenance:  trees, shrubbery, flowers, City medians
    • Clean-up of City creeks, median strips, parking plazas

What will the City Do?

City staff will provide:

  • Orientation
  • Training for the type of work you will be doing
  • Paint needed for painting projects

Parks and Recreation will remove trash that is gathered.


  • Volunteers are required to read and understand the Safety Guidelines, provided in their Adopt-a-Project Handbook.
  • Volunteers are responsible for keeping track of the number of hours spent volunteering and report total hours to the Adopt-A-Project Coordinator.
  • Volunteers must abide by all rules and ordinances.