Q: What is Proud of our Parks?
A: Proud of our Parks is a collaborative community driven initiative to care for Colorado Springs city parks, many that were negatively affected by recent budget reductions. This is a young, grass-roots effort to invest a little time and effort for great rewards!

Q: Wasn't Proud of our Parks the trash can people?
A: Yes. In 2010 the city of Colorado Springs removed 396 trash cans from 128 neighborhood parks and 13 from trails and trailheads. Proud of our Parks work with the city and coordinated the return of trash cans in exchange for a commitment that volunteers would tend to them.

Q: Why is Proud of our Parks doing this?
A: It's personal. This is our home, our community, our parks. If not us, who? If not now, when?

Q: How does this work?
A: The idea is simple:
-1- Sponsors agree to cover the expense of trash removal in exchange for promotional signage on the trash receptacles.
-2- Volunteers commit to emptying the trash cans on a weekly basis and transporting the bags curbside for disposal

Q: How do I sponsor a park?
A: Complete the form on the homepage and check the SPONSOR box. Or you can send an email to Proud or our Parks. Or you can call 719.646.3650

Q: What does sponsoring entail?
A: The main thing the sponsorship does is cover the expense of trash disposal and trash bags. Sponsors also like to encourage their employees to volunteer at the sponsored park or another park in their neighborhood.

Q: How do I adopt trash cans in a park?
A: Complete the form on the homepage and check the VOLUNTEER box. Or you can send an email to Proud or our Parks. Or you can call 719.646.3650

Q: What do I need to do to adopt park trash cans?
A: Since trash cans and the parks where they live are city property, trash can adopters sign an adoption agreement with Colorado Springs City Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services. The main purpose of this is to provide coverage to a volunteer in the case of an injury during volunteer service and for city liability purposes.

Q: How does Proud of our Parks adoption differ from the city's Adopt-a-Park program?
A: The city's program is designed to recruit volunteers to assist with occasional maintenance, and the level of adopter participation can vary from one park to another. Since the level of involvement is lower, individual households or families often adopt a park through the city program.

Proud of our Parks is an organized initiative intended to create networks, groups or teams of volunteers whose primary purpose is to ensure trash cans are emptied and the trash is disposed of weekly. When the city agrees to return trash cans to parks there is a higher level of commitment by Proud of our Parks adopters.

The Proud of our Parks initiative encourages and helps to recruit groups of volunteers to tend to trash cans throughout the year. This reduces the individual burden, ensures that trash is tended to consistently and persistently and makes for some fun camaraderie.

Q: Can I just do this through the city?
A: Yes. The city is now flexible in crafting and agreement with park adopters. The benefit presently to working with Proud of our Parks is the volunteer team building as well as sponsor, service and donation coordination.

Q: How can I learn about parks that need their trash cans tended to?
A: On this websites sidebar are links to a map and a list of affected parks. Proud of our Parks is working closely with Colorado Springs Parks and Rec' to append and update this information.

Q: My park has signs that say its adopted. Can I contact the adopters and offer to help or donate trash bags?
A: The current city adopt-a-park program keeps this information confidential except for what is posted on the park sign. However, the city has agreed to contact all of their current adopters to get permission to share their information with Proud or our Parks. You can also contact Colorado Springs Parks, Rec' and Cultural Services directly at (719) 385-6519. They will contact the adopter and attempt to coordinate an introduction.

Q: Can I make a donation to Proud of our Parks?
A: Yes. Monetary donations can be made to the Proud of our Parks Fund at Pikes Peak Community Foundation. Online donations can be made by clicking HERE. Donations of bulk 45 gallon trash bags are greatly appreciated. Call 646-3650 or send and email and we'll be happy to pick them up.

Proud of our Parks is looking for a business chain to be a bulk-bag-collector. For example, we'd like to be able to say drop off donated 450 gallon trash bags at any [insert business name] drug store, or grocery store, etc.

Q: How does my volunteer team arrange for trash pick-up?
A: The Proud of our Parks initiative has negotiated reduced rates with Bestway Disposal and will manage the disposal service contract on your park's behalf. This way we can simply add another pick-up (park) to an existing service contract.

If your park is adjacent to or near a school, which many are by design, you may be able to dispose of park trash bags there. We are working directly with school districts to coordinate this for you.

If your company is sponsoring the park and coordinating the adoption team, another idea is to use your company's trash dumpsters. This alleviates the need for a contracted disposal service - although it may require the volunteers to transport trash bags further than curbside at the park.

Similarly, we have learned of nearby churches and business that have offered to allow adoption volunteer teams to use their trash dumpsters. A few more bags a week probably doesn't make much of an impact on these facilities.

In the mean time some adopters are taking on the burden themselves, either pooling together to add another bin to their existing service or tossing it in with their trash in lower volume cases.

Q: Will the city return all of the trash cans?
A: The city will return as many cans as there is a commitment for. If you think that you can only tend to one, then at least adopt one - that's one more than the park has now. Proud of our Parks will help you build a team to tend to more if you would like.

Q: So, what does all of this cost?
A: Not much. Trash service and bags can be covered for a typical neighborhood park for about $350 per year!