Do you have a green thumb and a desire to give back to your community? Our "Adopt a Garden" program was founded to enhance the streetscape of Downtown Emporia. These gardens help to increase visitors and economic activity downtown by creating a pleasant atmosphere, while providing a fun volunteer opportunity for individuals, families, or service organizations.

Interested in Adopting a Garden?

Emporia Main Street Garden Adoption Guidelines

Guideline 1:  Individuals, groups, organizations or other entities that choose to adopt a garden are responsible for garden upkeep for one year.  Upkeep should include, but is not limited to, weeding, picking up accumulated trash, trimming and planting.

Guideline 2:  Purchases made for the purpose of garden upkeep or maintenance are the responsibility of the individual, group organization or other entity that adopted a garden.  While Main Street can provide incentives like store coupons, the organization currently cannot purchase supplies for each garden.

Guideline 3:  We strongly suggest the inclusion of “Prairie Star” flora and daylilies in expansion and diversification of flower beds.  “Prairie Star” products are ideally suited for the Kansas climate and require less maintenance than some other varieties.  Currently, Emporia is the only Daylily city in the United States, so Emporia Main Street strongly encourages the inclusion of daylilies in planters to emphasize our Daylily status.

Guideline 4:  Participants in the Adopt a Garden project should take great care not to destroy or remove pre-existing floral elements or garden infrastructure.  Shrubs, irrigation equipment and the brick/concrete casings can be damaged if one is not careful.  Non floral items should not be added to gardens without the consent of Emporia Main Street.

Guideline 5:  Emporia Main Street will publicly promote individuals, groups, organizations or other entities that chose to adopt gardens.  Periodically, gardens will be judged by an anonymous panel with prizes given out to top gardeners whose work best exemplifies the usage of Emporia Main Street garden guidelines and the spirit of the garden adoption project: which is to beautify the gardens in such a way as to improve community pride and area traffic for the express purpose of creating a more vibrant community.

Guideline 6:  Any individual, group, organization or other entity wishing to adopt a garden must state their intent to adopt said garden and receive adoption authorization from Emporia Main Street.  We want to avoid confusion by maintaining a centralized database of all adopted gardens, and without an information clearinghouse (such as Main Street) it would be impossible to track and place all adoptions.

Guideline 7:  When in doubt, ask us questions!  Emporia Main Street is here to help.  If we don’t know the answer to one of your questions, we can generally find someone else that can quickly be of assistance.  Give Main Street a call at 620-340-6430 or e-mail us at [email protected] and let us help you!

Design and Plant Suggestions

  • Massing plants creates more of a visual impact.  Use one, or no more than two different types of plants or colors of the same plant.  Avoid mixed colors or several different varieties.  
  • Consider the mature size of the plants when planting.  The Prairie Star list provides the mature width, so if one plant gets 54 inches wide, be sure it has that much room.
  • Prairie Star plants are heat and drought tolerant, but need extra attention for the first few weeks after planting until they become established, and also in excessive heat.
  • Sweet Potato plants look great in containers or spilling over the edge of a planter.  Keep them contained by occasional pruning.
  • Wow Factor Plants:
    • Petunia ‘Supertunia Vista Bubble Gum’
    • Sweet Potato ‘Marguerite
    • Zinnia ‘Profusion Orange’
    • Lantana ‘New Gold’

Helpful Documents

Adopt a Garden Today

The Adopt a Garden program is great activity for families with kids, individuals, groups, or organizations looking to serve their community. Please contact about gardens that are available for adoption!