BANGOR, MAINE -- 05/12/2016 -- Maggie Pritchard (front), 2, of Bangor fertilizes her family's recently planted garden at a plot in West Market Square Thursday with her sister Elena (back) as part of Downtown Bangor Partnership’s Beautification Committee's adopt-a-garden program. Almost 140 "adopted" plots will be beautified at the program's "Big Dig" event on Saturday. Micky Bedell | BDN

Downtown Bangor Partnership’s Adopt-A-Garden project hits milestone

By Marissa Donovan

If you’re looking for a sign of spring, you’ll find it rooted in downtown Bangor. Downtown Bangor Partnership’s Beautification Committee started the Adopt-A-Garden project 10 years ago, shaping the landscape with 150 plots of flowers and greenery supported by local businesses and residents in Greater Bangor. 

What started as a small, grassroot program has inspired people to become invested in the community. Each plot, flower box, and planter includes a small placard listing the local business, organization, or individuals who adopted the space, including downtown staples such as the Bangor Farmers’ Market and The Rock & Art Shop. The City of Bangor has provided mulch and allows the program to use municipal property to cultivate each garden. Other businesses — including J.B. Brown & Sons, and Edwards, Faust & Smith, CPAs — have contributed by sponsoring events, and Sprague’s Nursery & Garden Center offers discounts to those who have adopted a garden. 

“It’s a public space that belongs to everyone,” said Betsy Lundy, executive director of the Downtown Bangor Partnership.

In 2022, Adopt-A-Garden launched the Invasive Plants Management Project. 

Imke Jandreau, a member of the Downtown Bangor Partnership Board of Directors and chair of the Beautification Committee, shared that each garden site is surveyed for invasive plants that could spread and take over the downtown landscape. In an effort to preserve and encourage native plant growth, invasive plants, such as Bishop’s Weed and Ribbon Grass, are removed. The Invasive Plants Management Project will continue its approach this year, again encouraging others to be mindful of unwanted plants that could be growing.

Lundy and Jandreau have been busy planning for the upcoming year. For those who wish to adopt, returning gardeners get the first pick when selecting their plot. After April 1, new gardeners have the opportunity to adopt by viewing what’s available on the Garden Map at, then by filling out an adopt form at 

A downtown spring cleanup will be held in the month of April. Anyone who would like to participate is welcome. This includes picking up litter, removing graffiti, painting benches, and overall refreshing the growing spaces. In May, the community can start planting flowers, spreading mulch, and watering sites. In the month of June, the Summer Solstice Garden Party will be returning after four years. This party will be a social event with refreshments, outdoor games, and a chance to celebrate the hard work of adoptees and volunteers, while also being an opportunity to meet people who have contributed to Adopt-A-Garden. 

Lundy has enjoyed not only seeing local businesses participate but seeing children engage in the program and how it has become a family affair. For additional information and updates, follow Downtown Bangor on Facebook.