Madison, Wisconsin has a really cool program that I think Chapel Hill and Carrboro should adopt. It’s called Adopt-a-Median, and…it’s exactly what it sounds like.


People adopt medians, and then plant native plants from an approved list in the median. There are several benefits:

  • It looks great
  • It gets people more invested in helping their communities and neighbors
  • It serves a stormwater function and helps the environment
  • It’s a really great way to meet people
  • You apparently can rent a cool safety vest while working in your median

I discovered this initiative while reading about Madison’s rain garden program, which helps residents build a rain garden for less than $100 dollars. People can request grants and technical assistance from the city for these gardens.

Over 650 medians in Madison have been adopted. Not everyone in Chapel Hill and Carrboro has a yard, and this would allow more people to get all of the health and social benefits of gardening, plus make our communities a bit more green. I like that Madison covers the costs of some of the plants, making it more affordable too. Plus, you get a little sign in the median stating that it’s been adopted.

Have you seen something cool in another place that would be awesome here? Let us know or write about it for us! [email protected]

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Melody Kramer is a Peabody-award winning journalist whose work has appeared on NPR and member stations around the country, as well as in publications ranging from National Geographic to Esquire Magazine....