According to the crocus and daffodil plants that have been popping up, it is spring, although a little early. But it is a clue that it is time to get the gardens going and that includes the public gardens or “beds” that are around town in Riverside.

One program – appropriately named and started last year – residents may participate in is a local beautification effort called “Adopt-A-Bed.” The beds are those planting areas around the village – everything from the ones in the central business district to the triangular islands and the two large commons (Longcommon and Scottswood) – which, like all garden spots, require weeding and mulching.

According to Bob Finn of the Riverside Landscape Advisory Commission, the program is coordinated by the LAC, Village Forester Mike Collins, the Frederick Law Olmsted Society and other resident volunteers, who maintain the plantings.

Finn said that the idea came to him based on his volunteer work at the Morton Arboretum and seeing people periodically working around the parks in the village. The volunteers devote their time to weeding and mulching to give the planting areas a clean look. The volunteers don’t do any actual planting.

Finn said most of the plantings are perennials, and he has been doing some research to distinguish what some of the current plantings are determine which ones are original plantings. Most of the areas have been replanted over the last two to three years.

Those interested in adopting a bed or learning about the program can contact Bob Finn at 447-3877 or go to the Riverside village offices are the township hall, 27 Riverside Road, to get a form.

One of the areas available for adoption is the small triangle in the center of town at Forest Avenue and Longcommon Road. Pick that one and everybody could see your handiwork. Volunteers will be instructed how and when they can assume their tasks. They can also let officials know how much time they have available.

Finn said that funds for the plantings have been made available through donations from individuals and organizations. Since the program began it has improved the looks of the central business district and it is due mainly through the volunteer effort.

Going along with that is the Riverside Spring Ahead Clean-Up Day scheduled for April 7 from 8 a.m. to noon. Questions? Contact Trustee Ben Sells at

As with both of these worthy endeavors Finn and Sells say no experience is necessary. My suggestion is to get yourself some gardening gloves and dig in.