The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) may be best known for concrete and asphalt, but on Earth Day the Department wants to acknowledge those who try to make our world a greener place.
RIDOTís staffers do this in a small rectangular space alongside the Departmentís main building in Providence. Its Road Design section has claimed a patch of dirt as an Adopt-a-Spot garden. Prior to the installation of new soil, shrubs, vines, annuals and perennials this plot was nothing more than a place to extinguish cigarette butts.
ďThe idea behind it was not only visually improve the area, but also to choose plants that had scent and would attract butterflies and birds,Ē said Luanne K. Nevitt, P.E., RIDOTís Project Manager in Road Design. Nevitt has overseen this gardenís transformation since its inception.
Donations of bulbs, plant materials and time have kept this garden going green. Maintenance of the spot takes a few hours a week and is done on a volunteer basis during lunch hours and after work.
ďAn Adopt-a-Spot is something any business, group or individual can do,Ē said Michael P. Lewis, RIDOTís Director. ďAdopters simply select an area of their own choosing such as a traffic island or corner entrance to a neighborhood, and agree to maintain it for a two-year renewable period of time. Thereís no State fee to do this.Ē
Currently there are 61 locations statewide in the Adopt-a-Spot program. The most recent addition was the island median at Route 5 and Oaklawn Avenue in Cranston.
To sign up for a RIDOT Adopt-A-Spot call 401-222-2411 x4541. April 22, 2010 is the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.
Contact: Dana Alexander NOlfe 401-222-1362 x4450