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Medians in need

In Microtones, our newsletter-first column.

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Madison medians need landscaping TLC and Madisonians (presumably) need the pride that comes from beautifying an overlooked part of the city. That’s the idea behind the city’s Adopt-A-Median program.

It’s a little like the Adopt-A-Highway program that’s been around since the 1980s. But instead of getting your name on a sign for wearing a blaze-orange vest and picking up empty cans that have flown from the beds of pickup trucks, you do some light gardening atop a slab on concrete.

Hannah Mohelnitzky, spokesperson for the City of Madison’s Engineering Division, said adopters are asked to clean up their medians, pull weeds and plant native plants, for which they can be reimbursed. Native plants have roots that run deep enough to help rainwater flow into the ground instead of across the road.

Mohelnitzky said there are 650 medians in Madison and 225 of them are in known residential areas. When we spoke in October, there were only 60 adopters for the known residential medians, which are in areas with speed limits of 25 miles per hour or less. The engineering division is working on a map of available medians that need help.

The city asks interested people to fill out an application form and waivers, and provides adopters with vests, cones, and signs. The whole process seems painless and adopting a median can have some positive impacts on the environment.

I have been talking about doing it for months. Now that I’m putting this out for people to read about, I’m officially committed to adopting. So, consider this short introduction to the program and expect a longer piece soon about my experience adopting a median. I might get some of my Tone Madison colleagues to help me out. I might convince them to split my hostas—which is something I’m supposed to do but don’t want to—so we can replant some of them in the median. I might start driving way out of my way so I can check in on my median. I might end up loving my adopted patch of the middle of the road.



Illustration by Shaysa Sidebottom.

Illustration by Shaysa Sidebottom.

New this week:

Tehmina Islam, a midwife who lives and works in Eken Park, explains how the F-35s will harm families in Madison. Illustration by Shaysa Sidebottom.

Mike Noto explores the rich discography of Shellac, ahead of the band’s show this Friday at BarleyPop Live.

The fiery improvisational trio Kuzu plays this Saturday at Café Coda.

Portrait Of A Lady On Fire is finally screening in Madison.

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More events of note in this week’s Madison calendar.

Elsewhere on the Madison internet: RAP Ferreira (the artist formerly known as Milo) has announced a June 15 show at the High Noon Saloon. Michael Jones writes that to be anti-racist, Madison needs to invest. Disq’s new album, Collector, is out. WORT checks in with the LunART Festival.

Upcoming Tone Madison Events!

March 29: Elder Ones. MaiaHaus Project Space (402 E. Mifflin St), 8 p.m. Tickets available now, discount for Tone Madison Sustainers

Saturday, April 18: Record Sale and Local Music Day. Communication, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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