Celebrating MLK Day Through Service in DC

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell Joins SCA Volunteers to Clean Up the Anacostia River

Despite freezing temperatures, over 450 DC-area residents rallied together at Anacostia Park to celebrate the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Day of Service through a morning of volunteering on the riverfront. Among the volunteers in attendance were special guests Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell, National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis, and SCA President and CEO Jaime Matyas.

Volunteers removed over 15 tons of trash and invasive plants from Anacostia Park, improving the health of the Anacostia River and Watershed and its inhabitants. “The work accomplished here today is a big win for the health of the river and will make a noticeable impact on the thousands of community members who recreate within the park,” commented NPS Ranger Julie Kutruff. 

For the hundreds of young people who participated, hands-on service was the perfect way to honor the legacy of Dr. King, a man who devoted his life to building communities and serving others. 

Secretary Jewell recognized the importance of SCA service events as a first step in the continuum of conservation engagement. “Programs that are more local like this one, which reaches over 400 people — many of them young people — are really important as a feeder system,” the Secretary said. Whether youth go on to become engaged in more in-depth experiences with SCA, or simply gain a new appreciation of their local green spaces, Secretary Jewell pointed out that “exposure to public lands… changes lives”: “All of these young people will look at Anacostia Park differently than they did before they spent the day out here cleaning up garbage and removing invasives.”

 

Stay tuned for details on the next SCA event at www.thesca.org/events.