What was truly astounding about spending today with SCA in DC was the palpable spirit of service. In a moment of clarity amid the bustle and energy of the day, I realized just how much we were embodying the spirit of Martin Luther King Jr. Day: a group of unlikely strangers of all shapes and colors joining together for the common cause of bettering our local community, and by extension, our nation.
In short, it was an amazing day of service! In celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, millions of people across the country joined together in serving their communities as part of a National Day of Service. I spent the day with more than 90 SCA supporters on Kingman and Heritage Islands in the middle of the Anacostia River in Washington, DC. We were also joined by Matt from Living Classrooms DC and Tara, an SCA intern. Tara is working to restore Kingman and Heritage Islands so that the area can be used by Living Classrooms as a center for environmental education, and also enjoyed by the local community. The day drew the most diverse group I’ve ever seen at a service day! I met people who lived just 9 blocks away from the service site, and some that had traveled over 2000 miles to be in Washington this week. I met fellow service warriors ranging from high school students to college students, retirees to families with young children, and everyone in between.
And many of those serving with us today were already involved with SCA in some way—some are participating in community programs here in DC, some are SCA alumni, or friends and family of alumni. Still others were just looking for a service project to commemorate the holiday. But we were all united in answering today’s call to service. And serve we did! The day was spent clearing trails, removing invasive species, and picking up trash that littered the banks of the river. Many were reminded of a very stark reality: all trash goes somewhere. Take a look at all the bags that our trash crew filled up!
Perhaps Carlotta, a 16 year old high school student and SCA alumna from DC, said it best today: “I came to help because I pass by here every day. I just wanted to clean it up.” What if we all took such a simple approach to conservation?
For more photos, check out SCA’s flickr page.