600+ Volunteers Join SCA's Find Your Park Day of Service
In honor of the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Day of Service, SCA rallied 604 volunteers in Washington, DC for our largest service event to date. The Find Your Park Day of Service event, sponsored by American Express, is one of many that SCA will organize over the next year in celebration of the National Park Service Centennial.
Among the 600+ volunteers in attendance were special guests Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Deputy Secretary Michael Conner, National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis, Corporation of National and Community Service (CNCS) CEO Wendy Spencer, and SCA President and CEO Jaime Matyas.
Freezing temperatures and brisk wind did not stop volunteers from removing over five tons of trash and invasive bush honeysuckle from the shores of the Anacostia River throughout the morning. Volunteers also constructed a dozen picnic tables that will be used throughout the park.
Service and community were at the heart of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day event.
“I believe that our public lands are a common ground that unite all Americans and provide a venue for valuable and impactful community service,” said SCA organizer Roland Richardson. “We have 600 members of the community here with us today who agree.”
Secretary Jewell pointed out that while Dr. King fought for equal rights for all, “All men are not yet equal in this country — and one of the areas where there is great disparity is in parks … in many of our lower-income neighborhoods, including right here around Anacostia Park. Dr. King understood that education, which starts by playing and learning in the outdoors, is a very, very important part of our ability to achieve human rights, and equal rights. So this event plays right into that.”
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.