SCA & American Express Commemorate MLK Day in DC


600+ Volunteers Join SCA’s Find Your Park Day of Service

SCA youth volunteers gather trash along the Anacostia River

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.
SCA's Roland Richardson works with with Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell

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.

SCA youth volunteers build picnic tablesService 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.

SCA leader Jeremy clears trash from the Anacostia River

Special thanks to all of our partners who joined us for service:
21-12 Service Unit, AIDS United AmeriCorps, All Souls Church, Basis DC Public Charter School, Boy Scouts of America Troop 505, Brand USA, Capital Care Inc., CSOSA, DC AmeriCorps, Department of Defense, Department of Interior, E. L. Haynes High School, Friendship Public Charter School, Girl Scout Troop 5331 Capitol Heights, General Service Administration, Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Jumpstart DC Howard University, Lab School of Washington, Literacy Lab, National Parks Conservation Association, Opower, Palisades Community, Peace Corps, REI, School Without Walls, Severn School, Team Angels, US Forest Service, and Woodrow Wilson High School.
See more photos from the event on SCA’s Facebook page.
Save the date for SCA’s next Find Your Park Day of Service in DC for Earth Day on Saturday, April 30th, 2016.
SCA youth volunteers bundle up for a January event