(WASHINGTON, DC) January 14, 2013 – Young people across America will unite to strengthen their communities, protect our environment and advance the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in a series of MLK Day service projects with the Student Conservation Association (SCA), the national leader in youth service and stewardship.
Treating the King holiday as a day “on” and not a day off, says SCA Service Events Manager Lori Robertson, honors Dr. King’s memory while exposing new generations to his teachings of social justice and bridging barriers. “MLK Day provides the opportunity to put Dr. King’s principles into practice,” Robertson says. “SCA volunteers are eager to model Dr. King’s commitment to service and citizen-generated solutions.”
SCA’s King Day projects will begin on Saturday, January 18th in New York, NY when volunteers converge on Morningside Park (Manhattan Ave & 112th St.) to mulch playgrounds and picnic areas, remove downed branches and other debris, and survey visitor use in the park. The event, from 9:30am to 1:30pm, is the latest in SCA’s monthly ConSERVE NYC service projects, launched to help build resiliency in New York City’s public lands and to provide networking opportunities to those who share an interest in urban conservation.
The largest of SCA’s Monday projects will occur at Washington, DC’s historic Fort DuPont Park at 3600 F and Minnesota St SE. Scores of volunteers are slated to remove invasive species and clear trash from this park with roots dating back to the Civil War from 9:30am to 1:00pm.
Other MLK Day projects include:
- Cropseyville, NY: the SCA Hudson Valley AmeriCorps program will help state park officials prepare Grafton Lakes State Park for an upcoming winter festival. 10:00am to 2:00pm.
- Edmonds, WA: SCA volunteers will team up with the Audubon Society to plant native vegetation at the Willow Creek Hatchery Demonstration Garden at 95 Pine Street from 10:00am to 2:00pm.
- Half Moon Bay, CA: join SCA at Half Moon Bay State Beach for invasive species removal, native species planting and trail marking at 95 Kelly Ave. from 10:00am to 2:00pm.
- Manchester, NH: the SCA New Hampshire AmeriCorps program will join other AmeriCorps members across the state in conducting a food drive to beneﬁt the NH Food Bank. Please support them as they go from door to door.
- Richmond, CA: SCA and Friends of the Richmond Greenway (6th Street & Ohio Avenue) will plant trees, prepare garden beds for spring planting, create biodegradable clay pots, turn compost, assist with a petting zoo and more. 9:00am to 2:00pm.
- Philadelphia, PA: gardening, painting, and general maintenance are on the agenda at the West Mill Creek Recreation Center, 5101 Reno St., from 9:30am to 2:30pm.
- Pittsburgh, PA: join SCA and Venture Outdoors at the Schenley Park Ice Skating Rink on Overlook Drive for an afternoon celebration including ice skating, arts and crafts, snowshoeing (weather permitting), s’mores, speakers, and music. 1:00pm to 4:00pm.
- Seattle, WA: tree planting, invasive species removal, rallies and speeches will highlight observances at the Cheasty Greenspace on Mt. View Drive (follow signs to where S. Alaska St. turns into Cheasty Blvd on Beacon Hill). 10:00am to 2:00pm.
- Staatsburg, NY: the SCA Hudson Valley AmeriCorps program will partner with New York State Parks and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to construct educational kiosks at Mills Norrie State Park from 10:00am to 2:00pm.
Robertson notes Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is the first of several yearly service days commemorated by SCA through volunteer events. The SCA Service Calendar also includes Earth Day; SCA Founder’s Day, annually observed on June 24th, the date the first SCA volunteers arrived in Grand Teton and Olympic National Parks in 1957; September 11th, the National Day of Service and Remembrance; and Veterans Day.
Robertson says members of the public can learn more about SCA service projects and register to participate at www.thesca.org/events. “If you can’t take part in one of our projects,” she says, “please join us in spirit and contribute to the greater good in your own way and your own hometown.”
SCA volunteers are supported by generous sponsors including American Eagle Outfitters, ARAMARK, Domtar, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Exelon Foundation, Johnson Controls, Nestle Waters, Southwest Airlines and Wells Fargo. SCA is also celebrating 20 years of partnership with AmeriCorps, the national service program.