Richmond is mobilizing for the 11th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service on the Richmond Greenway, an event expected to attract hundreds of community volunteers on Monday, Jan. 15.
This year’s event is particularly special, as it will include the grand opening celebration for the community-designed Unity Park.
Each year on the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, hundreds of local residents join thousands more across the nation to use their day off from work to contribute to their communities with a day of community service.
In Richmond, the largest unified effort for the Day of Service has focused on improving the Richmond Greenway, a three-mile former railway corridor that has transitioned in recent years into a pedestrian and cycling trail.
The Jan. 15 Day of Service event, held by the Friends of the Richmond Greenway (FORG) and the City of Richmond, will take place at Unity Park on the Richmond Greenway at S. 16th Street and Ohio Avenue from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Among the service projects, event organizer Groundwork Richmond will lead community volunteers in planting trees at the park, which was funded through various grants to increase green spaces in the city. The nonprofit posted online that tree planting will also occur in the neighborhood adjacent to the park.
At noon, a commemoration ceremony will begin with a national moment of silence, followed by brief speeches from local leaders committed to the Greenway, according to organizers. Food and entertainment will be provided to volunteers.
Aside from work being done at Unity Park, service projects will also occur on other parts of the Richmond Greenway on Jan. 15, according to Groundwork Richmond, which said those efforts will be led by organizations including Urban Tilth, The Watershed Project and Eco Village.
“Don’t forget to bring your water bottle, clothes you’re not afraid to get a little dirty, and layers for changing weather conditions,” the organization said.