Montgomery Parks Encourages the Public to Make an Impact for MLK Day of Service

by MCS Staff
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Parks to host a variety of volunteer service projects during Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend. 

WHEATON, Md. –Montgomery Parks is hosting a series of volunteer opportunities in honor of the 2022 MLK Day of Service. Stream and park cleanups take place throughout the county beginning on Saturday, January 15, 2022, through Saturday, January 22, 2022.

“Volunteers play a critical role in maintaining our parks, and cleanups are a great opportunity for people of all ages to get out into their local parks and make a direct impact in their community,” said Montgomery Parks Volunteer Services Coordinator Valeria Espinoza.

Group-led volunteer opportunities include removing trash or non-native invasive plants at various parks and trails throughout the county. Advanced registration is required. Visit the Volunteer Services website(opens in a new tab) to register.

Cleanup Locations:
Matthew Henson Trail – Saturday, January 15, 12 p.m. – 2 p.m.
Fairland Recreation Park – Sunday, January 16, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Black Hill Regional Park – Monday, January 17, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

Matthew Henson Trail with Rock Creek Conservancy(opens in a new tab) – Monday, January 17, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

New Hampshire Estates with Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection(opens in a new tab)CHEER(opens in a new tab), and Linkages to Learning(opens in a new tab) – Monday, January 17, 12 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Takoma-Piney Branch Local Park – Monday, January 17, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Locust Grove Nature Center – Monday, January 17, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Sligo Mill Nature Conservation Area – Saturday, January 22, 12 p.m. – 2 p.m.

Weed Warrior Locations:
Little Falls Stream Valley Park – Saturday, January 15, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Rock Creek Stream Valley Park – Sunday, January 16, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Westmoreland Hills Local Park – Sunday, January 16, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Sligo Creek Parkway – Monday, January 17, 9 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Reddy Branch Stream Valley Park – Monday, January 17, 12 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Little Falls Stream Valley Park  – Monday, January 17, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.
Rock Creek Stream Valley Park – Wednesday, January 19, 1 p.m. – 3 p.m.

All volunteers ages 5 and up must be fully vaccinated and provide their COVID-19 vaccination record to participate. All projects are outdoors, and participants should dress appropriately for the weather. The projects are approved for Student Service Learning (SSL) hours. Volunteers under 14 must be accompanied by an adult.

For more information and to register for an event go to MontgomeryParks.org(opens in a new tab).

In addition to the group-led clean-ups, individuals can participate in a self-guided week-long MLK Plogging Challenge(opens in a new tab), a community-wide effort supported by Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection and One Montgomery Green, to pick up trash while walking or jogging.

Montgomery Parks began organizing MLK Day of Service cleanups in 2012. Over the past ten years, 2,723 volunteers have removed more than 49.2 tons of trash and recyclables from parkland. In a typical year, Montgomery Parks’ Volunteer Services Office manages 5,000 volunteers across 250 organized cleanups resulting in about 62 tons of trash and recyclables removed from parkland annually.

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Operating Hours and Programming

The following facilities will be closed on Monday, January 17, 2022:

  • Montgomery Parks Headquarters and Permits Office
  • Brookside Gardens Visitors Center and Conservatory (Gardens remain open sunrise to sunset)
  • Meadowside Nature Center
  • Brookside Nature Center
  • Locust Grove Nature Center (Closed to visitors unless they are participating in a scheduled program)
  • Black Hill Visitor Center and Nature Programs
  • Woodlawn Museum, Visitors Center, and Manor (Trails and grounds open sunrise to sunset)
  • Josiah Henson Museum

Visit MontgomeryParks.org(opens in a new tab) for complete operating hours for all facilities.

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