**FILE** Volunteers work with Clean Waterways to collect trash around the Anacostia River. (Anthony Tilghman/The Washington Informer)
**FILE** Volunteers work with Clean Waterways to collect trash around the Anacostia River. (Anthony Tilghman/The Washington Informer)

Martin Luther King Jr. Day presents an opportunity for both reflection and action. If you and your family are still looking for a way to give back to the community Monday, consider service in nature. 

Everyone deserves peaceful green spaces and clean rivers, but not everyone has equal access to nature in the District. Outdoor cleanups offer a chance to fight for environmental justice while having an immediate impact on the community — and they’re family-friendly, too. Check out these three MLK Day volunteer events going on east of the Anacostia on Jan. 16. 

  1. Clean Waterways Cleanup with Anacostia Riverkeeper
  • Where: Pope Branch Park, 2900 M Pl SE
  • When: Monday, Jan. 16 from 10 AM to 1 PM
  • Who: Hosted by Anacostia Riverkeeper in partnership with Pope Branch Park Restoration Alliance and Sierra Club DC
  • What: Removing plastic pollution from the Anacostia. Supplies will be provided, but volunteers should wear close-toed shoes and clothes that they don’t mind getting a little dirty and that will protect them from brush.
  • Register on Eventbrite
  1. Marvin Gaye Park Clean Up with Washington Parks & People
  • Where: Marvin Gaye Park, 601 Division Ave NE
  • When:  Monday, Jan. 16 from 10 AM to 2 PM
  • Who: Hosted by Washington Parks & People
  • What: Picking up trash from around the park. Tools, trash pickers, gloves, and light refreshments provided. 
  • Register on Eventbrite
  1. SCA MLK Day of Service at Anacostia Park
  • Where: Anacostia Park Roller Skating Pavilion, 1500 Anacostia Drive
  • When: Monday, Jan. 16 from 9 AM to 12 PM
  • Who: Hosted by the Student Conservation Association
  • What: Cleanup along the river that aims to preserve a community green space “while promoting the connections between social and environmental justice.” Volunteers should be prepared for cold weather and wear sturdy shoes and pants they don’t mind getting messy.
  • Register on Eventbrite

Kayla Benjamin

Covers climate change & environmental justice for the Informer as a full-time reporter through the Report for America program. Prior to her time here, she worked at Washingtonian Magazine writing stories...

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