Activities abound for MLK Day of Service

City parks still have room for volunteers to clean up, plant

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Martin Luther King Jr. Day is the only federal holiday meant to be a day on — not a day off.

The city of Vancouver is still looking for volunteers for several outdoors projects for the Jan. 16 day of service, including picking up litter from shorelines, pulling invasive weeds and planting thousands of trees in Vancouver and Clark County.

Volunteers are needed at:

• Frenchman’s Bar: From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., volunteers will remove litter along the Columbia River shores, rake leaves, clean playground equipment and handle other general maintenance. The cleanup is sponsored by the city of Vancouver and Clark County. Volunteers will meet in the parking lot at the south end of Vancouver Lake Regional Park, 8800 N.W. Lower River Road. Gloves and trash bags will be provided, but volunteers can bring their own. Refreshments will be provided to volunteers.

• Foley Park: From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., volunteers will help Urban Abundance remove blackberry vines and mulch around the pear trees in the old orchard, on Northwest 21st Avenue just off Northwest 119th Street. Parking for volunteers is available in the unpaved lot at the nearby Country Store, 1804 N.W. 119th St.

• Whipple Creek Regional Park: Volunteers are needed from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. to assist the Whipple Creek Restoration Committee with trail maintenance. Those helping will meet at the park’s south entrance on Northwest 21st Avenue, off Northwest Hathaway Road. Parking is limited, so carpooling is encouraged. Bring gloves, wheelbarrows and shovels if possible.

To register for one of these projects, go to http://parkhero.org or call 360-487-8344. Volunteers should dress appropriately for the weather, wear sturdy shoes and bring gloves, if possible.

Several other local MLK Day of Service events no longer need additional volunteers. About 300 students, parents and teachers from Fort Vancouver High School and Martin Luther King Elementary School, along with Kaiser Permanente employees, will join the Vancouver Watersheds Alliance and Vancouver Public Works Greenways Team for a “Unity within the Community” project to plant about 5,000 trees and shrubs in a continuing restoration of the Burnt Bridge Creek greenway. Vancouver’s Water Resource Education Center will rally its regular volunteers and staff for a beach cleanup and wetlands restoration effort.

During 2011, volunteers donated nearly 6,000 hours in city and county parks alone, the city said.