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Green Bay and Appleton communities honor MLK with Day of Service

Posted at 7:57 PM, Jan 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-16 20:57:23-05

GREEN BAY AREA (NBC 26) — Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day includes a recognized National Day of Service.

It is the only designated federal holiday where people are encouraged to volunteer and make their communities better.

They're cutting, clipping, and stacking piles of branches of invasive species along a Green Bay trail to strive toward what MLK did; improve the community.

"He gave to his community," AmeriCorps and Green Bay Conservation Corps member Jared Gonzales said. "We want to give back to our community."

Volunteers and Green Bay Conservation Corps members, like Gonzales, are removing dozens of pounds of buckthorn from the Sergeant Benjamin Edinger Corridor West Side Trail.

"We get such a great workout all day long," Gonzales said as he kissed his biceps. "It beats the gym."

Buckthorn is an invasive plant species.

"It takes over the habitat," Green Bay Conservation Corps coordinator Maria Otto said. "Nothing can grow."

Otto says volunteers and members are going up and down the trail to remove as much buckthorn as possible.

"Our goal is to get eventually the whole West Side Trail," Otto said. "But, we're doing it segment by segment."

Just down I-41, Lawrence University students are also volunteering for service.

They are making dog toys out of fabric and painting rocks with kind messages.

"You don't have to be here alone doing service," student organizer Amellalli Herrera Alvarez said. "You can come with others from your community as well."

Herrera Alvarez says the dog toys will be donated to Saving Paws, an animal shelter in Appleton.

Some of the decorated rocks will be dropped off at Eagle Point Senior Living.

"For us on campus, it's so important to like give back in different ways," Herrera Alvarez said.

And in different parts of Northeast Wisconsin to live up to MLK's legacy.