Seattle's Child

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Family-Friendly Volunteer Activities for Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Martin Luther King Jr. Day is dedicated to civic engagement and volunteerism. Get in the spirit of the holiday and involve your children in a "day on, not a day off." With Monday, Jan. 17 off from school, it's a great time to participate in a volunteer activity with your kids.

There are several events happening in our community throughout the weekend. From picking up trash, to participating in a march, to restoring environmental habitats, the ideas and resources below will help you find a way to make a difference. Several events require advance sign-ups, so make your inquiries soon.

Events Happening This Weekend

The United Way of King County has a list of volunteer opportunities for the weekend and MLK Day, with detailed information about the work needed along with a minimum age for volunteers. The activities below are just a few of those that welcome kids:

Local Martin Luther King Jr. Day marches and rallies are a great way to honor the legacy of Dr. King. Here are a few marches this weekend to consider:

  • The Giddens School Student March for Peace and Justice will be held on Friday, Jan. 14, at 10 a.m. Families are welcome to join in the march from upper Judkins Park to the Northwest African American Museum.

  • The Martin Luther King Jr. Teen March, on Saturday, Jan. 15, is presented by Seattle Parks and Recreation's teen programs. This march will kick off at 1 p.m. at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park and conclude at Garfield Community Center.

  • The Martin Luther King Jr. Day March, one of the biggest MLK Day celebrations in the nation, starts at Garfield High School at noon on Monday and ends at the Federal Building. The celebration also includes a rally and workshops.

Join in the efforts of the Cascade Land Conservancy and Green City Partnerships, who are partnering with EarthCorps, Seattle Parks and Recreation and others to offer several work parties this weekend. Volunteers are needed at locations throughout Seattle (including the Burke-Gilman Trail and Magnuson, Dearborn and Ravenna Parks), Redmond (including Grass Lawn and Hartman Parks) and Kent (along the Interurban Trail). Visit Cascade Land Conservancy's Web site to sign up.

Work Parties Happening on Monday

  • The Cotton Hill Park restoration project in Kirkland needs volunteers from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., to help remove invasive plants from the University of Washington Restoration Ecology student project site.

  • At Renton's Shadow Lake Bog Richter Interpretive Center, volunteers will be planting trees from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Plant seedlings or bring your own native evergreen trees.

  • As part of the Mountains to Sound Greenway day of service, extra hands are needed for tree-potting activities at Greenway Nursery in Issaquah. There are morning, afternoon and all-day sessions to choose from.

  • Bring the family out to Vashon Island for People For Puget Sound's Maury Island Marine Park Restoration event. Help restore the Maury Island shoreline from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

About the Author

Taryn Zier