Cleanups mark MLK events

Vol­un­teers con­tribute on Day of Ser­vice

Antelope Valley Press - - FRONT PAGE - By JULIE DRAKE Valley Press Staff Writer

LAN­CASTER — Vol­un­teers raked leaves, tilled the soil and re­paired planter boxes Satur­day morn­ing at the Elm Av­enue Com­mu­nity Gar­den near down­town as part of a se­ries of com­mu­nity ser­vice events ded­i­cated to pre­serve the mem­ory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

‘We vol­un­teer to do pretty much a lot of things out in the com­mu­nity,” said Dar­leen Gu­tier­rez of the Cat­a­lyst Foun­da­tion. “Our or­ga­ni­za­tion will go out and do things on Satur­days and week­ends and just do things for the com­mu­nity.”

Richard Byrd of Boy Scout Troop 391 brought about eight or nine Boys Scouts to the Elm Av­enue Com­mu­nity Gar­den.

“Teach­ing the Boy Scouts to vol­un­teer in the com­mu­nity and help out when­ever,” Byrd said.

About 10 mem­bers of the Agents of Change, a lo­cal ed­u­ca­tional lead­er­ship and pub­lic ser­vice or­ga­ni­za­tion, also vol­un­teered at the com­mu­nity gar­den.

‘I’m out here to make my com­mu­nity look bet­ter, to make it look clean,” Jas­mine

Ro­driguez said.

An­gelie Zam­brano said she likes to help the com­mu­nity.

“I did it last year; it was a lot of fun,” Zam­brano said.

Six-year-old vol­un­teer Milena Gruner looked for­ward to work­ing in the gar­den.

“I’m go­ing to be a teacher

farmer,” Gruner said.

Analiese Gruner, seven, joined her younger sis­ter and fa­ther, Michael Gruner.

“I grew up on a farm and a ranch. I did this full-time ev­ery day,” Michael Gruner said. “They don’t re­ally get that in the city. I’d like them to vol­un­teer more for cleanups and maybe other projects around the city be­fore we move.” His fam­ily plans to move to Wash­ing­ton state.

Vice Mayor Marvin Crist and coun­cil­men Raj Malhi and Ken Mann, state Sen. Scott Wilk and As­sem­bly­man Tom Lackey joined the vol­un­teers at the Elm Com­mu­nity Gar­den for the City’s 13th an­nual event.

“I think it’s great,” Crist said. “I think Martin Luther King said at least every­one can give their time. And that’s one of the great things, look at all the youth. The youth of to­day, these will be the lead­ers of to­mor­row.”

Ap­prox­i­mately 1,000 peo­ple signed up to vol­un­teer for the seven com­mu­nity ser­vice events spread out across the city for the 2020 MLK Day of Ser­vice.

At Amer­i­can He­roes Park, vol­un­teers picked up trash and planted shrubs.

Lan­caster High School se­nior Gio­vanni Pope vol­un­teered as part of the IM­PACT 2020, a stu­dent schol­ar­ship pro­gram through the City of Lan­caster, and Lan­caster High’s In­ter­act Club.

Other projects also in­cluded:

•An­te­lope Valley Boys & Girls Club: clean­ing, paint­ing, and land­scape im­prove­ments.

• Il­le­gal dis­posal clean-up at Av­enue H-8 and 5th Street East, 15th Street West and Av­enue K-8, and 25th Street West and Av­enue K-4.

• The BLVD, pick up trash along Lan­caster Boule­vard

• Lan­caster Na­tional Soc­cer Cen­ter: Vol­un­teers painted var­i­ous fenc­ing around the Lan­caster Na­tional Soc­cer Cen­ter.

• Prime Desert Wood­land Pre­serve: vol­un­teers helped clean up lit­ter from the Pre­serve trails.

PHOTO COUR­TESY OF MELINDA RO­DRIGUEZ

Vol­un­teers as­sist Satur­day in the win­ter prepa­ra­tion of gar­den soil, rak­ing of leaves, re­pair of planter boxes and more at the Elm Av­enue Com­mu­nity Gar­den near down­town Lan­caster. The cleanup was part of Day of Ser­vice, the first in a se­ries of com­mu­nity ser­vice events ded­i­cated to pre­serve the mem­ory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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