Student volunteers clean up Mesika Trail in honor of MLK Day

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    Volunteers used their day off to make it a day “on” by participating in the fourth annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service in Lynnwood.

    During the event, sponsored by the Global Peace Foundation and the City of Lynnwood, children, teens and adults cleared invasive plants from the Mesika Trail, made posters for local elementary schools and cleaned the senior center buses. Volunteers also planted cedar trees and other plants. Last year for the event, volunteers laid gravel along the trail.

    Kimihira Miyake, program specialist for Global Peace, said the annual event is an opportunity for people to connect with others in their community they do not know.

    “For the most part, Dr. King’s life was really all about building a community, getting to know your neighbor,” he said. “And I think that’s something we don’t do as often.”

    Miyake said it is events like Day of Service that allow people the opportunity to challenge themselves by meeting people from different backgrounds and forming bonds.

    “He went across racial, religious and ethnic backgrounds,” Miyake said. “I think we can encourage you to make a relationship with someone new today.”

    More than 70 volunteers, many of whom were children, met in the City of Lynnwood Senior Center where Mayor Nicola Smith asked trivia questions about Martin Luther King Jr. and read a quote from him.

    “‘Life for none of us has been a crystal stair,'” she read. “‘So, we must keep moving, we must keep going. If you can’t fly, run. If you can’t run, walk. If you can’t walk, crawl. But by all means, just keep moving.'”

    — Story and photos by Cody Sexton

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