This past weekend I was honored to have been asked and volunteered with The National Park Service, to assist in the management of 200 volunteers to clean up the gardens at the base of the Martin Luther King Memorial. This was not my first time – nor will it be my last time, enjoying whatever I can do to mingle with other like minded individuals who believe in GIVING BACK. It was a chilly start for a perfect Day of Service and the perfect day to get moving (as Our First Lady says) and to GET IT DONE!!! It was a morning when we were graced with the presence of Sally Jewell, Secretary of The Interior….what an honor that was!!!
We broke up into teams of skilled or at least those who had some experience in gardening and those who did not. Ranger James and Ranger Jenn, gave instruction on what the tasks were going to be and with a big Thank You from Secretary Jewell, we ascended upon our assigned areas ready to make a difference. There is something about watching the generations, people from all walks of life, all ages and all races become associates and connect while doing good works. Sharing where they were from, what brought them there to the site that morning, what they knew of other celebrations for a Day of Service and how this was just “awesome”. Talk about warming my insides and melting my heart as they asked for more pruners and were there any shovels? These young people came to WORK and give back. They were not worried about how much work had to be done, they wanted to know what HAD to be done, so they could do it. Some were worried that there was not enough mulch for our bed and wondered what would happen to it, as it had to be ready for the big day. Ranger James assured them that The Park Service would return to fine tune what they could prior to company coming.
In my mind this was like cleaning house before company comes. It would be nice if we could have an ongoing volunteer gardening effort to help The National Park Service stay on top of not just this site, but all the sites that each of us enjoy and bring our friends and family to enjoy. As a docent for The Trust for The National Mall, welcoming visitors into our Front Yard, also known as The National Mall is what we do. Too be honest, I have more fun working with groups that want to keep our Front Yard Beautiful in addition to greeting and sharing my knowledge of The National Mall. It opens up a new level of conversation as well as tips on gardening….how beautiful is that???
As a Native Washingtonian and lover of all things beautiful, Saturday morning was one of the most beautiful moments that actually spoke to Dr. King’s Dream. I wish we could always appreciate our differences, always be kind to one another and always find the beauty in each if us all the time. Giving back helps us find the beauty that surrounds us each and every day. I will always find time to give back and always find time to make sure that Dr. Kings surroundings are kept up…….as company comes everyday!
Thank You Sally Jewell and The National Park Service for allowing us to give back and make a difference in our own Front Yard!!!by