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Press Release: Rock Creek Conservancy Mobilizes Area Residents to Serve on King Weekend



‘Make it a Day on, not a Day Off’: Rock Creek Conservancy Mobilizes Area Residents to Serve on King Weekend

BETHESDA, MD, January 3, 2018 - Rock Creek Conservancy, in partnership with the National Park Service, and Montgomery County Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), is celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with their annual MLK Weekend of Service, a weekend full of events at 12 sites throughout the Rock Creek watershed. This multi-day volunteer event will address local environmental problems related to litter and invasive plant species while supporting a nationwide effort to empower individuals, strengthen communities, bridge barriers, and move us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a “Beloved Community.”

Volunteers will participate in a variety of events designed to bring together local communities to protect and enhance the public lands that surround Rock Creek. Last year, the event mobilized 722 people who removed English ivy from 450 trees to protect Rock Creek’s tree canopy; removed invasive plants such as porcelainberry and wisteria to help native plants thrive; and cleaned up 390 bags of litter that had accumulated in and around Rock Creek and its tributaries. 

This will be the fifth year that the Conservancy will host the weekend of service, which leverages the strength of local citizens to help tackle local problems and advance Dr. King’s dream of opportunity for all. Having grown from the Corporation for National and Community Service’s national “MLK Day of Service” campaign, the annual event honors Dr. King’s legacy and is an opportunity for Americans to renew their own personal vows of citizenship through service to others.

“On this weekend we gather together with family, friends, and communities in service to honor Dr. Martin Luther King’s legacy,” stated John Maleri the program manager for volunteers, outreach, and restoration at Rock Creek Conservancy. “The work we’re doing enhances the health and beauty of these public spaces, but it also gives us something larger. The simple act of volunteering makes our communities here stronger. Volunteering unites us with each other and with Rock Creek.”

And the community does come together. Some groups enjoy the event so much that they participate year after year. Blue Planet Scuba and Catholic University alone are expected to bring in hundreds of volunteers in 2018. 

To find an event near you and to sign up to volunteer visit


Name: Katy Cain
Title: Communications Manager at Rock Creek Conservancy
Mobile: (540) 312 – 9404 

 - Rock Creek Conservancy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that exists to restore Rock Creek and its parklands as a natural oasis for all people to appreciate and protect. As the only organization dedicated solely to Rock Creek and its parks and the primary philanthropic partner of Rock Creek Park, the Conservancy is uniquely positioned to foster outreach, education, and efforts to overcome threats to Rock Creek. For more information, visit

ROCK CREEK PARK -  Rock Creek Park, a unit of the National Park Service, comprises nearly 3,000 acres in the heart of Washington, D.C. The park offers visitors the opportunity to escape the bustle of the city for a peaceful refuge, recreation, fresh air, majestic trees, wild animals, and thousands of years of human history. Approximately 4.5 million visitors come to the park for recreation opportunities--including hiking, bicycling, picnicking, fishing, bird-watching--and to explore historical topics--including Civil War history, milling, Colonial life, landscape architecture--and much, much more!

 MARYLAND-NATIONAL CAPITAL PARK AND PLANNING COMMISSION MONTGOMERY PARKS -  Montgomery Parks manages more than 36,000 acres of parkland, consisting of 419 parks. Montgomery Parks is a department of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), a bi-county agency established in 1927 to steward public land. The M-NCPPC has been nationally recognized for its high-quality parks and recreation services and is regarded as a national model by other park systems.