Turn Over a New Leaf

Turn Over a New Leaf

To honor Martin Luther King, Jr.'s legacy, beliefs and the civil rights issues to which he brought attention, Americans were encouraged to participate in service projects in their communities during the weekend and week of Martin Luther King, Jr., Day - also his birthday, which became a federal holiday in 1883. The event supports the United We Serve initiative, or the President's national call for service to help provide solutions to issues affecting communities within the U.S.

What better way to help the environment than participating in outdoor service projects? Even better, the environments you help improve can help the people who reside there. Residents will ultimately receive the benefits healthy trees provide, as well as the opportunity to enjoy a better quality lifestyle within the U.S.

Since 1994, Congress has designated the MLK, Jr., Federal Holiday as a national day of service - and it's the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service. This year, President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, members of Congress and their families began inauguration weekend by participating in several service projects. Other American citizens will do their part today, Jan. 21.

How will you do your part? Help a neighbor shovel his or her driveway? Volunteer at a local animal shelter or food bank? Collect litter from the edge of local roadways and sidewalks? Clear debris from the flower beds surrounding local businesses? Lend your green thumb to someone in need?

Most importantly, take a moment to appreciate Mother Nature and the physical, emotional and aesthetic benefits she provides us all year long. Choose to give back to the environment as you join service projects in your community and you'll notice the results of happy, healthy trees all around.

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