Easy Park Projects for a Successful MLK Day of Service

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service (January 17) is quickly approaching! This is a great opportunity for Friends of the Park groups to engage volunteers from across the city to join in with a helping hand on a park project.

Below are three park improvement projects and three volunteer recruitment techniques that YOU can enact for a successful Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service.

Easy Park Projects: 

1. Prepping beds for Spring  

    • Activate volunteers to help prepare your beds for springtime by clearing out weeds, pruning back shrubs and trees, and tilting or loosening the soil. 
    • Bed prep requires limited materials; in most cases you’ll only need gardening gloves and small hand tools (like hand cultivators, pruners, and trowels) 
    • Volunteers can spread out across the greenspace and tackle multiple sites at once!

2. Trash and Debris Pick up 

    • Whether solo or in small groups, trash pick- up is a simple and effective way to make a difference in your park.  
    • We recommend wearing durable shoes and gloves to protect your hands while utilizing a trash grabber to collect debris. Trash grabbers can be rented at the Atlanta Community Tool Bank or purchased at your local hardware store. 
    • Before sending your volunteers off to collect trash, share with your volunteers which objects to avoid (sharp, serrated, or overly large objects) and other safety protocols like staying clear of roadways
    • If possible, dispose of bags of trash in the park’s trash receptacles. If there is too much trash to fit in the trash bins, designate a location for the collected debris to be gathered, and contact Torey Garrett, Park Pride Program Associate, at torey@parkpride.org to be connected with the appropriate Park District Maintenance Manager to arrange trash pickup.

3. Invasive Plant Removal 

Review our post on Invasive Plant Removal 101 by Michael Hudgins, a leader of the Friends of Riverside Park and owner / operator of Woods Keeper, LLC, for tips and strategies for managing invasives in your park. 


Volunteer Recruitment Techniques:

1. Make a Facebook Event 

    • Whether or not your Friends of the Park group has a Facebook page, you can (and should!) create a Facebook event to promote your volunteer project.
    • If you’ve never set up a Facebook event, follow these easy instructions.
    • Then, invite your Friends and neighbors, and make sure to share with other members of your Friends of the Park group to invite their friends and neighbors!

2. Share on Nextdoor

    • NextDoor is a great volunteer recruitment tool because it can reach people in your neighborhood (and in surrounding neighborhoods) that you may not know personally.
    • If you’ve never set up an event on Nextdoor, follow these easy instructions.

3. Put a flier in your park’s kiosk

    • A flier in the park is a great way to reach people who visit the park regularly and likely already have a vested interest in the space!
    • You can create an eye-catching flier very easily with Canva, an online design tool with loads of templates and photos ready for you to use!
    • If you’ve never made a flier on Canva, watch this short How-To video for all the details!
    • Then, print and post in your park’s kiosk!


Good luck and have fun!