Monday, January 16, 2012

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Shepherd Canyon Park

Despite the return of winter temperatures, people turned out all over Oakland to serve, celebrate, and further the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

It was cold when I left home in the morning; our birdbath was frozen. So it was a brisk ride over to my first stop, Shepherd Canyon Park. Several groups were doing various tasks, including pulling invasive species and planting milkweed, which is good for monarch butterfly caterpillars. Local regulars were there, including Mike Petouhoff (he led the OHA walking tour of Shepherd Canyon), and council member Libby Schaaf and her two children. The sun was just starting to make it into the canyon by the time I left, which meant it was plenty cold, and slippery with frost on the trails.

Stop the Gunfire rally

My next stop was Re:generation Church for the "Stop the Gunfire" rally. A large, diverse group was in attendance to hear different speakers and musicians, and then people networked, all in an effort to stop the violence in Oakland. I found Brenda Grisham's speech particularly moving and compelling. She's the mother of Christopher LaVell Jones, who was shot on his way to church and died trying to protect his mother and sister. See @tdlove's blog post for a nice write up about the event.

Lake Merritt cleanup

My final stop was Lake Merritt, where hundreds of volunteers descended to help clean up around the lake and in the gardens of Lakeside Park. The gardens at Lake Merritt are much more extensive than many Oaklanders realize, and are largely maintained by volunteers. So it was great to have a lot of fresh energy put into their maintenance. See the post at The Gardens of Lake Merritt for more about the event.

By the way, if you'd like to help with the gardens and are looking for a once-a-month thing to do to help make Oakland better, they work the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of every month, and welcome more volunteers. See The Gardens at Lake Merritt website for more info.

There was a lot more going on in Oakland today for Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, but I only had a chance to sample a little of it. I'll add more links about the events as I find them. What did you do in honor of MLK Day?

More reading on the 2012 MLK events:
POPNA - Oakland's dedication to MLK
ACCFB MLK Day video
Oakland Local - Day of Service draws hundreds to East Oakland

Lots more pictures:

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