By Caroline Haynes
Over 100 individuals gathered on Theodore Roosevelt Island to participate in a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service on January 20th. Despite the chilly 24 degrees, it was an otherwise sunny day, and enthusiastic volunteers warmed to the task of cutting non-native invasive plants that have overrun many parts of the island.
The MLK Day of Service event was organized by ARMN member Jenny Wiedower, who partnered with the National Park Service (which oversees the park) and Friends of Teddy Roosevelt Island who help NPS preserve and protect this unique memorial. A team of ARMN volunteers helped the participants distinguish between native and exotic invasive plants and how to cut the invasives without harming the natives.
The volunteers represented various ages and backgrounds from across the region who honored Dr. King by helping to restore native habitat on the island.
During the two-hour service event, the individuals:
- collectively logged 224 hours from the 112 volunteers
- cut English ivy from at least 97 mature trees
- snipped 400 square feet of wine berry (roughly the size of a two-car garage)
- chopped down 43 honeysuckle bushes
- cut Japanese (vining) honeysuckle from 33 trees
Dr. King and Theodore Roosevelt would surely be proud!