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Workday Honors MLK’s Legacy With A Day of Service

Photo for: Workday Honors MLK’s Legacy With A Day of Service

Photo by Chris Cheng

The Forest Preserve District will be hosting a “Day of Service” volunteer workday on Monday, January 20, to honor the legacy of civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.

Volunteers who want to spend a “day on, not a day off” as the Corporation for National & Community Service recommends, should show up at 8 a.m. at Theodore Marsh preserve in Crest Hill for this special workday. 

“Staff will greet volunteers at the Theodore Marsh Shelter parking lot,” said volunteer services supervisor Renee Gauchat. “Volunteers should dress for outdoor activities because they will be busy cutting, stacking and removing invasive honeysuckle and buckthorn from the area so that native flora can flourish.”

Volunteers will be shown how and what kind of woody brush they will be cutting and where the brush will be put once it is cut, Gauchat explained. Each volunteer will be provided safety glasses, leather gloves and cutting tools (loppers, handsaws) and will receive a safety talk. After a few hours of work, the group will be treated to snacks and water. The workday will end at noon. 

“The Theodore Marsh work is designed to help restore the natural area, which is currently filled with non-native brush, to an open prairie near a wetland,” Gauchat said. “This will prepare the area for seeding later in the spring with prairie grasses and plants. The area will be returned to what it once was before it was left on its own and not managed as a native natural prairie.”

Volunteers should RSVP to 815.722.7364 or The Forest Preserve’s MLK workday is being held in collaboration with other Joliet and Will County organizations, including Joliet Township High School District. Some of the volunteers who gather at Joliet Central High School on MLK Day will be recruited to help in the Forest Preserve District’s workday. 


Gauchat said she is proud that the Forest Preserve has such a long history with this volunteer tradition.

“MLK Day of Service has been a standing working day at the Forest Preserve District of Will County for 20 years,” Gauchat said.  “The amount of work performed in the preserves during the workday would take much longer than four hours if our crew was there alone. We look forward to the hardy folks who come to the site on this annual workday.”

The Forest Preserve District of Will County has numerous volunteer opportunities throughout the year. In 2018, 1,168 volunteers donated 15,219 hours of work. For information on volunteer opportunities with the District, visit the Volunteer Page.


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