Volunteer Group Honors Dr. King With Park Clean-Up

More than a dozen volunteers combed the grounds of 30th Street Park in Gulfport on Monday. They even searched the shrubs for trash and hazards. Cleaning up the park required many helping hands.

The Gulf Coast Conservation Corps hosted the holiday clean-up to promote service and equality.

"Just to bring the community together and commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King and what he died for," said Kristal Daniel of the Gulf Coast Conservation Corps. "He believed that all people were created equal. Bring attention to the neighborhood for one, this particular park, because it's not the best looking park at all."

Marie Knowles and her grandson, David, came from Pascagoula.

When asked if he would rather be at the park or at school, David answered "Here, because it's fun cleaning up."

"I don't get anything out of it. Just dirty hands and probably dirty clothes," said Marie Knowles. "But the idea is to keep the place clean, so the kids can have a place to go running around and have a good time."

The volunteers also promoted another important part of Dr. King's message -- peace. They set up a booth and encouraged young people to sign a pledge of 40 days of non-violence. They handed out flyers and wrist bands to serve as reminders.

"By maybe pledging not to fuss at the children, or using a different tone, and if you start at home, it can go out in the community," Daniel said.

The volunteers also placed a bench in the park in honor of another civil rights leader -- Rosa Parks. It symbolizes the stand that she made, by not giving up her bus seat to a white man in 1955.