Green Bay Conservation Corps honors MLK with day of service

Green Bay Conservation Corps clears up trails
Volunteers removed an invasive species and cleaned up a trail in Green Bay
Published: Jan. 16, 2023 at 3:23 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Monday was Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service to encourage Americans to volunteer to improve their community.

A habitat restoration event took place to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day, aiming to improve the community. The Green Bay Conservation Crew and community volunteers spent the morning chopping down an invasive species on the West Side Trail.

Buckthorn is the tree species the crew spent the day getting rid of along the trail. Its removal will allow native species to grow back.

“It’s been invaded with an invasive buckthorn, which kind of just decreases the habitat as well as the aesthetics, and so we’re out here trying to improve this community trail and trying to honor Martin Luther King Jr. by improving the community like he did,” Green Bay Conservation Corps coordinator Maria Otto said.

The Conservation Corps says while habitat conservation projects take some time to complete, it will make trails more functional for the community and wildlife.

“It’s a lot better for the trees and the forest and the community and all the animals that live in this area when the invasive species are removed and we can come out and make it look nice,” crew leader Francis Rosa said.

Green Bay Parks and Recreation Deputy Director James Andersen says this project is a way to brighten up the community for everyone to enjoy and commemorate Dr. King’s legacy.

“Martin Luther King Jr. once said ‘darkness cannot shed out darkness.’ So, we’re trying to create light,” said Andersen. “Once spring comes and this light starts getting in areas that have been consumed with invasive species, it will start sprouting up the native species and people will be able to enjoy those different plants.”

This is the first habitat restoration event to commemorate M.L.K day the Conservation Corps organized. They are planning more opportunities to restore the trails to their native plants and create an enjoyable space for the community.