CLEWISTON — Observed each year on the third Monday in January as “a day on, not a day off,” Martin Luther King Jr. Day (also called MLK Day) is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service. On this day, and throughout the month of January, Americans come together and encourage each other to volunteer to improve their communities, in memory and celebration of the civil rights leader’s life and legacy.
While Americans continue to face a pandemic, and consider the numerous precautions necessary for the safety and health of their communities, locally the Harlem community, is also focused on continuing their beautification efforts.
“MLK Day is celebrated the third Monday in January every year around Dr. Martin Luther King Birthday on the 15th,” explained long time, active community leader, Janet Taylor. “Each year groups celebrate in different ways. It is recommended that we should celebrate this day to honor Dr. King legacy by giving some of our time to volunteering in citizens action groups. Our last project was painting Harlem Memorial Gardens gates.”
She said this past weekend, men in the Harlem community prepared to install the slabs for benches in the park.
Taylor added, “Preparation will be done this weekend. The slabs will actually be poured on MLK Day. So pass by and honk at our men for encouragement. So proud of them for stepping up to the plate.”
Taylor further explained that the work being done in the Tree Park is just the beginning of their current and future beautification projects. The Tree park sits on the east end of Harlem, but located on the west end is a garden beautification project that is also in progress.
“In order to prepare for our Community Garden, we need to clean that area. If you have or know someone who have been using that area for gardening, please have them call 863-228-0612 ASAP. We have 30 days to clean the area, and plow and disc. The middle of February is the targeted day to begin construction.” Taylor went on to say, “This is going to be a regional garden not just for the Harlem Community. Plots will be available.”