Elijah Nicpon, left, and Esha Bhat join volunteers painting a mural design on a courtyard path at the Spruill Center for the Arts.

Many volunteers turned out Jan. 18 to aid parks and painting projects as part of the “Day of Service,” the city of Dunwoody’s annual way of marking Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Kate Carson of the ecological cooperative ReForest ATL holds up a sample plant as she leads volunteers to remove invasive species at the Dunwoody Nature Center.

Around 100 volunteers worked to uproot invasive species at the Dunwoody Nature Center on Roberts Drive and to paint a mural on a courtyard at the Spruill Center for the Arts on Chamblee-Dunwoody Road. Brook Run Park on North Peachtree Road was a volunteer site as well.

Lila Grasso, 9, and mom Tamara paint the courtyard at the Spruill Center for the Arts. Tamara’s daughter Emerson, 12, also joined in the effort.

With the event occurring during the pandemic, the attendance was limited by registration and volunteers worked in masks.

Jack Burch, an Emory University sophomore who grew up in Dunwoody, checks the temperature of incoming volunteers at the Dunwoody Nature Center as a pandemic safety precaution.

Other MLK Day events in Dunwoody included a display of King-related items by the Dunwoody Preservation Trust at the Donaldson-Bannister Farm, and a food drive to help fill the pantries at Community Assistance Center and Malachi’s Storehouse, which have seen enormous demand during the pandemic.

Volunteers uproot ivy at the Nature Center.

–Photos by Phil Mosier

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.