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Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service 2022 Work Party

January 17 , 9:00 am 12:00 pm

Thank you for your interest in serving our community! The MLK Day of Service Work Party is full, but we invite you to still register and join our waitlist. Please also consider joining the MLK Day Special Event that is being hosted by Western Washington University, the City of Bellingham, and many other regional partners.

Celebrate the collective power of community by joining the City of Bellingham and Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association (NSEA) for our annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service Community Work Party on Monday, January 17 from 9 a.m. to noon in Squalicum Creek Park. Together, we will restore habitat near Willow Spring, an off-channel habitat that was constructed in 2010 to provide a place for salmon to grow, feed, and rest during their journey between Squalicum Creek and the ocean.

We will plant native trees and shrubs and remove invasive plants near the Willow Spring channel to improve salmon habitat, water quality, and a beloved community park. Through this work, we hope to exemplify the environmental justice movement, which was inspired by Dr. King through his concern for the urban environment. Environmental justice embodies the principle that all people have the right to clean air, water, and soil, as well as the right to live in safe and healthy communities.

In support of Dr. King’s mission to protect voter access and expand voting rights, we encourage event participants to learn about the King family’s request to commemorate the Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday as a day to educate, advocate, and activate for voting rights.

All ages and abilities welcome. No previous volunteer experience necessary. Unaccompanied youth under age 18 must provide a City & NSEA Youth Liability Release Form signed by their legal guardian. Participants under age 14 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian.

We provide tools, gloves, and instruction, as well as free snacks, Tony’s coffee, and Papa John’s pizza, which were generously donated for this event.

Please wear weather-appropriate clothing, long pants, closed-toe shoes, a face mask, and bring a water bottle. Participants are required to wear face masks, keep six feet of distance from others, and follow our COVID safety guidelines.

Please register in advance for this free event. Spots are limited!

A child and three adults holding up a big invasive plant at a volunteer event


To further support the Bellingham community and exemplify Dr. King’s work, the City and NSEA are partnering with the Birchwood Food Desert Fighters, a group of neighbors and allies working to address the food desert in the Birchwood neighborhood. Their work includes promoting greater food access and a sense of community through weekly events, a network of food share boxes, food delivery, community farming, advocacy, and more.

Volunteers at the MLK Day event are encouraged to bring donations to support the Birchwood Food Desert Fighters’ important work to this event. Priority donations needed include toiletries, laundry detergent, and condiments and sauces (soy sauce, mustard, hot sauce, salsa, etc.). A longer list of needs is provided below.

In addition to the priority items needed (toiletries, laundry detergent, and condiments), the Birchwood Food Desert Fighters are also accepting the following donations:

  • Cheese (especially parmesan, sliceable, paneer, Mexican cheeses)
  • Garlic
  • Jam/jelly
  • Cake mix + frosting for birthday cakes
  • Vegetarian proteins (tofu, tempeh, nuts, etc.)
  • Salsa and sauces (soy sauce, gluten free tamari, teriyaki sauce, hot sauce, etc.)
  • Sugar
  • Flour
  • Fruit
  • Oil (olive oil, vegetable oil, and sesame oil especially)
  • Spices (oregano, basil, taco spices, salt/pepper)
  • Teas/coffee
  • Simple baking mixes (pancake, biscuit, etc.)
  • Items that can’t be purchased with SNAP/food stamps, such as dish detergent (both hand and machine), sponges (for dishes & general cleaning), cleaning solutions, laundry detergent, paper towels, toilet paper, soap (hand soap/body wash), shampoo, hair conditioner, plastic wrap/aluminum foil, sandwich bags/Ziplocs, menstrual products, diapers/wipes, pull-ups & adult incontinence supplies, and socks.


This event takes place at Squalicum Creek Park located at 1001 Squalicum Way. Please follow work party signs and check in at the event tents located next to the playground and picnic shelter.

Travel by bike or foot: The work party site is accessible by bike or foot. Find your bike route by visiting cob.org/bike and your walking route by viewing a trail map of Squalicum Creek Park.

Travel by bus: Several Whatcom Transportation Authority bus routes serve the area. Find your route using the online trip planner at ridewta.com

Travel by car: Carpooling is encouraged! Parking is available at the park near the main entrance but may fill up quickly. 


Phone: (360) 778-7105
Email: pkvolunteers@cob.org