Volunteers spend MLK Day cleaning up Oakland Cemetery - | WBTV Charlotte

Volunteers spend MLK Day cleaning up Oakland Cemetery


Oakland Cemetery in Atlanta is more than 150 years old and spans over 48 acres.

There’s no policy in place requiring private lot owners to clean up and maintain their spot. On Monday, volunteers spent their day of service helping to restore and enhance the public park.

"They're doing a little bit of everything that's outdoor related," said Director of Gardens Sara Henderson.

Volunteers scrubbed gravesites and planted flowers, all to enhance a cemetery that's largely segregated.

"The cemetery was founded in 1850 so that was still the era of slavery and even after that there was segregation, so this is an area set aside for the African American burials up until desegregation," Henderson explained of one section of the cemetery.

Volunteers like Maria Garcia-Chinchilla said they came out to honor Dr. King.

"Well MLK is a lot about equality. I am bisexual and I am an immigrant so I believe a lot of equality for various reasons."

Brandon Wilson with Tech’s Excel program for special needs students says MLK's work inspires him to get out and make a difference.

"It makes an impact on the garden and the grass and hopefully the bodies of the people who are buried too."

People young and old, black and white, working together and realizing Dr. King’s dream.

"We just really love giving back to our community like Girl Scouts gives us a lot of opportunities to do that, so this is a way to beautify our community," said 17-year-old Kara Stanley.

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