MLK, Jr. Birthday - A Trees Asheboro Tradition

By Owen George
Co-founder, Trees Asheboro

Monday, January 17th, 2011 marks the date for the USA's annual celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday - one of the most important activities for Trees Asheboro.

Some may ask, "How did this celebration become a key focus of an environmental organization?"

The answer is simple.

Trees Asheboro was founded upon the idea of bringing together people from diverse backgrounds to work together for the betterment of their community.

Back in 2004, just a few months after Trees Asheboro was formed, the organization began working with youth members of the Central Boys and Girls Club.

The idea was launched to create a new green space - a "Central Park" on Salisbury Street, the gateway to a 150 year old traditionally African American neighborhood.

The small Trees Asheboro team learned about the nearby Central Boys and Girls Club, where more than seventy young people attended after school programs designed to help them succeed in a less than perfact world.

In honor of MLK, Jr.'s birthday, Trees Asheboro contacted the American Forests company and purchased a small seedling grown from the very church where Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his fiery speeches that led to world changing civil rights protests in the 1960's.

On the day of celebration more than a hundred people gathered at the Central Boys and Girls Club for the tree planting (along with Fox 8 News!) - and the tree's framed certificate of authenticity was treated like a magical talisman by young people in the croud.

It was a turning point for Trees Asheboro.

From that day on, the core mission of Trees Asheboro would be: to focus efforts upon the most at need sector of the community.

Over the years, Trees Asheboro's MLK celebrations have been the scene of wonderful and ground breaking gatherings to honor one of our nation's greatest leaders.

For 2011, Trees Asheboro will continue the tradition by leading youth service activities for our young friends at the Central Boys and Girls Club.

On Friday, January 14th, at 4 PM, we will lead an environmental clean up at the club on Franks Street in Asheboro.

On MLK, Jr. Day, we will lead a planting of apple trees at 4 PM, on the grounds of East Side Homes, a former Rosenwald School, located on the same property as the club.

Volunteers are welcome for both events!!

More more information, call 336-653-1051, or 336-558-6966. or email