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Martin Luther King Jr. Historic Site gets a face-lift.

Most view community service as an obligation, and will most likely not participate unless it is a requirement from an outside force. This was not the case on Nov. 10 as the Martin Luther King Jr. Historic Site off Auburn Ave. saw an influx of volunteers, predominantly freshmen.

The Office of Civic Engagement organized the service project and the objective was to assist in the landscaping of the site. Most of the students were part of the Freshman Learning Community program and a service project is a required assignment for the groups. Even though some were begrudgingly attending, a surprising amount of students were interested in the conservation of a U.S. National Historic Site.

The goals for the day included laying pine straw and bark around the trees. With the incoming cold weather, it was important that it be completed as quickly as possible.

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Kharee Smith, a first-year student, admitted that he was there because of the required assignment, but he still felt that community service was a necessary civic duty. He took on the project as an opportunity to learn more about the civil rights leader. He said because of this event and his experiences, he was more likely to participate in future events. Smith recommends that other students take initiative in maintaining their community.

Another student Sean Powell chose to participate in the event because enjoyed working with his hands and thought that it was the most interesting of the service projects. Powell urged that students with any kind of extra time should participate in these events.

Following the laborious project, the students were asked for their opinions on the project and what they thought they had learned from it. The rangers and groundskeepers thanked the students for taking two hours out of their Saturday afternoon and without their help, the work would have taken the whole weekend.

Finally, the students were offered a complimentary tour of the historic site, which includes Martin Luther King Jr.’s childhood home, neighborhood, and Ebenezer Baptist Church. The entire historic site is modeled after King’s neighborhood as it was in the late 30s and 40s. The main atrium includes a museum with a timeline of King’s life and his accomplishments.

The site can be found at 450 Auburn Ave. NE Atlanta, GA 30312.

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To get involved in the community, visit the Office of Civic Engagment, Student Center 320 or go to www.gsu.edu/service.