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Workers brave snow for MLK service

Shelton-Mason County Journal of Shelton, Washington

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Workers with the Mason Conservation District and the Washington Conservation Corps (WCC) braved the on-again, off-again snow on Monday to participate in the annual MLK Day of Service.

The MLK Day of Service commemorates Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

"Every Martin Luther King Day we do volunteer work," said Dave Coffey, a supervisor with the WCC, a part of the Washington State Department of Ecology.

This year, the two groups worked together to begin the work on an outdoor dog shelter at the Turning Pointe Domestic Violence Services shelter in Shelton.

The shelter has been working for more than a year to get funding to begin the project, which is designed to give women a place to keep their larger dogs while at the shelter,

Mason Conservation and WCC began the project as part of their day of service on Monday.

"Taking place each year on the third Monday in January, the MLK Day of Service is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service-a 'day on, not a day off,' according to mlkday.gov. "MLK Day of Service is the perfect time for Americans to answer Dr. King's challenge to do something for others. Just as Dr. King set big goals and focused relentlessly on results, we need sustained citizen action to address today's social challenges."

The 25th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was celebrated in 2011.

AmeriCorps engineer Jennifer Lai, who has worked with Mason Conservation since October, designed the project and applied for the proper permitting.

Lai said the group planned on working over the next few weeks to complete the project with as much volunteer labor as possible.

"We're hoping to get some local 4-H groups involved with the finishing and planning," she said.

The work should be done by the end of January, providing the weather holds out, she said.

Lai said teens from CHOICE High

School and volunteers from the Shelton Fire Department, or Mason County Fire Protection District 5, would likely volunteer in the future.

"If it wasn't for AmeriCorps I don't know how we would get this project done," said Mason Conservation engineer Rich Geiger.

On Monday, Geiger worked with Lai and the WCC, a division of AmeriCorps, to prepare the foundation of the dog area, which will have room for four kennels and a dog run.

Monnier Construction donated time, and the Miles Sand and Gravel company donated sand, gravel and concrete, Geiger said.

The project also included an infiltration trench and gravel pit to deal with stormwa-ter runoff, Geiger said.

"We had to do the same level of engineering for this as the whole building," he said.

Original Publication Date: January 19, 2012



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