Volunteers gave the Goulds community reason to take pride in their local park Saturday morning by coming together to give it a much needed face lift.
"Before we got here, (the park) was just something you overlooked, you just walked by. You wouldn't really want anyone to be here," said Dominique Grooms.
In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., hundreds of helpers power washed tennis courts, painted benches and planter boxes, and raked leaves at the playground at Goulds Park, located at 11350 SW 216th Street.
More than 300 people from FIU, Miami-Dade College, Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department, the AARP and Service for Peace helped landscape the 30-acre park and paint over old speed bumps and rusty guardrails.
"It’s a great thing to help celebrate the life of Martin Luther King, because he was all about servicing others and helping his community," said volunteer Andrew Philatre.
He is member of Alpha Phi Alpha, the same fraternity Dr. King pledged.
Another volunteer, Jamal Cabro, said they were trying to emulate Dr. King by helping others, even if that meant getting up early in the morning on a Saturday.
Volunteers also built and planted a community garden of vegetables and herbs that will be maintained by students and nearby residents in the hope that it will provide access to affordable, fresh foods. The first harvest is expected in two months.
The event also hosted a food drive to benefit local food pantries.