Where to Volunteer on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

If your New Year’s resolution includes a refreshed commitment to giving back to the community, you’re in luck! Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is coming up this month, and Philadelphia is one of the best places to be for this day of service. Hundreds of community-oriented projects, including many right near your Royal Athena apartment, are scheduled for Jan. 20 to pay tribute to the work of the late civil-rights icon. Whether it’s serving meals to the homeless, painting a local rec center, organizing a donation drive or cleaning up a neighborhood park, there are countless opportunities to roll up your sleeves and spend your day off making Philly an even better place to live!

One such opportunity is at the Cynwyd Heritage Trail, just a mile away from your Royal Athena apartment, on the other side of West Laurel Hill Cemetery. Every MLK Day, the Friends of Cynwyd Heritage Trail organize a cleanup day, where locals pitch in to beautify the beloved trail. The volunteer opportunity draws a big crowd from the neighborhood, along with students from St. Joe’s and Bryn Mawr College and nature enthusiasts from around the region—so it’s a great way to get to know your neighbors and find out all the latest community work going on in our neck of the woods.

The trail is a vital part of the community. The nearly two-mile path follows the route of the former SEPTA Cynwyd railway line, winding through Bala Cynwyd to Belmont Avenue at the Manayunk Bridge. It’s a popular spot for runners, dog walkers and nature lovers (and is frequented by resident of Royal Athena!).

Like any trail, it needs constant upkeep, and that’s where volunteers come in. Every MLK Day, volunteers fan out along the trail to remove trash, uproot weeds and take note of any ongoing maintenance issues. While this day of service is a great opportunity to give back to one of our neighborhood’s most vibrant outdoor spaces, it’s also a perfect chance to learn more about the team of volunteers who work year-round to keep the trail up and running—and to find out how you can help them!


Cynwyd Heritage Trail

215 Belmont Ave.

Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004