The city of Bellevue and EarthCorps remembered the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by planting conifer trees on Jan. 21 at Eastgate park in Bellevue. Grace Brueles and Jillian Olson plant a conifer tree. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo

The city of Bellevue and EarthCorps remembered the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by planting conifer trees on Jan. 21 at Eastgate park in Bellevue. Grace Brueles and Jillian Olson plant a conifer tree. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo

Bellevue honors the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The City of Bellevue marks MLK day with trio of events

The city of Bellevue and Community Services remembered the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by hosting a trio of events.

To begin the celebration, an MLK event was hosted at City Hall on Jan. 17. John Carlos delivered an address to listeners and challenged them to reflect on individual and collective roles in building the “beloved community” that was envisioned by the Rev. King.

“I chose to do something [from] the day I was born and the day I died,” Carlos said. “What is important is what you [will] do during those days.”

Carlos is a track star who raised his fist for human rights at the Summer Olympics in Mexico City on Oct. 16, 1968. The U.S. sprinters Tommie Smith and Carlos stepped onto the world stage, and lowered their heads and raised their fist when “The Star-Spangled Banner” began to play. Their Black Power salute photo would become one of the most influential protest images of all time.

An MLK event was hosted at the City Hall on Jan. 17. John Carlos, an Olympic track star, delivered an address to listeners. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo

An MLK event was hosted at the City Hall on Jan. 17. John Carlos, an Olympic track star, delivered an address to listeners. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo

The celebration continued on Jan. 21 with a Dr. Martin Luther King Celebration and health fair at Crossroads Shopping Center and tree planting at Eastgate Park.

About 70 people volunteered to plant conifer trees on MLK day. Volunteers helped improve the health of parks and forests at Eastgate Park in Bellevue.

Lake Washington Watershed Internship Program interns Jillian Olson and Grace Brueles said the program presented them the planting opportunity with the EarthCorp.

“Planting trees is a great way to spend today,” Brueles said. “I think it’s really important to see what we can do to help the environment and foster relations within the planet and also in each other. Restoration allows us to help our relationship and also our relationship with nature.”

Olson added that restoration makes the planet better, and having volunteers come out is what is needed to make the planet better.

EarthCorps staff member Mariska Kecskes said they were there for two reasons.

Staff members and volunteers were there to restore the Bellevue urban forest habitat and their hope was to plant around 3,000 conifer trees.

Kecskes added it was also a time to reflect on what it really means to do service and how it relates to the legacy Dr. King laid the ground for.

“It’s [Integrating] those reflections about doing service and advocating for justice throughout the day,” Kecskes said. “It’s a two-fold.”

Around 70 attendees volunteered to plant conifer trees on Jan. 21 for MLK day. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo.

Around 70 attendees volunteered to plant conifer trees on Jan. 21 for MLK day. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo.

The Crossroads Dr. Martin Luther King Celebration and health fair included guest speakers, live entertainment and free health screenings and health-related community resources. Attendees also had the opportunity to donate blood.


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An MLK event was hosted at the City Hall on Jan. 17. John Carlos, an Olympic track star, delivered an address to listeners. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo

An MLK event was hosted at the City Hall on Jan. 17. John Carlos, an Olympic track star, delivered an address to listeners. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo

An MLK event was hosted at the City Hall on Jan. 17. John Carlos, an Olympic track star, delivered an address to listeners. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo

An MLK event was hosted at the City Hall on Jan. 17. John Carlos, an Olympic track star, delivered an address to listeners. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo

An MLK event was hosted at the City Hall on Jan. 17. John Carlos, an Olympic track star, delivered an address to listeners. Stephanie Quiroz/staff photo

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