Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service at OHS

Volunteer Candace Bailey helps ensure OHS dogs enjoy a walking trail that is second to none. Tucked away behind the OHS shelter building in NE Portland, our dog-walking path winds through a partially-wooded area where OHS dogs receive daily exercise. To keep this area safe and healthy for all, volunteers from OHS and the community help with maintenance and upkeep.

OHS Dog-Walking Path
Volunteers on a freshly-mulched section of the OHS dog-walking path.

My husband Bill and I refer to the dog path area as our ‘home away from home’ as we spend so much time not only walking dogs on the path but also working with a dedicated group of fellow OHS volunteers to care for the area. Known as the Dog Path Crew, these OHS volunteers meet twice a month on their own and also help host community groups.

Celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with Service

On Saturday, January 16, we hosted one of our largest community groups yet. Volunteers came together via HandsOn Portland to work on the OHS dog-walking path in honor of the national Martin Luther King, Jr. Day/Weekend of Service.

An enthusiastic group of 35 strangers teamed up with one OHS staff member and seven Dog Path Crew members (and two OHS volunteer dog walkers) to swarm the path and apply some much-needed elbow grease and TLC.

Transplanting young trees to areas where they’ll be able to thrive.

The path was abuzz with activities as we split into smaller groups to tackle different tasks.

  • Two teams plunged into the wilds of the eastern fence line and started cutting out blackberry canes and clematis vines. These invasive species of plants overtake the area they grow in and smother out native plants.
  • Another team assisted with the removal of downed tree debris. To keep the habitat healthy and our dog walkers safe, trees are trimmed and removed as needed. This team definitely got their strength training workout in, hefting heavy pieces of wood and wheelbarrowing them to our debris pile.
  • Some of our younger volunteers helped transplant small trees to a better area. Digging out trees and then digging new holes in which to place them is no joke!
  • A previous group mounted bird boxes throughout the path area, and they needed some maintenance. This team circulated around the path and made sure each box would be ready to be occupied by barn swallows and other species this spring.
  • Finally, we had a team spreading wood chips along the path to help keep our walkers and their canine charges out of the the muck. Rain doesn’t usually slow us down when it comes to walking dogs, but it is super nice when we don’t have to slog through mud.

Photos of Volunteers at Work (Rain or Shine!)

The weather held on for us as long as possible, staying overcast but dry up until the last 45 minutes. Then the skies opened up and buckets of rain poured down. Those volunteers kept right on working hard despite the deluge and kept on with their tasks until the event was over.

On behalf of the dogs and dog walkers, we thank these community members for giving their time and their hard work to make a wonderful difference. Our hidden treasure is safer and a better place for all of us thanks to your helping hands.


Contributed by Candace Bailey, OHS volunteer dog walker and Dog Path Crew member


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