OAKLAND -- Daniel Swafford, executive director of the Montclair Village Association, hopes to begin the new year with a large turnout for the Montclair community workday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Jan. 19 at Montclair Park.

The purpose of the event is to improve infrastructure, clean and clear overgrowth of plants and trees, and remove trash and debris in Montclair Park and the walkways along Moraga Avenue, Swafford said.

The overgrowth of foliage on Caltrans property along Moraga Avenue has encroached on the sidewalk, forcing pedestrians to cross four lanes of traffic to the other side of the street or walk in the street itself, making access to the park and the village challenging.

The event is organized in collaboration with Keep Oakland Beautiful and the Montclair Safety Improvement Council.

Two major workdays were organized last year that were successful in clearing some 1,000 feet of sidewalk along Moraga Avenue between Snake Road and the park as well as maintenance and improvements to Montclair Park. This year's goal is to extend that effort to Thornhill Drive.

"It's important to take some ownership responsibility of your city. The park is an incredible asset to our neighborhood," Swafford said. "Plus, it's a great way to get to know your neighbors."

The event takes place during the weekend of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, which will be celebrated on Jan. 20. The Martin Luther King Day of Service honors the legacy of King in a way that solves community problems moving toward King's vision of community. Volunteers will meet at the basketball court at Montclair Park at 6300 Moraga Ave. Bring gloves and any favorite sheers or pruning tools. Rakes and bagging supplies will be provided.

Refreshments will be provided by Crogan's Montclair, Crown Wines and Spirits, Starbucks and Colonial Donuts.

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