SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Dozens of volunteers got their hands dirty on the day of the service. All Martin Luther King Jr. Day volunteers volunteer their time to help local organizations and give back to their community.

The non-profit organization, Channel Island Restoration, organized around 20 volunteers to help an endangered plant, St. John’s wort. Organizers said the wort only grows in a small region along the California coast. And the invasive species that settle there have endangered it.

Volunteers from the Ojai Valley School, University of California Santa Barbara, community and Channel Island Restoration pitched in, ripping up ice plants and asparagus to make room for the wort Swamps.

UCSB is currently growing more St. John’s wort in its greenhouse. When the area is completely cleared, the volunteers will replant the St. John’s wort. Then they will study the growth of the plant and its impact on the environment.

Juliette Rebello is a recent graduate from UCSB. She said: “I wanted to find some kind of organization and volunteer opportunity that benefits the environment, especially because it’s so beautiful that we should all be doing what we can to protect it. And I’m glad I got that day off to dedicate that time that I would otherwise be at work.

For more information about Channel Island Restoration, the projects they are working on, or how to volunteer, visit their website.