Utica, NY (WIBX) - Martin Luther King Jr. Day is a national day of service.

And, one Utica resident was recently honored for his continued civil action and volunteerism year round.

Marron McLeod was the recipient of the President's Volunteer Service Award, recognizing his contributions to the Utica community.

McLeod serves as the Garden Coordinator for his block association and has volunteered for more than 20 years in the Cornhill Community Garden.

He says volunteering is very rewarding, especially in a story he recounts of a young girl who planted cherry tomatoes.

"I had this after school program," he says, "and she got involved by planting cherry tomatoes. And, in the fall of the year, when it came time to harvest and that plant gave its first vegetable--her eyes got as big as that, and, I said this is the program for me. It's enjoyment. It's a lot of work, but, I'll tell you, it's very well filling, I'll put it that way."

He say it's good to give back to the community.

"Especially when you're working with different people--adults and children alike--and it's almost like to the kids a role model," McLeod said, "And for the adults, it a time to get together and discuss different things that are going on in the community and see if we can get something done."

In addition to his President's Volunteer Service Award, McLeod was honored with the 2010 Dorothy Richardson Award for Resident Leadership through NeighborWorks America.