BREMERTON, Wash. –Sailors and civilians working on board Naval Base Kitsap (NBK) donned work gloves and wielded cleaning equipment and supplies in a show of force to support Earth Day 2017.
More than 230 people hit the grounds of NBK-Bangor, Bremerton and Keyport to clean sidewalks and parking lots, spruce up flower and shrub beds and pick up over 1,000 pounds trash.
“It was an energizing event for the participants because of the physical activity and knowing that you’re contributing to the beautification of your own workplace and community,” said Capt. Alan Schrader, NBK commanding officer. “We had the added unplanned bonus of the cleanup coinciding with a day where we experienced the best weather of 2017 to date.”
The effort was spearheaded by NBK’s First Lieutenant Division, which coordinated volunteers, shared ideas of areas to spruce up and provided supplies. Shovels, rakes and brooms were quickly snagged at the 9:30 a.m. start time as the volunteers fanned out to shovel weathered autumn leaves and pine needles into waiting garbage bags, pull weeds that multiplied quickly in the recent rains and collect trash.
NBK has a strong history of participating in Earth Day activities and being at the forefront of other environmental and energy initiatives. The installation and numerous commands on base have been honored with awards in multiple categories recognizing environmental, energy and water conservation efforts and successes.
In addition, NBK and Kitsap County are now involved in a unique partnership agreement to take down aggressive, non-native plants – also known as noxious weeds – that could serve as a model for other military installations and their respective local counties.
“We’re fortunate to serve our nation in one of the most beautiful places in the world,” Schrader said. “While sprucing up NBK with the others in my work party, it was obvious that we all consider it our duty to preserve and restore the beauty that surrounds us in the Pacific Northwest.”