Channel Islands Air National Guard Station, Calif. --
U.S. Air National Guard members from the 146th Airlift Wing (146 AW) participated in a base clean-up and beautification effort that focused on water conservation, Earth Day April 22, 2019.
The 146 AW Restoration Committee are using the national awareness day as a platform to get people excited about the beatification project.
The committee created by airmen looking to provide a solution for neglected beautification issues, are taking the initiative themselves in hope more airmen will be inspired to environmentally improve their working areas.
This restoration committee headed by U.S. Air National Guard 2nd Lt. Jessica Ryan oversaw the planning and conservation efforts Monday.
“In the spirit of Earth Day our hope is that airmen will participate in our future contests that will promote clean and environmentally friendly practices on base,” said Ryan.
“We are looking inwards now to address areas ourselves. We’d like to take charge and create solutions to make our base a little more enjoyable,” said Ryan.
The beautification project began with the unveiling of a freshly painted fire hydrant that donned familiar colors matching the base’s iconic C-130J aircraft.
Airmen participating in the unveiling took photos with the fire hydrant then quickly began removing weeds, re-soiling, and redecorating large potting planters that were previously used as security barriers.
Large decals of giant words that spelled Hollywood Guard were placed on the outside of the planters as a nod to the wing’s heritage and close ties to the film industry when the base was located at the Van Nuys municipal airport in California.
Outside the Logistics Readiness Squadron’s (LRS) building, airmen removed weeds with dead grass and replaced them with decorative colored rocks that were laid outside the perimeter of the LRS building.
146 AW LRS Commander, Col. Lawrence Phillips says the end goal is to revamp the bases beautification efforts that will match the environmental concerns of California.
The installation of large grass areas for beautification purposes was part of the design plan in the late 80’s. Since then California has experienced major droughts creating water conservation efforts across the state.
“Our goal is to focus on improving the base to ensure it’s efficient with our local area, with an emphasis of minimal use of water and aesthetically pleasing solutions. Our airmen effectively continue to execute the mission, so now we’re turning the lens on ourselves to bring our airmen together and bring a little bit of that laser focus on improving our base” said Philips.
Examples of that togetherness came in the form of representatives from the 146AW Civil Engineers Squadron (CES), whom the volunteer airmen leaned heavily on to assist them with landscaping techniques. The mutually beneficial participation brings many positive results according to Phillips.
“CES is normally servicing these duties, but with the airmen volunteers helping, our CES can operate more like a home owners association would. They provide the guidance of how to accomplish the beautification efforts, and impart their critical knowledge of how things should look,” said Philips.
Philips added, “We then extend the physical portion of the work to each individual squadron and charge them to maintain their areas. It’s going to be a long term continuous project, and we see this as a way to lighten the load on CES while continuing to build comradery within our squadrons.”
The ultimate goal from both Philips and the committee is continuous participation. In an effort to keep that participation level high, future plans include competitions and monthly beautifications days. The next day is June 14, 2019.