By Scott Prater
Personnel at the Space Innovation and Development Center celebrated Earth Day the old fashioned way — by putting in some manual labor April 21.
There were no speeches, no slogan shouting, no bull horns or protests, just plain canvas style gloves, orange plastic bags — and muscle power.
The 595th Operations Support Squadron organized the highway clean up along Curtis Road south of State Highway 94 and east of Schriever. Fifteen volunteers, comprised of members of the SIDC, took part and ended the three-plus-hour clean up with nearly two dozen full large trash bags.
“The haul included: two truck tires, several beer bottles, a vehicle suspension spring, a computer mother board, a dollar bill, busted printer, lots of taco restaurant garbage and several energy drink cans,” Master Sgt. Donna Danahey said.
This effort marked the first year SIDC has celebrated Earth Day with a clean-up effort.
“Normally we focus on reducing our use of resources,” Sergeant Danahey said. “This year we centered our effort on eliminating some man-made pollution with an emphasis on removing plastics that may hinder migrating birds. The clean-up also helps reduce maintenance costs for Colorado highway mowers.”
Volunteers started their clean-up efforts near the intersection of Highway 94 and worked their way south, loading up garbage bags, throwing full bags into the back of a waiting pick up, then driving to a new section, where they’d start over with a fresh empty bag.
The 595th OSS has adopted the section of Curtis Road between Highway 94 and Irwin Road so it performs clean up of the section multiple times throughout the year.
Maj. Mike Worden, 595th OSS readiness flight commander, joined the group during the Earth Day clean up, donned a bright orange safety vest and scoured the landscape, filling a large bag within minutes.
“The Night Flyers (595th OSS) take pride in maintaining our section of highway and we believe that everyone traveling to Schriever deserves to see it kept clean,” he said. “No one wants to see the beautiful backdrop provided by the front range marred by empty bottles, fast food containers and old newspapers.”
Col Roger Vincent, SIDC commander, applauded the volunteers’ Earth Day efforts.
“I really appreciate our top three members (Chief Master Sergeants, Senior Master Sergeants and Master Sergeants) of the 595th OSS spearheading this effort,” he said. “They’ve taken initiative, in honor of Earth Day, to encourage us all to be good stewards of the land in conjunction with our local neighborhood partners.”