Marines pitch in to clean up parks

MCAS Single Soldiers Clean Up New Bern Parks

By Travis Graves, Lower Neuse Riverkeeper

Sixty soldiers from the Marine Air Control Group 28, Cherry Point, spent two days in January giving back to their adopted communities, cleaning up six parks in Craven County. Their efforts were part MCASof the MCAS Single Soldier Program, led by program coordinator John Sheehan and facilitated by Lower Neuse Riverkeeper, Travis Graves.

The Single Soldier Program is designed to give the Marines an opportunity to get involved in the communities surrounding Cherry Point through volunteer programs. Generally, this effort would have come in April as part of a global day of service, but Marine Air Control Group 28 won’t be available this year so they volunteered to work in January instead, and work they did.

They tackled their mission in true Marine Corps fashion, going above and beyond expectations. This effort was originally planned to spend two days collecting litter at Lawson Creek Park and Glenburnie Park, but they were also able to clean up Fort Totten Park, Union Point Park, Creekside Park, and the grounds surrounding the Stanley White Recreation Center, collecting more than 1200 lbs of trash and dozens of discarded tires before it could drift into our pubic waters.

Not that we needed a reason to thank our Marines, but now we have another. Their work is a credit to their unit, to MCAS Cherry Point, and to the Marine Corps. Our heartfelt thanks go out to them, and to John Sheehan for coordinating with Sound Rivers to make their global day of service a huge success.