Full force Knob park cleanup

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Bryan Crane
  • 509th Bomb Wing Public Affairs
In preparation for Earth Day on April 22, members of Team Whiteman took time Saturday, April 20, 2013 to participate in providing trash collection service at Knob Noster State Park.

Originally, the day was set up as a "geocaching" event by Senior Master Sgt. Anthony Escobedo, 509th Maintenance Squadron fabrication flight chief. Geocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure-hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache (container) hidden at that location.

"We began organizing the geocaching event in conjunction with a trash cleanup for Earth Day," Escobedo said. "We then thought since the Whiteman community was so close, and used the state park a lot, it would be a great opportunity for members of the base to join in on the effort. So I began to recruit members of the base to join in."

Escobedo said the results were outstanding, as approximately 250 volunteers showed up to participate.

"I was ecstatic at the turn-out," said Escobedo. "It is great to see Whiteman Airmen giving back to the community on their own time. We definitely made an impact on cleanliness!"

Team Whiteman members were joined by spouses and dependents in cleaning up the park. Volunteers headed out to the pickup site at 10 a.m. and the last of the volunteers did not leave until after 2 p.m.

"I think we were very successful in completing the mission," Escobedo said. "We wanted to clean up the park and we did that. We came away with over 130 bags of trash."

Knob Noster State Park offers a place for people to camp and hike, and Escobedo, along with the volunteers, felt it was import to help keep it clean.

"I love the state park and what it offers," said Airman 1st Class Devyn Ransom, 509th MXS aerospace ground equipment maintainer. "This is a place a lot of people like to enjoy, myself included, so to come out here and help keep it in good condition for anyone who wants to enjoy it was a great experience."

Escobedo praised the hard work of the volunteers and thanked each and every one of them for taking time out of their weekend to help a good cause.

"I would like to thank the squadron points of contact and everyone [who put forth] the time and effort to help clean the park," Escobedo said. "It's really important to keep places like the state park healthy for generations to come."