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Vandenberg AFB takes action for National Public Lands Day

Volunteers clear vegetation at the Honda Ridge Rock Art Site trail during a National Public Lands Day cultural resource effort at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. Seven volunteers came together to clear the path to the historic site to make it more accessible for viewers. The effort was part of the month-long list of volunteer events across base to include beach cleanups, invasive plant removal and a Boat House cleanup effort in support of National Public Lands Day.  (Courtesy photo)

Volunteers clear vegetation at the Honda Ridge Rock Art Site trail during a National Public Lands Day cultural resource effort at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. Seven volunteers came together to clear the path to the historic site to make it more accessible for viewers. The effort was part of the month-long list of volunteer events across base to include beach cleanups, invasive plant removal and a Boat House cleanup effort in support of National Public Lands Day. (Courtesy photo)

Volunteers meet up before a National Public Lands Day beach cleanup at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. During the beach cleanups, volunteers collected more than 740 lbs. of trash from approximately 5.8 miles at Wall Beach, Minuteman Beach, Surf Beach, Ocean Park and smaller areas along the Vandenberg AFB coast. National Public Lands Day is the country’s largest volunteer event for public lands, celebrated on the fourth Saturday in September. (Courtesy photo)

Volunteers meet up before a National Public Lands Day beach cleanup at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. During the beach cleanups, volunteers collected more than 740 lbs. of trash from approximately 5.8 miles at Wall Beach, Minuteman Beach, Surf Beach, Ocean Park and smaller areas along the Vandenberg AFB coast. National Public Lands Day is the country’s largest volunteer event for public lands, celebrated on the fourth Saturday in September. (Courtesy photo)

Volunteers pick up trash during a National Public Lands Day beach cleanup at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. More than 124 volunteers participated in the National Public Lands Day events that included beach cleanups across the Vandenberg AFB coast, invasive plant removal and cultural resource efforts. The culture resource efforts included plant clearing at the Honda Ridge Rock Art Site trail and cleanup and maintenance at the Boat House. (Courtesy photo)

Volunteers pick up trash during a National Public Lands Day beach cleanup at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. More than 124 volunteers participated in the National Public Lands Day events that included beach cleanups across the Vandenberg AFB coast, invasive plant removal and cultural resource efforts. The culture resource efforts included plant clearing at the Honda Ridge Rock Art Site trail and cleanup and maintenance at the Boat House. (Courtesy photo)

Volunteers pose in front of interpretive signs at the Boat House harbor during National Public Lands Day at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. During National Public Lands Day, volunteers participated in a wide range of activities at the Boat House, including landscaping and trash cleanup, fence maintenance, cleaning and organizing the house and moving furniture. The improvements were a part of cultural resource efforts across the base. (Courtesy photo)

Volunteers pose in front of interpretive signs at the Boat House harbor during National Public Lands Day at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. During National Public Lands Day, volunteers participated in a wide range of activities at the Boat House, including landscaping and trash cleanup, fence maintenance, cleaning and organizing the house and moving furniture. The improvements were a part of cultural resource efforts across the base. (Courtesy photo)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --

Throughout September and October, members from across Vandenberg Air Force Base and the local community came together to participate in events in support of National Public Lands Day.

 

National Public Lands Day is the country’s largest volunteer event for public lands, celebrated on the fourth Saturday in September. This celebration brings out thousands of volunteers to help restore and improve public lands around the country.

 

The events consisted of beach cleanups, invasive plant removal and cultural resource efforts, to include a trail clearing and a day of cleanup at the Boat House.

 

Across the six beach cleanups, 124 participants covered more than 5.8 miles of beach and were able to collect approximately 740 lbs. of trash.

 

“We had participants from the Girl Scouts, 576th Flight Test Squadron, 216th Space Control Squadron, 614th Air Operation Center, Delta 5, 30th Civil Engineer Squadron, 30th Security Force Squadron and more,” said Tiffany Whitsitt, 30th CES wildlife biologist. “During the cleanups, volunteers were given presentations on plastics in the ocean.”

 

In addition to the beach cleanups, volunteers removed ice plant, which is an invasive species, from around native vegetation to help benefit the dune system, native plants and animals. Three volunteers representing the 18th Space Control Center, Air Force Space Command Detachment 2, and three personnel pulled up enough ice plant to generate 24 large piles, weighing approximately 1,500 lbs. As ice plant spreads, it can alter soil chemistry and crowd out threatened and endangered plant species.

 

“In part of the cultural resource efforts, volunteers cleared vegetation from the Honda Ridge Rock Art Site trail,” said Whitsitt. “The path is now clear of vegetation and is more inviting for visitors to enjoy. Cultural resource specialists gave a talk at the end of the event on the significance of this site and the volunteers had the opportunity to ask questions.”

 

At the Boat House, volunteers from the 532nd Training Squadron helped landscape, clean up trash, install new interpretive signs at the harbor area, clean and organize the house, preform maintenance on door knobs, replace light bulbs and other miscellaneous tasks.

 

“We are thankful for the much needed improvements made by a hard-working group of volunteers,” said Whitsitt.

While many National Public Lands Day events were effected by COVID-19, Vandenberg AFB still met their goal to restore and improve the public lands across the installation.

 

To help with future beach cleanups and volunteer opportunities, contact the 30th CES Environmental Conservation Office at 805-605-8684.