Team-V participates in National Public Lands Day

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Wesley Carter
  • 30th Space Wing Public Affairs
The 30th Civil Engineer Environmental Flight led a group of Vandenberg volunteers to participate in National Public Lands Day on Sept. 29 by refurbishing Vandenberg's boathouse.

The event gave Team-V the opportunity to volunteer, learn and experience the historical mystique of the boathouse, which sits at the southern tip of the base.

"National Public Lands Day is the nation's largest hands-on volunteer effort to improve and enhance the public lands Americans enjoy," according to the NPLD organization, which sponsors activities that qualify based on public resources.

Vandenberg answered the call to volunteer.

"It's amazing the amount of volunteers who came out to help with this project," said Liz Bell, a 30th CES Environmental Flight biologist. "We have had around 150 volunteers who represent an assortment of units at Vandenberg who came and helped with the project."

The event also provided brand new Airmen the chance to give back to the community.

"Four days ago I was at basic training, so it is awesome to get a break and be able to help out," said Airman Adrian Gonzalez, a student at the 533rd Training Squadron.

Another Airman is anticipating being able to return to the site in the future.

"It would be nice to come back in a couple of years when it is done, and I can say I had a part in its restoration," said Airman Laquavius Wortherly, a student at the 533rd TRS.

The team of volunteers accomplished many tasks during the event.

"Today we built fences, painted, added some furniture and many more things, without taking away from the historical value of the site," said Ms. Bell.

The boathouse gave Vandenberg a great opportunity to participate in NPLD.

"National Public Lands Day is a chance for communities to come together and work on projects, while benefiting from the experience," Ms. Bell said. "We were able to get funding due to the cultural and natural resources that the boathouse offers."

The boathouse has a cultural history that is grounded in the military.

"The boathouse was built in 1936 and was used as a U.S. Coast Guard rescue station," said Dr. James Carucci, a 30th CES Environmental Flight historical archaeologist. "Although it was manned 24 hours a day, from 1936 to 1952 when the Army took control, only two rescues were recorded."

The location did not stay under the Army's control for long.

In 1958, the site became a missile facility point for the U.S. Navy. It wasn't until 1964 that the Air Force gained responsibility of the site, Dr. Carucci said.

The coastal natural resources gave way to a great learning experience during NPLD.

"Many of the volunteers have brought their children out, and we have been able to have classes to explain a little about the ecosystem in the ocean," Ms. Bell said. "It is nice to allow children a first hand account of seeing the natural habitats of certain animals."

The cultural mystique of the boathouse is a nice aspect of Vandenberg, but it is not an attribute. The true attribute that came from NPLD is how Team-V answered the call to give back. Vandenberg will continue to give back to the surrounding community, while supporting its number one mission, to protect American's through the means of space power.