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Seamen Joshua Kellogg, left, and Andrew Naeseth, both with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 5, pick up trash in 2004 as part of the first Earth Day cleanup at Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan. The base is holding its second Earth Day event Wednesday.

Seamen Joshua Kellogg, left, and Andrew Naeseth, both with Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 5, pick up trash in 2004 as part of the first Earth Day cleanup at Naval Air Facility Atsugi, Japan. The base is holding its second Earth Day event Wednesday. (Juliana Gittler / S&S)

NAVAL AIR FACILITY ATSUGI, Japan — More than 60 people are expected to line up Wednesday, armed with gloves and trash bags, to sweep across base, leaving tracts of litter-free space in their wake.

As part of a week of Earth Day activities, the base planned the second annual cleanup to get the community involved in a way that could have a positive, lasting impact, said Ileana Speer, Department of Public Works environmental division director.

“You do make an impact. You can make a positive one or a negative one,” Speer said. “It doesn’t take that much to be a steward of the environment. Every little bit helps.”

Earth Day, held on April 22, is a reminder to the world to take better care of the environment and an opportunity to educate people about conservation and recycling.

“The push behind it is education. For us in environmental, it’s what we do,” Speer said. “That’s really how you can have an impact on a base like this.”

Atsugi’s cleanup caps a week of Earth Day-related activities, Speer said. Last week, students at the schools learned about recycling, pollution and spill-response procedures.

Following the two-hour cleanup along the flight line, volunteers are invited to a party catered by donations from the commissary and items purchased by the base through car wash fund-raisers, Speer said.

Base leaders began Earth Day cleanups in 2004. Speer said their goal was to educate people about the environment as well as improve the community.

Atsugi also earned an overseas environmental quality award in the 2004 Chief of Naval Operations environmental competition, in part for a wastewater-recycling program and reducing hazardous wastes, officials said.

The cleanup, recycling and taking care of the environment are important whether people live at home or abroad, Speer said. “We’re guests here and we have to be responsible,” she said, adding that stewardship is necessary “no matter where you are.”

If you go …

Earth Day cleanup: 10 a.m. to noon, Wednesday.

Volunteers should meet outside Ranger Gym, Building 3076. Refreshments to follow.

Call DSN 264-3552 for more information.


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