Virginia military families help clean state park

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Johnisa B. Roberts
  • 192nd FW Public Affairs
Virginia military members from the 192nd Fighter Wing, 203rd Red Horse Squadron, and the Virginia Army National Guard, and their families volunteered April 18, 2015, to help clean and improve York River State Park in Williamsburg.

The families served in honor of the Month of the Military Child and Earth Day as they assisted park rangers by clearing waste and debris, and spreading fresh mulch on the playground and around selected trees. Afterward, the families celebrated the day with a cookout together.

Tech. Sgt. Kristy Price, a 192nd FW Budget analyst, spearheaded the event by teaming with the Virginia National Guard Youth Program. Her goal was to find an opportunity for Air Guard members and their families to interact and become involved with something positive in the community. In addition, the program took advantage of the fact that Virginia Governor, Terry McAuliffe deemed the day as "Standards of Virginia Clean-Up Day."

"We wanted as many state-wide, military children and families as possible not only to participate in this York River State Park cleaning and improving service event, but to also continue building relationships they started during youth camps and family days," said Price.

This service project was one of many events that took place throughout the month to honor the Month of the Military Child. The activity was open to all Virginia Guard members and their families. Participants were split into different groups: with the help of their parents, the younger children (aged 1-6) cleaned and mulched the playground, and the older children helped to clean "fossil beach," and cleared the areas around the trails. Approximately 21 adults and 25 children participated in the event.

"I'm just overwhelmed on how awesome today turned out, how many people were excited to participate in this project and how great the weather was," said Price. "It was just absolutely amazing. It's almost like you don't want the day to end."