Go Green for the Wing

  • Published
  • By Rachel McAnallen
  • 11th Civil Engineer Squadron

Spring is a time when it is natural to experience a renewed appreciation for nature as the cold of winter subsides and warmer weather promotes new growth. This perfectly coincides with both Earth Day, April 22, and Arbor Day, April 27.

Joint Base Andrews is holding several events from April 23 – 27 to celebrate both days and to encourage the base populace to think about all the little things you can do at home and at work to preserve and protect the environment. 

Base residents may have noticed several curious-looking bird boxes or bird houses around JBA. These boxes, now in poor repair, were part of a volunteer effort about 20 years ago to conserve the Prince Georges’ County bluebird. Bluebird populations are now healthy and no longer require human intervention for conservation.

Volunteers will be removing these boxes around base during the week of April 23-27 to reduce the risk of starlings and other undesirable bird species causing Bird Aircraft Strike Hazards to flight line operations. To avoid disturbing protected bird species, these volunteers will not remove boxes that contain birds or nests.

Over the years, residential, commercial, and industrial development has led to a loss of forest canopy. Forests protect water and soil quality and sustain the capacity of the land to support human activities.

To commemorate Arbor Day, JBA installation senior leaders will host a tree planting event with an Arbor Day proclamation at 2:30 p.m. April 23 at the Youth Center outdoor playground.  The Maryland Department of Natural Resources Forest Service will present the Tree City USA and People Loving and Nurturing Trees Awards to Joint Base Andrews, and volunteers will plant flowering dogwood trees. 

Throughout the year, trash accumulates. Much of this trash can take up to hundreds of years to biodegrade. Therefore, base-wide spring cleaning will be held April 26 from 9 – 11:30 a.m. Groups will clean debris and trash grounds up to 100 feet from facilities, parking areas, grass, and flower beds in designated areas.

Facility managers will provide equipment to personnel such as trash bags, brooms, gloves, etc. Personnel will report any damage to infrastructure and surrounding areas to respective facility managers.  To support this effort, dumpsters and recycling will be located at the Joint Base Andrews Recycling Facility, building 3350. For any hazardous waste disposal call 301-981-9218. For specialty items, call 301-981-5151. Final collection totals will be reported to the Alice Ferguson Foundation Potomac Trash-Free Initiative.

During base clean up, there is the possibility of encountering waste that cannot be landfilled without damaging the environment. Joint Base Andrews environmental personnel and recycling yard contract support will be providing a drop off point at the vacant lot in front of Home Traditions on Brookely Avenue April 26 from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. for turning in electronic waste and household hazardous materials.

Household hazardous waste typically requires a trip to the Prince Georges’ County Brown Station Landfill. However, for this one day only, household waste will be accepted at Joint Base Andrews to be transported to Brown Station. No shop waste will be accepted.  Shop waste can be disposed of by calling 301-981-9218. 

Finally, to promote recycling and conservation of raw materials, base residents and personnel are invited to drop off bulk paper for shredding at Fetchet/Pennsylvania Avenue and at the vacant lot in front of Home Traditions April 27 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Please ensure documents do not contain sensitive information. 

Base personnel are invited to participate in all events. For additional details, contact 11th Civil Engineer Squadron Environmental Element at 202-750-1855.