New Guardsmen give back to community, vow to Guard the Environment

MJO

Story and photo by Sgt. A. Dale Elliott, UPAHR, 75th Troop Command

Kentucky Guardsmen Pvt. Kristen Brown, Pvt. T’Keyah Woods, and Pfc. Samantha Rae help build a trail for Waverly Park in Louisville, Ky., Oct. 16. The Soldiers are building sustainable trails that are expected to last for years and benefit visitors of the Metro Parks System.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Oct. 25, 2010)   – Soldiers assigned to the 2/75th Recruiting and Retention Battalion’s Recruit Sustainment Program reported to the Waverly Park Oct. 16 and 17 and assisted the Louisville Metro Parks with cleaning up bike trails on the park grounds.“Protecting our environment is part of protecting our nation and our community,” said Pvt. William Jones of Louisville, Ky.

The clean-up was part of a nation-wide event in which National Guard Soldiers throughout the nation assisted local communities with several environmental projects.

Pvt. T’Keyah Woods said the program reminded her of area beautification that Soldiers conduct while in Basic and Advanced Individualized Training.

“It is a really good cause,” she said, “and it is different from our every-day (drill) activities.”

But the day wasn’t full of relaxation. Soldiers got a good workout traversing the trails throughout the park.

Billy Davis, a trail team leader for Louisville Metro Parks and president of the Louisville Chapter of the Kentucky Mountain Bike Association, was pleased with the help the National Guard provided in this project.

“The National Guard has shown that they not only protect us but give us a better quality of life,” he said.

According to Davis, it takes between $5,000 and $20,000 to build a sustainable trail and it takes nearly six months to get a mile of that trail built. The Guard saved time and money, he said.

“I wish we could have more help like this,” Davis said. “The work they are doing will extend the life of this trail and make it easier to maintain and protect it from erosion.”

Mike Hirn, another volunteer from the KMBA, said “This benefits a wide variety of people in the community and the environment.”

“We normally have only 4 or 5 people working on this trail. The Guard has had a huge impact on what we are doing,” he said.

Maj. Gen. Edward W. Tonini, the Adjutant General of Kentucky, talks to new Kentucky Guardsmen who are participating in Guard the Environment program at Waverly Park in Louisville, Ky., Oct. 16.

Maj. Gen.  Edward W. Tonini addressed the Soldiers and thanked them for the work they accomplished. He called the Guardsmen stewards of the environment, and praised the Kentucky National Guard’s Soldiers and Airmen for their work in protecting the beauty of our Commonwealth.

“Every new armory or building we build we make sure we are Silver Certified,” says  Maj. Gen. Tonini. “We have installed Solar panels and electric saving devices in most of our buildings at Wendell H. Ford Regional Training Facility, in fact there are times we are producing more energy than we are using.”

The Soldiers were given a Halloween warning to be careful while working. Waverly Park is attached to property that borders Waverly Hills Sanitarium. Waverly Hills has been named one of the most haunted buildings in the United States and has been featured in several movies and TV Shows.

Luckily, no Soldier reported any unusual activity while working on the project.

For more photos of Guard the Environment, please visit our Kentucky Guard the Environment Facebook page.

Kentucky National Guard "Guard the Environment"

http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/pages/Frankfort-KY/Kentucky-National-Guard-Guard-the-Environment/167412086607861?v=wall

About kentuckyguard