NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (NNS) -- The Sailors of USS Carl Vinson's (CVN 70) Combat Systems Department traded in their computers for manual labor Aug. 15 by assisting at a Newport News playground.
Spreading approximately 100 square yards of mulch on the grounds in order to help protect the local community children, these Sailors saved the city precious man-hours that it needs for other projects.
"The volunteers from the Vinson are saving us about 50 man-hours at this park," said Jami Ditto, a Newport News Park maintenance specialist. "We are currently working on replacing all playground equipment from the 1960s and 70s with newer items. Without the volunteers, we would be struggling."
The playgrounds normally take a three-person crew a full day to cover with mulch, which cushions the fall of children and helps the appearance of the parks.
"I was told we were helping at a park," said Information Technician 2nd Class Tara Middlebrooks. "I love kids and wanted to help out the community also, so I volunteered."
The city of Newport News has a large goal ahead of it with the refurbishment of the parks. The mulch and playground projects will cover 38 parks, including all elementary playgrounds and recreation centers. Some schools have as many as two to three playgrounds.
The Carl Vinson Sailors did not limit their involvement to just this park. The same morning, other volunteers converged to spread mulch at two other Newport News-area parks.
According to the Religious Ministries Team aboard Vinson, the 31 volunteers who worked the three parks during the week contributed more than 100 community service hours.
Carl Vinson is currently undergoing its scheduled refueling complex overhaul (RCOH) at Northrop Grumman Newport News shipyard. The RCOH is an extensive yard period that all Nimitz-class aircraft carriers go through near the mid-point of their 50-year life cycle.
During RCOH, Carl Vinson's nuclear fuel will be replenished and the ship's services and infrastructure will be upgraded to make her the most state-of-the-art aircraft carrier in the fleet, and prepare her for another 25 years or more of service.
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