NORFOLK (NNS) -- More than 60 Sailors from USS Theodore Roosevelt's (CVN 71) Supply Department volunteered their off-duty time to clean-up Lafayette Park and Lakewood Park in Norfolk April 21, in recognition of Earth Day.
Theodore Roosevelt Sailors spent approximately four hours accumulating 100 bags of leaves, mulch and trash, as well as painting park benches and tables to help beautify the parks.
"The department had the day off, and instead, we decided to come out and show everyone that Theodore Roosevelt is integrated with the community, and we call Norfolk our home," said Cmdr. Paul Amodio, Theodore Roosevelt's supply officer.
Lafayette Park is one of Norfolk's oldest parks, having been constructed in the early 1900s. Throughout the last hundred years it has been a city landmark and continues to be the home of several community events.
The preservation of city parks, like Lafayette and Lakewood Park, relies on members of the community like Theodore Roosevelt Supply Department Sailors. The event coincided with Earth Day, and was organized through both the Keep Norfolk Beautiful program and the Great American Clean-up program. The Great American Clean-up program is the nation's largest community improvement program and takes place annually from March 1 through May 31, according the organization's website.
"We chose to invest our cleanup efforts with the Great American Clean-up and follow their example," said Ensign Pablo Suarez, one of Theodore Roosevelt's supply officers. "By doing this we gave our troops something to be proud of, and so they could see the results of their labor."
Sailors said the cleanup was a success due to the many Theodore Roosevelt Sailors who showed up to volunteer their time.
"We helped make the parks beautiful and in turn positively impacted the Norfolk community," said Logistics Specialist 3rd Class Whitney Makinson.
Theodore Roosevelt is currently undergoing its scheduled mid-life refueling complex overhaul (RCOH) at Newport News shipbuilding, a division of Huntington Ingalls Industries. During the 39-month maintenance period, Theodore Roosevelt's fuel will be replenished and significant upgrades will be made to the ship's combat and communication systems to extend the ship's service life for 25 or more years. All Nimitz-class aircraft carriers go through RCOH near the mid-point of their 50-year life cycle.
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