OKCBeautiful Blown Away by MMAC LitterBlitz Volunteers
Vol.8 Issue 4
Volunteers gather trash along the roads near the Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center during OKCBeautiful’s LitterBlitz 2022
The entrance to the Center is much more impressive without litter

In Spring of 2022, the winds in Oklahoma have indeed come, "…sweepin’ down the plain." Unfortunately, Saturday, April 23rd was no exception. Braving wind gusts between 30 and 50 miles per hour, a team of dedicated volunteers arrived at the front gate of the Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center (MMAC) to participate in OKC Beautiful’s LitterBlitz 2022. Employees and contractors alike brought friends and family to the roadsides near the Center, extending from SW 54th Street down to SW 89th Street and MacArthur Boulevard.

The Program Director for OKC Beautiful (Natalie Owens) was blown away by the MMAC team’s efforts during this 5th year of the campaign. She expressed gratitude on behalf of Oklahoma City, "We greatly appreciate the continued participation of the Mike Monroney Aeronautical Center team in helping us keep our community litter-free. Your participation makes a difference in the community and is helping to create an even better Oklahoma City. Thank you!"

Though volunteers have helped Oklahoma City Beautiful since 1962, the program has picked up steam in addition to trash. In 2021, four thousand people and 225 community groups picked up more than 80,000 pounds of trash through LitterBlitz.

With collection bag in hand, Michele Clair makes the world a better place
Susan Jay came prepared for safety

Michele Clair, an IT Specialist (Customer Support) from Enterprise Services Center (ESC) AMK-222 said, "I would definitely do this again. It was nice to meet new people too. Maybe next time I will try to encourage people in my work group to join me."

Susan Jay, a Physiologist from the Civil Aerospace Medical Institute (AAM-631) said, "LitterBlitz provides a chance to get outside in the fresh air and meet people from other parts of the Center, and to help make OKC / MMAC beautiful by picking up trash. This was my third year and I plan on being back in 2023!"

Jeffrey Westlake, a Human Resources Specialist (AHF-C400) brought his son, and enjoyed the experience, saying, "I wanted to show my son that it is important to volunteer in your community. A few hours of helping can make a difference."

JE Smith leads the way in beautifying the area North of MMAC
Led by First Sergeant Geoffrey Johnson (Naval Science Instructor) a group of Junior ROTC cadets from Western Heights Public High School learn the importance of community service

James (JE) Smith, Manager of the FAA Academy’s Training Services Support Division (AMA-23) was reminded of the time he served in the US Air Force. "We always participated in events to improve our community, i.e., beautification efforts, Meals-on-Wheels, Habitat for Humanity, etc. It brought back memories of being a part of a group of people who care and are able to give back to the community." To encourage others to play a part next year, James said, "The feeling of knowing that you participated to make a difference in your community is all the reward that you need."

Geoffrey Johnson, a Naval Science Instructor at Western Heights Public High School in Oklahoma City once again brought a group of students to patrol the roadsides as a Junior ROTC activity. They gathered several bags of refuse on the North side of the Center. Bryan Dahlvang, LitterBlitz coordinator for MMAC said, "The students were a tremendous help. It is uplifting to see young people who care about the community, who aspire to serve our country. Many thanks to Mr. Johnson for his leadership and dedication!"

Jo Jones, an Instructional Systems Specialist from the FAA Academy (AMA-023) drove nearly one hundred miles to participate in LitterBlitz. She enjoyed the experience and said, "Since we have been team building ’virtually’ the last couple of years, I felt it was a perfect opportunity to come together and clean up a little, taking pride in our workplace, community and state."

James Arnold from AJF-100 had this to say, "I thought it was a good opportunity for camaraderie and to make the area around MMAC look a little bit nicer." His advice to others for taking part was, "If you can get a group together, that definitely makes it more fun."

Thanh-Loan Nguyen enjoys the exercise while picking up litter
Craig Fishbein clears the area of debris
Fruits of the volunteers’ labor; over 40 full bags of roadside trash are piled in a centralized location for the City to pick up

Picking up trash improves the quality of life and civic pride, promotes economic development, and saves tax-payer dollars. The presence of litter in a community has been proven to decrease property values by 7%. Thanks to the volunteers who took time to get up early on a Saturday and scout the roadsides, over 40 bags of trash were collected for Oklahoma City to pick up from a single location.

More information about LitterBlitz, or to connect with Oklahoma City Beautiful

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