Navy helps out around Arboretum
Published 7:00 am Saturday, May 9, 2015
Friday, about 18 of the Navy’s Aerographer’s Mate First Class and Chief Petty officers rolled up their sleeves to complete housekeeping projects at the Crosby Arboretum in Picayune.
The officers are stationed at nearby John C. Stennis Space Center in Hancock County.
First Class Petty Officer Jonathan Salgado said their group enjoys giving back to the community.
“We are some of the Navy’s meteorologists and oceanographers,” Salgado said. “And we find it important to give back to nature. From volunteering with special needs children to conserving the environment, it feels good to give back.”
This is the second year the group has returned to the Arboretum to help with restoration and organization efforts, First Class Petty Officer Kirk Hying said.
“There are sailors and citizens who work in the area and visit the Arboretum quite often,” Hying said. “Today, we cut out roots in the trails, pruned trees, prepped some of the exhibits for painting and bundled shingles.”
At Stennis Space Center, the naval officers work in hydrography, where they construct navigation charts for military and civilian use, Hying said. They also work for the anti-submarine warfare center, where they analyze the ocean and give recommendations to war fighters through asset placement.
Chief Petty Officer Kevin Heisler said the first class officers will one day become chiefs and this training emphasizes the importance of giving back to one’s community when possible.
Crosby Arboretum Superintendent of Building and Grounds Terry Johnson said in preparation for Friday’s efforts, he marked the roots on trails, rented the stump grinder and gathered the necessary equipment.
“This helps me with long-term teamwork projects that I can’t get to on my own,” Johnson said.
Crosby Arboretum Director Patricia Drackett said it’s incredible to have help like this.
“Without the help of crews like this, we couldn’t get it done,” Drackett said.
The Crosby Arboretum is located at 370 Ridge Road. The Arboretum is open Wednesday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, contact arboretum staff at 601-799-2311 and visit the website at www.crosbyarboretum.msstate.edu.