Navy officers help out at Arboretum

Published 7:00 am Saturday, April 28, 2018

A dozen employees from the Naval Oceanography office at Stennis Space Center donated time Thursday to help with two projects at the Crosby Arboretum in Picayune.

Petty Officer Caitlin Tindell said every month the employees at Stennis find a location where they can volunteer. The visit to the Arboretum was part of the office’s monthly outreach program for the month of April.

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Terry Johnson, building and grounds superintendent at the Arboretum, said work is underway to construct a bridge for the Gum Pond exhibit.

Volunteers helped clear out vegetation and remove trees and branches to prepare the trails in anticipation for that construction.

Depending on the weather, construction of the bridge is expected to be complete by mid July, he said.

Johnson said volunteers also helped restore the greenhouse.

The metal used for construction of the greenhouse was stripped and replaced with wood and plastic. The work will include a new sprinkler system installed in the greenhouse that will enable Master Gardeners to conduct horticulture work within the facility, he said.

He said the improvements will not only allow gardeners to grow native plants, but will also provide them with an opportunity to sell them.

Each month the enlisted men and women engage in a community project that helps them to build their camaraderie, conduct training and also strengthen their leadership skills, Tindell said.

Johnson said it helps them work on their team building skills because most of the time they are alone when deployed.

“I enjoy their help, they are strong young individuals who are hardworking and our projects benefit from their work,” Johnson said.