FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. (May 12, 2011) -- More than 40 people throughout the Fort Meade community came together Saturday afternoon to help clean up the installation.
For a third consecutive year, the Enlisted Spouses Club sponsored Fort Meade Cleanup Day in an effort to give back to the community.

"Barbie Caluder, one of our members, started the event two years ago," said Brittany Moore, 1st vice president. "She had a big passion for the environment and recycling, so it's something we adopted."

Girl Scouts from Fort Meade Troop 1364, Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts from Fort Meade Pack 377 spent the early afternoon cleaning the grounds and water's edge of Burba Lake.

The youths, who wore plastic gloves, found paper plates, plastic knives and forks, Styrofoam cups and even empty beer bottles.

Girl Scout Willmary Anderson, 12, said living at Fort Meade would be better if more people would help keep the installation clean.

"It's important for them to help take care of the environment," said Kathy Elmore, a Girl Scout leader who lives in Midway Commons. "It's their future and they've got to help to take care of it."

Belton Moody, 11, a home-schooled student with a brother in the Boy Scouts, said she wanted to help clean Burba Lake to protect its wildlife.

"If the geese and ducks eat this stuff, they can die," said Belton, who found cigarette butts near the parking lot.

But Jordan Smith, 13, also a home-schooled student whose brother is a Boy Scout, said the cleanup wasn't all about work.

"It's just fun. ... It's a good outlet," she said.

Talya Effler and her husband Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Michael Effler of the Naval Information Operations Command-24th Division, spent the afternoon cleaning the woods behind the Meuse Forest Neighborhood Center.

"It's just sad," said Talya Effler, a Meuse Forest resident.

The couple found paper plates, plastic milk cartons, soda cans, beer bottles, baby pacifiers and even soiled baby diapers.

"We knew we would find some garbage here," she said. "It's pretty intense."

A handful of Soldiers from various units helped to collect about 60 bags of trash. The trash, which also included recyclables, was collected by Fort Meade's Environmental Management Division.

At the end of the three-hour event, a grand prize for the most trash collected went to the Efflers. The couple won a night's stay at a hotel near Arundel Mills.

West Meade Elementary School won a $300 Go-To-Green grant from ESC for having the most people participate in the cleanup. Eleven West Meade students came out for the event. Moore said the grant can be used by the school to purchase books and videos about the environment.

Although this year's turnout was less than last year, the club considers the event to be a success.

"The ultimate goal was to get out and clean up," Moore said.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16