By Cathy Hamilton-Wissmer, Joint Base Lewis-McChord Directorate of Public WorksAugust 9, 2019
JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. -- McChord Field's Memorial Grove recently received some tender loving care recently thanks a power of volunteers wanting to give back to the community.
The professional groundskeepers from the Professional Grounds Management Society's Northwest Chapter and Better Opportunities for Single Service members collaborated and made a difference with a cleanup day at Memorial Grove. The National Professional Grounds Management Society provides a cleanup effort annually at Arlington National Cemetery, but the local chapter wanted to do the same for their military community with this event.
"Remembering the past, honoring the present and building respectable future" is the vision for the beautiful 3-acre site. Memorial Grove is where tribute is paid to those who have come before and to those who continue to give service to their country today. This site is maintained by volunteer members of the local community and Joint Base Lewis-McChord.
"This is a park that needed some help, and we are happy to be here," said Joe Kovolyan, University of Puget Sound, facilities manager and PGMS chairman. "I attended the Sustainability Summit at Eagles Pride Golf Course in 2018 and really enjoyed it. It gave me a chance to see what the installation has going on."
Kevin Martin, Martin Landscape and PGMS member, donated plants to fill in the plant and flower bed -- a mix of sedum, salvia, nandina, Mount Vernon laurel and dwarf barberry.
JBLM's BOSS volunteers came ready to work and got their hands dirty right away, first digging out the old weeds then planting and watering.
Sergeant Dawson Nauglesuchman, 13th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion, 593rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command, didn't mind being in charge of the hose, stretching it as far as it could go to water the plants. He said he enjoys all that BOSS has to offer.
"JBLM has the best BOSS program I've seen," he said. "It's been a great time. I've seen a lot of the community, helped people out and had fun volunteering. It's way better than sitting around the barracks."
Bill Boggs, one of the volunteers, said this event gave him an opportunity to honor his father's Air Force service. His father served in the Air Force from 1943 to 1944, flying B-26 and B-17 missions out of North Africa and then Italy.
"Volunteering is an opportunity to give back in his memory," Boggs said.