USAG BENELUX-BRUNSSUM, Netherlands – Community members across U.S. Army Garrison Benelux gathered to tidy up their on-post environments as part of area beautification April 29, 2022.
The morning was dedicated to personal workspaces, when employees could use their time to clean out storage closets, remove old furniture, design a more welcoming front door, change office signage, or update command boards.
After lunch, the community as a whole was invited to participate in installation-wide clean-up and improvements.
The Directorate of Public Works brought the supplies, and volunteers came to participate. Community members joined the activities with lawnmowers, power washers, paint brushes, garbage bags, and more while contributing to the effort of beautification. At USAG Benelux-Brunssum, a volunteer offered to plant tulips and other plants around the post to add visual appeal.
Simply collecting and disposing of stray trash can add to the enjoyment of an installation.
“With the heavy winds, everything blows away and gets stuck in the fence,” said Stephanus Odekerken, Facility Manager, USAG Benelux – Brunssum Directorate of Public Works (DPW), referring to the SORT Center behind the headquarters building.
Area beautification expands beyond one day. The concept is for beautification to be a monthly effort in which all units and organizations conduct clean-up activities in designated areas of their offices, buildings and work and parking areas. The end state, according to the operation order, is to improve the area through “aesthetically pleasing outdoor areas and workspaces that are more comfortable.”
“This has been a new initiative,” said Stacy Perez, director of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation.
She explained that the beautification idea began only one and a half years ago. Improvements that have already begun or are complete across the garrison include moving buildings, road works, painting the fitness center, and renovating interior spaces such as the post office and shoppette. Outside, flowers enhance curb-appeal and benches, and basketball courts allow for community members to relax, play a game, and enjoy the sun.
“I’ve seen the entire Benelux transform,” she said. “We are looking to the future, that what we do today can impact Soldiers and Families five to 10 years from now.”
Perez highlighted the Interactive Customer Evaluation (ICE) form online where community members can submit their ideas and input about additions and improvements on their installations. The goal is to be a community of choice—that people “want to be here … and want to live here.”
“It takes times to secure plans and resources,” she said.