Spring into action: MWR and Environmental team up to offer volunteer opportunities for associates

By Dana Thornbury DLA Land and Maritime Public Affairs

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Defense Logistics Agency Land and Maritime associates looking to take a more active, hands-on role in improving the environment are now able to make an impact on the installation.

DLA Installation Operations at Columbus Morale, Welfare and Recreation Division and Environmental Division volunteer opportunities include the Butterfly Club, Bluebird Box Team and the CDC Garden Team.

The Butterfly Club will meet near the MWR Eagle Eye Golf Course and assist in counting the butterfly population during pre-arranged events and ensure the habitat remains in optimum condition through weeding, planting and adding puddlers on DSCC. Puddlers are shallow puddles designed as a drinking source for butterflies.

“This club is important as pollinators are declining due to habitat loss and overuse of pesticides,” Environmental Specialist Nicole Goicochea said. “Monarch butterfly populations are only 10 percent of their 1990s populations. The Rusty Patch Bumble Bee and the Regal Fritillary are both endangered pollinators that once inhabited Franklin County.”

The Bluebird Box Team will be responsible for checking the boxes located around the MWR Eagle Eye Golf Course for intruders such as house sparrows and to help clean out the boxes at the end of the nesting season.

“Bluebirds are threatened by loss of nesting habitat,” Goicochea said. “The Environmental Division is working with MWR and the US Fish and Wildlife Service to place Bluebird boxes on the Golf Course to supplement nesting sites.

The CDC Garden Team will provide support by weeding and helping maintain the MWR Child Development Center sensory gardens. Each year, the children in the Kindergarten Preparatory classrooms plant a full sensory garden to include vegetables and plants. Throughout the year, the children are provided educational lessons around the garden and help with the upkeep, but they could use assistance.

Associates interested in assisting with MWR and Environmental projects such as the Butterfly Club, Bluebird Box Team, the CDC Garden Team or general interest can register online and select the appropriate categories. DLA associates may choose to use Wellness Program time to support the Eco-Helpers initiative.