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179 AW Earth Day

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Joe Harwood
  • 179th Airlift Wing Public Affairs
The 179th Airlift Wing and 200th RED HORSE Det. 1, Mansfield, OH, came together for the annual Earth Day celebration, May, 2015. This marks the 16th year that the 179th has participated in the event and the fourth that the 200th has been involved. The partnership allows for more community involvement, with our airmen teaming up this year with the North End Community Improvement Collaborative (NECIC) to perform neighborhood clean ups. NECIC is committed to improving the quality of life for those living in Mansfield's north end community

Second Lt. Drew Dentinger, Logistics Readiness Officer, coordinated this year's event for the 179th Airlift Wing. Earth Day is a great way to give back to the local community. The 179th AW goes to local schools throughout Richland County to help educate local students about earth stewardship and restore school grounds after long hard winters.

For the past several years, the 179th AW and 200 RHS have assisted the NECIC in repurposing un-used land, dilapidated housing and community spaces into gardens, parks and community tool sheds. NECIC has created a North End Elder Program, which is dedicated to those over sixty, who meet on the 2nd and 4th Tuesday every month at The United Steel Workers Local No. 169 Union Hall at 376 W. Longview Avenue. Housing remains a chief concern of North End residents, and as funding allows, the NECIC is working to match funds to address health and safety issues, deferred maintenance and exterior improvements for eligible residents. The group monitors the number of boarded and vacant houses with a goal to expand affordable housing options through the creation and/or preservation of new and existing housing in the North End. Free Financial Literacy classes are being offered as well to educate residents to better prepare for future financial success.
The NECIC is a hub of information and resources.  The 179th AW and 200th RHS partner with the program to accomplish what would take volunteers an entire month to do and complete it in one day. This helps provide community with gardens and helps educates for the community on an economical way to grow produce, then harvest and disperse quality food."

The airmen assembled at locations like The New Beginning Baptist Church, Children's Cupboard Outreach and the Harmony House to create gardens from bare lots with rototillers, raking, mulching and planting.

In addition to the work with the NECIC, 179th members have traditionally volunteered to help clean up at local schools with the help of students. Discovery School, St. Peter's Catholic School, Madison schools, Malabar schools, and Eastview Elementary each had a team of airmen to clean up and teach the children about the importance of volunteer work and taking care of the earth. One team of airman cleaned up the Shelby Wetlands Pavilion area as well. The community graciously receives the airman every year and the unit looks forward to giving back to the earth and the community.