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Volunteers join GAFB, KSAB for cleanup along the Concho River

Volunteers met Saturday morning at Santa Fe Park where they were provided masks, gloves, bags and grabbers then divided into small groups.
Credit: Marlen Trevino

SAN ANGELO, Texas — The Navy and Coast Guard detachments at Goodfellow Air Force Base joined Keep San Angelo Beautiful and volunteers Saturday morning in cleaning along the Concho River.

Volunteers met Saturday morning at Santa Fe Park, south of US Highway 67, where they were provided with masks, gloves, grabbers and bags before being divided into groups

The purpose of the event was to get Good Fellow AFB  Navy and Coast Guard detachments more involved in the community, according to Peter Ingeman, Intelligence Specialist Chief said.

"We organize these community relations events and we brought out some sailors to give back to the City of San Angelo because they are gracious enough to host our military base and look out for our sailors and we want to give back," Ingeman said. "The Concho River is very beautiful, and it deserves to be kept clean."

Keep San Angelo Beautiful assisted the Navy detachment in organizing the event and spreading the word. "We've had a good response this morning. I think we’ve had maybe about 17 people show up," Charlotte Anderson, executive director, said.

"A lot of these people are just citizens in the community, the navy group, the president of the chamber is here, Laura Lewis from Sen. Perry’s and we’re here to clean up along the river," Anderson said.

The cleanup pop event is much smaller compared to KSAB's fall sweep which draws hundreds of people and covers more areas.

"For a pop up clean up, it’s a short notice not intended to draw a big crowd because we are definitely trying to be COVID friendly and respect the guidelines from the City of groups of less than 10," Anderson said

Volunteers were divided into groups of less than 10 people and went in opposite directions of the river as they cleaned. At the end of the pop-up, the items collected will be taken to a recycling center to be sorted and determine which items can be recycled.

Steven Baptiste and his wife, Christina, were among the volunteers Saturday.  "I found out about the event on Facebook, and then I let him know because we like volunteering," Christina Baptiste said. 

Saturday's event was not Steven Baptiste's first time volunteering. "I’m in the military so I have done it a couple of times throughout different places I have been stationed at but definitely love doing it," he said.

People should what they can to help make a place more inhabitable and more beautiful, according to Steven Baptiste. " I think it’s always a good thing to come out and help out with nature if we ever can," he said.

Most of KSAB's events, including Saturday's cleanup pop-up, are family-friendly and have no age or physical requirements, according to Anderson.

Saturday's event was the first time the Navy organized this type of event. "We have soup kitchens, we do things at the memorial cemetery, Ingeman said.

Ingemans said he hopes the cleanup will be a recurring event and that he hopes to provide volunteers for it.

For more information on Keep San Angelo Beautiful visit, cosatx.us

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