Local sailors spruce up Wildcat Lake Park

More than 50 sailors from the Strategic Weapons Facility, Pacific clean up winter debris from Kitsap County
More than 50 sailors from the Strategic Weapons Facility, Pacific clean up winter debris from Kitsap County's Wildcat Lake May 8. The command's sailors have adopted the park for up to five cleanups throughout the calendar year.
— image credit: Photo by Fred Miles Watson

Sailors from the Strategic Weapons Facility, Pacific (SWFPAC) broke from their work routine Friday morning, May 8, and grabbed rakes, brooms and shovels to spruce up Kitsap County's Wildcat Lake Park.

Working in conjunction with Kitsap County Parks and Recreation, more than 50 sailors joined together for the half-day spring cleanup, according to Missile Technician 2nd Class (SS) James Naismith, SWFPAC's volunteer coordinator.

"This is our first time in cleaning up Wildcat Lake. I was the Adopt-a-Highway coordinator on my last boat and so I decided why not bring the idea to shore duty? So, I thought it would be a good community service project and we have a pretty nice turnout," Naismith said. "Today we are picking up trash, racking leaves and needles and debris removal, weeding. The county maintains the park, but it's only open six months of the year, so we are doing the spring cleanup and we will do it a couple of more times before the fall and then come back and clean up a couple of times in the winter as well."

A couple of sailors also were in a small boat, trolling along the lake's shoreline searching for and retrieving debris. And while the sailors weren't whistling while they worked, the conversation turned to friendly trash talking and not about the trash in the park, but rather who got what or didn't in the recent NFL Draft and NFL Free Agency moves, which was followed by friendly debate on what teams would rule the gridiron this fall.

Kitsap County Parks and Recreation provided SWFPAC sailors with rakes, shovels and other tools, while a county park employee brought around a trailer and front loader tractor for the larger piles of branches and debris collection.

Naismith, a native of San Diego, said the turnout and effort was impressive.

"It shows that we care and that the community cares. It's a tangible difference and everyone appreciates the effort," he said.

As the spring cleanup winded down, bags of charcoal, hot dogs, burgers, buns and chips were being carried to a nearby barbecue stand for a traditional after-the-work-party barbecue while footballs and soccer balls started zinging around in a nearby open field at the entrance to the park.

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