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    Down to Earth:Ford Sailors volunteer at Hoffler Creek Wildlife Preserve

    COMREL Hoffler Creek Wildlife Preserve

    Photo By Petty Officer 2nd Class Cathrine Yanez | PORTSMOUTH, Va. (Oct. 26, 2018) Sailors assigned to USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN 78) pose...... read more read more

    “It was a great experience and a lot of fun,” said Aviation Boatswain’s Mate Airman Hannah Blend, from Albuquerque, New Mexico. “I like nature so it was nice to be outside volunteering knowing that I was doing my part in helping preserve wildlife.”

    Volunteering at Hoffler Creek began back in 2015 for Ford Sailors when Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Ceroma Love, from Virginia Beach, Virginia, stepped up and became Ford’s Hoffler Creek COMREL team lead.

    “When I got to the command I wanted to volunteer in the community, but I wanted to volunteer with something I would enjoy,” said Love. “I love nature and wildlife so I googled local preserves and found Hoffler Creek. A phone call later I had myself and a team onsite that Spring.”

    According to Hoffler Creek’s website, their mission is to conserve the last parcel of wilderness in the Hoffler Creek Watershed for environmental education, research, and recreation consistent with good stewardship. Volunteers help ensure that mission stays on track while learning about the preserve’s history.

    “Every time I bring a group, James Bussey, Hoffler Creek’s executive director, gives a history lesson about the preserve,” said Love. “We then get the chance to do things you normally don’t do with other volunteer work, such as pulling out invasive plant life, chop wood, cut down fences, spread mulch and sometimes even go out to clear the trails.”

    Angela Taylor, Hoffler Creek’s media director, is a new addition to the Hoffler Creek staff. Being a prior Navy command ombudsman, Taylor said she had the training and experience to be an advocate for their foundation and is using social media to reach out to more people about the preserve.

    “I think having a social media presence is absolutely essential for Hoffler Creek and quite frankly in 2018 I don’t believe any organization should be without it,” said Taylor. “Social media helps establish a sense of trust. We are able to ‘show proof’ that we are keeping our promises to our supporters and are staying true to our mission.”

    Taylor said that working at Hoffler Creek also provides her a way of recharging and reconnecting back to the earth.

    “In our busy lives it is easy for the quieter things to get pushed out of the way,” said Taylor. “I like volunteering here because it allows me to be still, to learn, to protect our local history, and to feel like I am part of something important, and that we will continue to make an impact for generations to come.”

    The opportunities for volunteering in the local community are plenty and there is never a shortage of foundations asking for help.

    “I urge all those in the military to find a volunteer service you truly enjoy doing and stick with it,” said Love. “They love our positive attitudes and willingness to help however we can, whether it’s with kids, the elderly, or with nature. Through Hoffler Creek, we have three years of continuous impact on our local community and they are grateful every single time we walk through that door.”

    To find out more information on upcoming community relations volunteer opportunities, please contact your Command COMREL Committee.



    Date Taken: 10.29.2018
    Date Posted: 10.29.2018 14:11
    Story ID: 298071
    Location: US

    Web Views: 324
    Downloads: 0