Volunteers take ownership of Memorial Lake

U.S. Air Force 2nd Lt. Stone Williford, 20th Civil Engineer Squadron real property specialist, removes dirt to level the ground at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Feb. 6, 2018.

U.S. Air Force 2nd Lt. Stone Williford, 20th Civil Engineer Squadron real property specialist, removes dirt to level the ground at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Feb. 6, 2018. Volunteers worked together and combined their various skills to rebuild the overflow bridge at Memorial Lake. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Destinee Sweeney)

U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Joseph Humphrey, 20th Civil Engineer Squadron (CES) deputy installation management flight commander, holds a piece of wood while Airman 1st Class Edward Balderas, 20th CES power production technician, tightens a bolt at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Feb. 6, 2018.

U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Joseph Humphrey, 20th Civil Engineer Squadron (CES) deputy installation management flight commander, holds a piece of wood while Airman 1st Class Edward Balderas, 20th CES power production technician, tightens a bolt at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Feb. 6, 2018. The two were part of a team which started rebuilding the overflow bridge at Memorial Lake, a recreational area and tribute to all Shaw Airmen who passed in combat. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Destinee Sweeney)

Volunteers work to restore the bridge at Memorial Lake at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Nov. 15, 2017.

Volunteers work to restore the bridge at Memorial Lake at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Nov. 15, 2017. Memorial Lake is a recreational area and tribute to fallen Team Shaw Airmen. Volunteers began working on repairs to the park in 2017 and have continued to improve structures to ensure the area remains safe for Team Shaw members to enjoy. (U.S. Air Force photo by Chief Master Sgt. Steven Mullens)

U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Alvin Yip, 20th Civil Engineer Squadron deputy officer in charge of requirements and optimization, measures a piece of wood in front of Memorial Lake at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Feb. 5, 2018.

U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Alvin Yip, 20th Civil Engineer Squadron deputy officer in charge of requirements and optimization, measures a piece of wood in front of Memorial Lake at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Feb. 5, 2018. Volunteers cleaned the park and rebuilt the bridge and gazebo at the lake, and are working to rebuild the overflow bridge. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Destinee Sweeney)

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jeremy Carnahan, 20th Civil Engineer Squadron (CES) pavements and equipment journeyman, left, and Airman Zackery Simmons, 20th CES structural apprentice, right, listen as Senior Airman Daniel Nava, 20th CES structures journeyman, explains what cuts they need to make to begin building a bridge at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Feb. 5, 2018.

U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Jeremy Carnahan, 20th Civil Engineer Squadron (CES) pavements and equipment journeyman, left, and Airman Zackery Simmons, 20th CES structural apprentice, right, listen as Senior Airman Daniel Nava, 20th CES structures journeyman, explains what cuts they need to make to begin building a bridge at Shaw Air Force Base, S.C., Feb. 5, 2018. The Airmen volunteered to rebuild the overflow bridge at Memorial Lake, which helps channel excess water into storm drains. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Destinee Sweeney)

SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. -- Team Shaw volunteers began reconstructing the overflow bridge at Memorial Lake at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, Feb. 5.

The bridge is part of a Memorial Lake beautification project which started in 2017 where volunteers took ownership of the center of Shaw to improve the park.

“Phase I was cleaning up the lake, phase II was to renovate the bridge and the gazebo next to it, and phase III is to finish the overflow bridge and remove the old benches,” said 1st Lt. Alvin Yip, 20th Civil Engineer Squadron deputy officer in charge of requirements and optimization. “Memorial Lake is the geographical center of the base. It’s also a focal point of the base (for the community).”

The overflow bridge helps channel excess water and prevent flooding during torrential rain.

“When the water gets way too high it flows through the canal and into the drains,” said Yip. “Then those drains run into the main water drains that run throughout base which carry the water out.”

The volunteers used their varied woodworking expertise and joined together to determine how to build the new bridge after demolishing the old. The volunteers also began removing old park benches.

“(Projects like these) definitely help people to take ownership,” said 2nd Lt. Stone Williford, 20th Civil Engineer Squadron real property specialist and volunteer. “They all feel like they did something here and left their footprint on the base.”

Memorial Lake is home to the Shaw Fallen Airmen Memorial as well as a recreational location for Team Shaw members to enjoy. The overflow bridge construction is expected to be complete Feb. 13.