Noble Research Institute employees Casey Smith, Jordan Rosen and Kenneth Cockrell, along with Rusty Noble and Cody Noble (directors of the Noble Foundation, the governing body of the Institute), took part of the self-quarantine time to give back to the local community by cleaning up the Ardmore Downtown Executive Airport.
The group’s initial idea was to clear brush from a fence line so that already scheduled repairs to the fence, which keeps wildlife off the runway, could be more easily made. But the further the volunteers got into the project, the more they realized they could do. With the help of local pilots Darrell Mink, Johnene Smith, Ben Smith, Gary Thompson and Landry Thompson, they also finished the fence repair job and cleared brush that, over time, had created hazards for airplanes operating from the airport.
In 20 days, from April to May, the group spent a collective 605 hours clearing approximately 32.5 acres inside the airport fence and 37.5 acres outside, in addition to clean up and repairs made to 2.5 miles of 8-foot fence that runs the perimeter of the airport.
“We’re not quite finished yet either,” says Casey Smith, who adds that their next step is removing rock from some of the cleared areas. “During the time of social distancing, it became clear that this would be a good way to give back to the local community while staying safe at the same time.”