EVERETT, Wash. -- They spent months at sea in the pressure packed world of air traffic control on an aircraft carrier.

So how do they relax? By grabbing hand tools, boots and rain gear and heading into the bog.

A crew from the Air Traffic Unit from the USS Nimitz is wading through deep mud into the deep urban woods of southeast Everett. They are being instructed on how to pull and replant native plants that are in the path of a new walkway that will be built at the Northwest Stream Center.

The Adopt-A-Stream program is organizing the nature walkway that will take visitors into a classic northwest lowland wetland. The Navy crew is finding out with each step just how deep the mud gets in these sensitive areas. Each one has a story about getting stuck or falling in. But they keep coming back.

Air Controlman First Class Rick Williams said it s about giving back to the community that is home to the Nimitz and the crew. Crew member Rebecca Thrasher said after a long deployment at sea, it s great to be outdoors and surrounded by trees instead of seas.

For organizers of the project, having a team that knows how to take orders and carry them out in a coordinated effort, is helping the project get off the ground much more quickly than expected.

Related links:

Adopt-A-Stream Foundation

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