John Stokke

John Stokke, a Vietnam veteran and retired IBM engineer, moved to Gaithersburg in 1995 and soon discovered Malcolm King Park when walking about the neighborhood. John was struck by the beauty of this Park – and the trash. The park is fully wooded with a great paved trail in the midst of many apartments and townhouses, so it is a perfect party zone. Every day he hauls home a big yellow bag ¼ to ½ full of cans and plastic bottles while dumping glass bottles and assorted trash in the containers along the path. After each large rain he fills the yellow bag each day as he cleans segments of the stream. “I get satisfaction in leaving the park looking beautiful,” John says. John started to pick up trash “as I walked because its presence made me angry, but after a bit it became good exercise and proved a feeling of doing good.” Last year John, at age 70, worked in the Park seven days a week, singlehandedly picking up trash and litter, for an approximate total 1,080 hours. Over a 19 year period, his contribution multiples to 20,000+ hours! That’s an enormous contribution to maintaining the health and beauty of the Park for all of us to enjoy.