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Going Green and Embracing the Environment at Earth Fest 2010

Story by Randy Henry

The message was clear as clean water, make everyday Earth Day while going green and embrace our environment, and that's what nearly 1000 students, 70 teachers, and dozens of families did at Earth Fest 2010 on April 23rd in Fort Hood, Texas.

Under the big top tent at Fort Hood Stadium, Earth Fest 2010 had 4th and 5th graders from Killeen, Nolanville, Temple, Buckholts, and Fort Hood independent school districts learning about our environment with many of the exhibitors focusing on water conservation, conserving the Earth's natural resources, and helping the environment every day.

"Make every day Earth Day because environmental responsibility is not a one-day event," said Christine Luciano, outreach coordinator for DPW Environmental at Fort Hood.

More than 35 exhibitors featured topics such as recycling, endangered species, renewable energy, water conservation, planetary movements, and our planet's environmental concerns. Earth Fest 2010 emphasized environmental stewardship and conservation awareness on Fort Hood, along with all of its surrounding communities.

At the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service's table, the students and teachers enjoyed presentations about water conservation using Sammy Soil coloring books, For the Good of the People Fun Facts, Your Hometown Clean Water Tour, and Backyard Conservation handbooks.

Plus, to show off our planet's fauna, Zoomagination, a San Antonio-based entertainment group, gave live-animal performances to hundreds of students that included a two-toed sloth, a wallaby, a breaded dragon, a Ball Python, and various parrots and birds.

"Earth Fest on Fort Hood is about educating the community on how they can make small changes in their daily routines to benefit the environment and celebrate our planet while still going green," Luciano said.

Locally, several companies and organizations showed their concerns toward solutions for a better environment while being eco-friendly within the communities that are growing around Fort Hood.

"Showing the young students what water quality really means is very important to our environment, both locally and statewide," said Kenneth Schoen, president of the Lake Stillhouse Clean Water Committee. "Water contamination increases every year with the population growth, so we must increase our environmental awareness toward a solution for better water quality."

Annually, Earth Fest is the largest outreach effort for the Fort Hood Environmental Division, and it gets the word out that it's great to be going green in the Army and the environment.

"Fort Hood is contributing to environmental sustainability by cutting down on energy usage and recycling," said Steve Burrow, chief of environmental programs at Fort Hood.

Burrow added it takes about $1.3 million to fund recycling at Fort Hood each year, and part of that goes to help support environmental events like Earth Fest 2010.

Christine Luciano

Earth Fest Sand Sculpture

With going green environmentally and personally, Christine Luciano, outreach coordinator for DPW Environmental at Fort Hood, shows her green hair while talking with one of many reporters covering Earth Fest 2010. The environmental event was held on April 23rd at Fort Hood, Texas.

As creative exhibitors displayed environmental outreach for nearly 1,000 students attending Earth Fest 2010 at Fort Hood on April 23rd, some exhibits just said it all such as this sand sculpture with one pair of hands around the Earth.

Kenneth Schoen Sea of Students

Using an Enviroscape display to show students, teachers, and families attending Earth Fest 2010 at Fort Hood what pollutants and contamination does to their water quality, Kenneth Schoen, president of the Lake Stillhouse Clean Water Committee, educates hundreds of students from the local independent school districts every year.

These students were mesmerized during live-animal performances by San Antonio's Zoomagination while visiting Earth Fest 2010 at Fort Hood on April 23rd and saw rare and endangered animals up close and personal.

Zoomagination shows an African Pygmy Hedgehog Zoomagination shows a Ball Python

Pico, an African Pygmy Hedgehog, is held by Jennie Trejo, Zoomagination animal trainer from San Antonio, as students in the front row get a close look at this amazing rare animal.

Four students volunteered to close their eyes on stage, and when they opened them this 7-foot Ball Python named Bikram was in their hands. Zoomagination showed many rare and endangered species to the nearly 1,000 students during two performances at Earth Fest 2010 held on April 23rd at Fort Hood, Texas.