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Fort Hood Celebrates Our Environment at Earth Fest 2012

story by Randy Henry

Every year the commander at Fort Hood, Texas, highlights the environment by welcoming students and teachers from several communities around the military post to learn about the earth and its natural resources.

This year, Col. Mark Freitag, Fort Hood garrison commander, celebrated a combined Earth Day and Arbor Day while hosting more than 1,100 students and teachers from several area independent school districts (ISD) and 35 exhibitors at Earth Fest 2012.

"The beauty of this celebration is it focuses on the Earth, tree planting for Arbor Day, and our children," said Col. Freitag.

The USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) provided information and handouts for the attendees about Backyard Conservation, water resources in their hometown, water quality, and the importance of pollinators. The NRCS table was visited by educators from seven ISDs, and many students asked questions about the water in their communities and the quality of the drinking water.

"This year's Earth Fest was a great opportunity for children in school to get involved with earth sciences," said Christine Luciano, Environmental Outreach Coordinator for Directorate of Public Works Environmental at Fort Hood.

The exhibitors had many interactive displays targeting recycling, renewable energy resources, endangered species, natural resources, water conservation, and other environmental topics.

At the NRCS table, teachers were given the new NRCS water cycle poster and all the students walked away with a Sammy Soil coloring book and smiles on their faces.

Large Student Groups Teacher with Bat and Students

During Earth Fest 2012 at Fort Hood, Texas, on April 27 many students gathered around exhibitor's tables in large groups to get information about the earth and its natural resources.

Wearing a protective glove, a science teacher explains to a group of students how a bat will sleep during daylight hours in a bat house around their school conservation area.

Water Code Police Ft Hood Air Quality

As important as water conservation has become in communities surrounding Fort Hood and throughout Texas, the city of Killeen Code Enforcement officer shows students and teachers how to conserve more water and the penalties for non-compliance with water codes in their areas.

Students were eager to answer challenging questions at many exhibitor's tables, such as this one for improving air quality on Fort Hood.