• Regina Kranz, an energy manager with U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach's Directorate of Public Works, demonstrates the energy capacity of solar energy to German students of Volksschule Burgbernheim at USAG Ansbach's Earth Day event at Franken Kaserne April 23.

    Solar power

    Regina Kranz, an energy manager with U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach's Directorate of Public Works, demonstrates the energy capacity of solar energy to German students of Volksschule Burgbernheim at USAG Ansbach's Earth Day event at Franken Kaserne April 23.

  • Jessica Gawron, who works with Directorate of Public Works - Environmental Management Division, gives students of Roger Saunders', back left, fifth grade Ansbach Elementary School class a blind taste test of different foods at U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach's Earth Day event at Franken Kaserne April 23.

    Taste test

    Jessica Gawron, who works with Directorate of Public Works - Environmental Management Division, gives students of Roger Saunders', back left, fifth grade Ansbach Elementary School class a blind taste test of different foods at U.S. Army Garrison...

  • Col. Kelly J. Lawler, U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach commander, talks to students about their time at Franken Kaserne learning about the environment April 23 during the garrison's celebration of Earth Day.

    Earth Day

    Col. Kelly J. Lawler, U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach commander, talks to students about their time at Franken Kaserne learning about the environment April 23 during the garrison's celebration of Earth Day.

  • Matthias Ruehl blows smoke over a colony of bees to keep them calm as he demonstrates the art of beekeeping at U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach's Earth Day event April 23 at Franken Kaserne.

    Beekeeping

    Matthias Ruehl blows smoke over a colony of bees to keep them calm as he demonstrates the art of beekeeping at U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach's Earth Day event April 23 at Franken Kaserne.

  • Matthias Ruehl, beekeeper points out different aspects of a hive to U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach elementary school classes as part of the garrison's Earth Day activities April 23 at Franken Kaserne.

    Beekeeping

    Matthias Ruehl, beekeeper points out different aspects of a hive to U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach elementary school classes as part of the garrison's Earth Day activities April 23 at Franken Kaserne.

  • Students from Volksschule Burgbernheim look in on an aquarium set up by Wasserwirtschaftsamt Ansbach at Franken Kaserne as part of U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach's Earth Day activities April 23 at Franken Kaserne.

    Water quality

    Students from Volksschule Burgbernheim look in on an aquarium set up by Wasserwirtschaftsamt Ansbach at Franken Kaserne as part of U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach's Earth Day activities April 23 at Franken Kaserne.

  • Christina Korschinek, a biological engineer with Wasserwirtschaftsamt Ansbach, shows Volksschule Burgbernheim students the type of animals that live in the water during USAG Ansbach's Earth Day event at Franken Kaserne April 23.

    Water quality

    Christina Korschinek, a biological engineer with Wasserwirtschaftsamt Ansbach, shows Volksschule Burgbernheim students the type of animals that live in the water during USAG Ansbach's Earth Day event at Franken Kaserne April 23.

ANSBACH, Germany (April 26, 2013) -- The planet Earth has 510,072,000 square kilometers of surface area. It weighs 5,973,600,000,000,000,000,000,000 kilograms. From a human scale, this is extremely large. From a cosmic scale, however, this is incredibly small. Earth's mass comprises roughly three millionths of the mass of the solar system. The solar system is one of hundreds of millions in this galaxy, which is one of an estimated half trillion galaxies in the known universe. And though our scope of the universe is constantly changing -- and new extrasolar planets constantly being discovered -- there is only one planet known for certain to be capable of sustaining life, and that is this planet, Earth.

To celebrate Earth Day and raise awareness of school children to several environmental issues, U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach hosted Earth Day April 23 at Franken Kaserne. Fifth-grade students from all USAG Ansbach elementary schools, as well as students from Volksschule Burgbernheim, which serves the communities of Burgbernheim, Gallmersgarten, Illesheim and Marktbergel, attended the event.

"There are a lot of environmental problems we are facing: climate change, water scarcity, energy problems," said Jasmina Wirsich, a contractor working with USAG Ansbach Directorate of Public Works' Environmental Management Division. "This is the younger generation, and they have to deal with those issues more than we do probably, and that's why we want to raise their consciousness on those issues and why the soil is important and why we depend on the water."

Several stations were set up in a small area, allowing students a chance to learn about forestry, recycling, soil strata, water quality, nutrition, beekeeping, fire safety, alternative energy and more.

"Every station had its own twist," said Trinidad Rodriguez, a father and chaperone at the event. "[It was] very informative."

"My favorite was the bee station because we just talked about bees and pollination," said Roger Saunders, who teaches the fourth and fifth grade multi-age class at Ansbach Elementary School. "Their favorite was tasting the food."

The city of Ansbach was on hand to help out during the event. Representatives from the water department from the city demonstrated the importance of water purity out.

"Water is a precious thing we have to clean," said Christina Korschinek, a biological engineer with Wasserwirtschaftsamt Ansbach. "We need water for life and for living."

"They're having fun and learning a lot at the same time," said Saunders of his class. "These kids are going to grow up and be adults, so we want to teach them about recycling, teach them about alternative energy resources, so that we can use the environment and use our resources in an effective and productive way."

The USAG Ansbach command team also attended the event and appraised the value of teaching the children about taking care of the environment.

"The students are our future, and we want them to be good stewards of the environment, preserving what is going to be left for them," said Command Sgt. Maj. Leeford C. Cain, USAG Ansbach command sergeant major. "The reason to do Earth Day is to continue to educate our youngsters on the importance of making sure the environment is good for future generations."

"We're constrained in resources -- not only fiscal but our environmental resources -- and our children being our future, the more that they understand that nothing is unlimited in supply, the better," said Col. Kelly J. Lawler, commander of U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach. "With both our German partners and our American students, we think this is a great event to ensure everyone understands that."

Page last updated Fri April 26th, 2013 at 08:24