FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. - Earth Day, April 22, came to Fort Meade early this year.

Fort Meade held its annual Earth Day festivities Thursday afternoon, April 14, at Burba Park. The free event was held throughout the park and featured informational booths, games, and activities for all ages.

"It's primarily both a celebration and a time to educate ourselves on what's important in terms of preserving the resources that we've been blessed with," said Mick Butler, chief of the installation's Environmental Management Division at the Directorate of Public Works.

The event began with an opening ceremony held at the lake. Installation Commander Col. Daniel L. Thomas, organizers from the Environmental Management Division and representatives from local government officials and agencies attended the ceremony.

After remarks from Thomas and introductions to the day's activities, the attendees participated in events ranging from a tree planting to a tug-of-war.

Information at the booths featured energy efficient light bulbs, shower heads, environmentally friendly lubricants and news about commuter options. An exhibit on hybrid and electric cars featured an electric vehicle in which attendees could ride.

University of Maryland College Park technicians conducted free, 26-point vehicle inspections. They also held a "dirty sock contest," in which a sock was attached to the vehicle's exhaust pipe, the amount of dirt on the sock determining the emissions cleanliness of the vehicle.

"Had I known it was this expansive, I would have brought my family," said Maj. Marcus Buckner of First Army Division East "This is really nice."

Maj. Michael Sabb of First Army attended the event to check out the new green initiatives. Sabb said he learned about environmentally safe products that can replace current cleaning products, as well as what he can do with his car to help the environment.

"It's amazing how much pollution we contribute to the environment," he said. "This shows you ways to cut down on the damage to the environment."

The event also featured activities for children, such as miniature electric cars and an oyster harvest exhibit. Butler said that the younger children can be taught about helping the environment, the better.

"Recycling is key when you're young because you're going to be a consumer all your life, and you can become educated about your decisions," he said.

Katherine Moore, wife of Tech. Sgt. Larry Moore of the 7th Intelligence Squadron, attended the event with her four-year-old son, Jayden. She said that she already teaches her son environmental ideas such as recycling and turning off the water when brushing his teeth. But they came to "learn a little bit more to do to help out," she said.

Shevawn Maida of Servena Park volunteered at the event. But even she perused the informational booths to get an update and a quick refresher course on environmental initiatives.

"I think this is a great annual event to hold for the community. It just revisits areas that all of us can do our part in," Maida said "It's a nice reminder."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16