By Adriane Foss, Garrison Public AffairsApril 18, 2013
ABERDEEN PROVING GROUND, Md. - Students and community members can enjoy a variety of hands-on science projects, presentations and events during Aberdeen Proving Ground's Arbor/Earth Day celebration Friday, April 26, at the APG North (Aberdeen) youth center.
The daylong celebration kicks off at 9 a.m. with the Aberdeen Middle School band performing the national anthem and welcome remarks by APG Garrison Commander Col. Gregory McClinton. Indoor and outdoor activities will include law enforcement working dog demonstrations, recycling crafts and games and a Scales & Tales event, hosted by the Maryland Park Service. The installation will receive a Tree City Award and hand out awards in the Earth/Arbor Day poster contest.
Morning activities will be geared for students visiting from local schools and afternoon sessions will be for CYSS youth center members.
A fan favorite, Scales & Tales will give attendees a rare and up-close view of local wildlife. While participants enjoy the thrill of interacting with birds of prey and reptiles, the ultimate goal is environmental education.
"Students will learn about the loss of habitat, the effects of pollution on wildlife, and resource management," said environmental protection specialist Kathy Thisse, who helped planned the event. "We are going to educate the community, but in a really fun way. It's not all poster boards and discussion."
She said several of the touch-and-go activities are so much fun, that students might not realize they're learning important principles.
"And that really is key -- educating an entire community or nation on an important concept like environmental stewardship and making it effortless and enjoyable," she said.
Planned events include:
Eagle Station: interactive video on field work conducted as part of the APG Bald Eagle Management Plan. APG has the largest eagle population in the Chesapeake Bay.
Turtle Telemetry: Participants learn to use radio telemetry gear to monitor local box turtles.
Wildlife display: featuring Eagle video and hunting and fishing information.
Fish Tank: An aquarium will display native fish and underwater grass that grows in the waters of APG. Children can learn how APG employees monitor water quality to maintain the health of the Chesapeake Bay.
Science Experiments: Oil Slick/Pollution, Photosynthesis in a Cup, Environmental Snap Circuits, and Filtration.
Maryland Master Gardeners: A University of Maryland program that educates local gardeners on eco-friendly practices
Appearances by Smokey Bear: America's forest hero makes appearances throughout the day
Repurposed T-shirt Craft: Create a tote bag or dog pull-toy using old T-shirts
This year's Arbor and Earth Day themes are "Trees… The Anchors of Earth," and "Our Earth -- Handle with Care," respectively.