PRESIDIO OF MONTEREY, Calif. -- The U.S. Army celebrates Earth Day at approximately 200 installations, major commands and organizations in the United States and around the world, including the Presidio of Monterey.

The Army's 2013 Earth Day theme is "Acknowledge the Past, Engage the Present, Chart the Future."

The goal reflects a vision to educate visitors by sharing stories that demonstrate how the Army is acknowledging the past by remediating Army lands and protecting and preserving cultural and historical resources; engaging the present by meeting environmental standards, enabling Army operations, and protecting Soldiers, civilians and families; and charting the future by institutionalizing best practices and using technology to ensure future environmental resiliency.

The Army is vigilant in protecting over 200 endangered or threatened species that make their homes on military installations worldwide.

The Army is also focusing on managing America's natural resources with a goal of Net Zero installations.

The Army is creating a culture that recognizes the value of sustainability measured not just in terms of financial benefits, but benefits to maintaining mission capability, quality of life, relationships with local communities, and the preservation of options for the Army's future.

Events vary from Earth Day fairs with educational exhibits, to tree plantings, to other initiatives that actually sustain installation operations.

Earth Day fair

Locally, the main event is the Presidio of Monterey Earth Day Fair. The event is scheduled for 11 a.m.-1 p.m. April 24 in the Berlin Wall courtyard area, adjacent to mid-POM Java Cafe.

Come and expand your knowledge on conservation and protection of natural resources by visiting one of the many participating agency booths and demonstrations.

Bring your family to this event and enjoy a fun-filled day to learn about recycling and conservation, in addition to many fun and exciting activities.

There will be many outside agencies participating to provide a wide range of educational information and demonstrations.

According to event coordinator Tania Leisten, Presidio of Monterey Directorate of Public Works, there are nearly two dozen information vendors expected, more than twice the number of the 2012 event.

Additionally, she said that about six food vendors are scheduled, including a Korean barbeque vendor and Subway.

As for inclement weather, Leisten said that, fortunately, the weather forecast shows no rain.

Earth Day history

Earth Day was first celebrated on April 22, 1970.

The campaign for Earth Day began as a grassroots effort to teach about environmental stewardship, create an awareness of the environment's fragility, and ultimately, to thrust that awareness into the mainstream of American society. The campaign caught on quickly and evolved into what people now celebrate as Earth Day each April 22.

Army leaders understand the interdependence of military mission requirements, the natural environment and community well-being.

From this strategy, environmental stewardship becomes a mission enhancer. It leads to better training lands, improved recreational opportunities, healthier communities, and new partnerships.

Also, environmental sustainability is now part of every installation's and unit's operations, from munitions production to live-fire training, from housing areas to forward operating bases.

The Army's observance of Earth Day provides an opportunity to emphasize the interdependence of the military's mission with the natural environment and the well-being of communities.

On Earth Day, people should recognize that environmental sustainability is everyone's responsibility.

Consider the boot print you make, the impact you have on resources, whether you are on an installation, deployed or in your home. The military's goal is to conserve and preserve while we serve.

(Additional information provided by Army Environmental Command; Assistant Secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment; and U.S. Army.)