By Mark RankinApril 22, 2014
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Nashville District, celebrated Earth Day with thousands of people at the 13th annual Nashville Earth Day Festival at Centennial Park April 19.
District employees that included a park ranger from J. Percy Priest Lake Resource office and the Project Planning Branch set up a covered tent, handed out pamphlets containing education information about the Nashville District, Frisbees and cups and spoke with attendees of all ages.
"Our mission today has been a great success because we connected with much our community who live on area lakes and for others we shared key environmental information with them," said Mary Lewis, biologist, Customer Outreach and Silver Jackets coordinator at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District. "This is a great opportunity for us to make a difference by educating the public about ecosystems restoration, environmental stewardship, and preservation of our Corps recreation areas. It is also an opportunity to promote recreation, and water safety by reminding people to wear their life jackets when boating," said Lewis.
At the start of the festivities, Nashville Mayor Karl Dean addressed the crowd and reminded everyone of his goal of making Nashville the cleanest and greenest city in the Southeast.
"Thank you for participating in Nashville's Earth Day," said Dean. "We are still committed to making our city greener, improving schools, making our neighborhoods safer and bring better jobs to Nashville," he added.
The event featured exhibits, activities and two stages with live music performed by Sam Bush, the Honeycutters and the Farewell Drifters specifically aimed at educating attendees about protecting the environment and sustainability.
The event featured exhibits and activities aimed at educating everyone about protecting our environment. The environmental friendly festival drew environmentalists of all ages to hundreds of family-friendly eco booths, hosted by government agencies, environmental organizations, and community groups who provided T-shirts, cups, pencils and goodies for all ages.
Diane Shear, a 30-year resident from Nashville stopped by the Corps booth and gathered reading material, Shear said this was her first time to see much of the information offered at the Earth Day celebration.
"The Corps has some great information, and it is information that will make us better environmental stewards," said Shear. "This event means that we are paying attention to our planet," said Shear. "I believe everyday should be Earth Day not just one day out of the year," she added.
The Cumberland and Tennessee rivers are vital to Tennesseans. The Corps believes that if we take care of the environment, it will take good care of its residents.
Ben MacIntyre, a park ranger from J. Percy Priest Lake Resource Center said the Nashville Earth Day has been a great communication tool for the Corps to provide the public with information about the environment.
"It's good the Corps supports events like the Earth Day Festival," said MacIntyre. "It enables us to talk to a variety of people and it reminds us of the Corps mission."
For more information about Environmental stewardship, Water Quality, Water Management, How the Cumberland River System works, and Educational Series Overview visit: http://www.lrn.usace.army.mil/Missions/WaterManagement/EducationSeries.aspx