The installation's environmental ambassador, Clean Water Casey, has been busy preparing for Fort Leonard Wood's Earth Day Fair and Celebration, scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 29 at Nutter Field House.

The lively turtle, who works with Fort Leonard Wood's Directorate of Public Works and Environmental Branch, usually spends his free time floating around the Big Piney River, but thought it was important to visit the GUIDON to boost awareness of conservation and to promote the celebration.

For Casey, it is his mission to educate the community about the "environmental treasure" that is Fort Leonard Wood.

"Just like about everyone else, I got orders to come to Fort Leonard Wood," Casey said. "In my Family, we referred to the post as 'Fort Let's Go to the Woods' and when I got here, I discovered how awesome this area is. When I found out recycling actually pays for portions of the recreational activities, as well as the great Fourth of July celebration, I was sold. The rivers and streams in the area are great for fishing, canoeing or just watching the wildlife."

Casey said while Fort Leonard Wood and the surrounding communities are great at taking care of the environment, "we still have a ways to go to educate everyone on the importance of a healthy, clean environment." That's why he is working to make sure everyone knows about the upcoming Earth Day celebration.

"It's been so many years since Fort Leonard Wood has hosted an Earth Day fair. This one is going to be really special," he said.

Several community organizations are scheduled to participate, including the Missouri Department of Conservation, Fort Leonard Wood Weather Detachment Team and the University of Missouri Extension Office.

"My old friend from the Mark Twain National Forest, Smokey the Bear, will be there to meet and greet everyone who attends," Casey said. "If you get there early, you'll even get a young tree to take home and plant."

The event is set to include children's activities, a recycled art display and an on site e-cycle station.

"I am looking forward to seeing lots of school kids, but I am also hoping for lots of Soldiers and civilians from here on Fort Leonard Wood to attend," Casey said.

Ryan Thompson, from the Fort Leonard Wood Public Affairs Office, has been working to make the celebration special, Casey said.

Thompson said Casey has been a great asset in preparing for the celebration and community support for the event has been strong.

"It's been a real honor getting to work with all the great organizations to make this year's Earth Day celebration an educational and entertaining event for all ages," Thompson said. "People will have the chance to learn about subjects like bat biology and cave ecology; ways to save on your electrical bill, or about all the great outdoor recreational activities Missouri has to offer," he said.

As Earth Day and the celebration approaches, community members will be able to follow Casey on the Fort Leonard Wood Facebook page.

"I will be reminding folks of the fair and giving them environmental tips and fun facts," he said.

Casey said he is excited about the celebration and glad he can help get the word out.

"This fair will be a great place to learn how anyone can help protect our environment, reduce trash or make our Earth a better place for all critters," he said.

For more information, contact the Fort Leonard Wood Public Affairs Office at 573.563.4145.