Clean Water Casey has returned to Fort Leonard Wood, making numerous appearances in an installation tour just days before the Earth Day Fair and Celebration scheduled from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 5 at Nutter Field House.

The happy turtle, who works with Fort Leonard Wood's Directorate of Public Works and Environmental Branch, stepped out of the Big Piney River to visit the GUIDON in hopes of spreading the word about his favorite event: Earth Day.

Casey's mission this year is to enlighten the community on the importance of educating future generations about caring for the environment and leading by example.

"It is important to educate our children on how precious our Earth is and how we must take care of her in order to promote a healthy and happy environment for years to come," Casey said.

Casey enjoyed last year's Earth Day on Fort Leonard Wood so much that he is excited to return to see all of his old friends.

"Not only will my old friend Smokey the Bear return, but other friendly critters will be in attendance, such as McGruff the Crime Dog," Casey said. "McGruff is no dog to mess with when it comes to littering and polluting the environment."

Other organizations will be in attendance, such as the Mark Twain National Forest, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Forest Service, the Licking Nursery and Onondaga Cave State Park.

"I am excited to meet new guests from the Raptor Rehabilitation Project out of the University of Missouri," Casey said. "Although I am a little timid about meeting birds of prey, I was assured they are all well behaved."

There will also be several fun activities for children to test their knowledge of their environmental surroundings, such as herb planting, the Stormwater Wheel of Fun, the popular fishing game by DPW Environmental Branch and many more.

"This year, we are excited to have Plato High School, that will be providing educational booths," he said.

"It is great to see the workforce of the Fort Leonard Wood come together and support such an awesome event. Turtles like me would not be around if it weren't for such caring people," Casey said. "After all, we are all living in the same place we call home, our Earth."

As May 5 approaches, the community will have the opportunity to follow Casey on the Fort Leonard Wood Facebook page as he visits many organizations in preparation for the Earth Day Celebration. See the full Earth Day Celebration preview article on Page B1 of the April 27 GUIDON.

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