By Mr. Kenneth David Hall (IMCOM)April 8, 2009
HUMPHREYS GARRISON - Throughout the month of April, several events will take place at Humphreys Garrison to promote environmental awareness, and showcase ways for community members to be better stewards of our natural resources.
The Humphreys efforts are a part of the annual Army Earth Day which approximately 200 installations worldwide celebrate on April 22. Americans first celebrated Earth Day on April 22, 1970.
According to the Army's Earth Day Planning Guide, published by the Army Environmental Center, Army Earth Day exemplifies a daily commitment to the stewardship of the public resources entrusted to military care. Earth Day is the annual call for public attention toward environmental issues. This year's motto is: "Sustaining the environment for a secure future."
The first Humphreys Garrison Earth Day activity kicks-off Saturday with a 5 kilometer fun run at the Super Gym.
"We've joined up with Army Community Services to have a 5K fun run Saturday, April 11," said Sheri Castro, Staff Assistant, Directorate of Public Works, Environmental Division. "The run starts in front of the Super Gym at 8 a.m. and we'll give away Earth Day tee-shirts to the first 100 runners that finish the run. We will also have other giveaways for participants."
Also on Saturday, DPW Environmental Division will have a booth set up at Eggstravaganza Youth Festival, at Independence Park Sports Field at 11 a.m.
"We will have microscopes and fossil finders, coloring books and crayons - all made out of recycled things to give out during Eggstravaganza," said Castro. "For National Library week, April 12 through 18, we will have an Earth Day booth set up there with all kinds of free hand-outs that promote environmental and pollution prevention awareness."
DPW Environmental Division team members will be on stage during KATUSA friendship week on Monday, April 20 to talk about ways Humphreys community members can help the environment, and will be tossing Earth Day tee-shirts into the crowd.
DPW Environmental Division has several on-going programs in place to prevent waste abuse to the environment, and is making adjustments to a growing installation population.
"We've got pollution prevention programs set up, but we're talking about setting up a household hazardous waste turn-in program at our HazMart," said Phillip Lopez, Chief, Pollution and Compliance Branch DPW Environmental Division. "They're the team that collects all the hazardous waste generated on Humphreys Garrison from all the units and organizations."
Lopez added that collecting household hazardous materials like unused bleach, printer ink cartridges or old car batteries could be turned around and reissued free to Families or units in need.
"Operating a hazardous waste collection facility is in keeping with the Earth Day theme of 'Sustaining the Environment for a Secure Future' and encourages proper disposal of hazardous waste," he said. "Earth Day is a great opportunity for us to reach out to Soldiers and Families and bring more environmental awareness and showcase pollution prevention techniques."
"We hope people will use what they learn through Earth Day activities to realize that we have limited resources, and be more aware of the environment and surroundings. People need to be aware of things they can do to prolong the limited resources we have," he said.
One project underway here will benefit wildlife habitats, which may have been displaced during expansion efforts here.
"At Beacon Hill, we're working on a project that is not only aesthetically pleasing to the eye, but it will help as a mitigation effort for the some of the wetlands that had to be done away with due to installation expansion," said Lopez. "We plan to set it up as a retention basin pond, which will help for birds, ducks and other wildlife habitats."
During April, Humphreys American School 4th through 6th grade students will get a close-up view of recycling processes during a tour of the Pyeongtaek City sewage treatment facility located just outside of the CPX gate.
"Until they go on that tour, and the water quality lab tour, kids don't realize what's happening at a waste water treatment facility," said Lopez. "The tour helps students understand the resources we put into making drinking water and putting clean water back into the environment. We've got about 150 students coming on the tour."
According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/earth_day, Earth Day is now observed each year on April 22 by more than 500 million people and national governments in 175 countries. To learn more about what you can do to conserve natural resources, visit www.earthday.gov and http://aec.army.mil/usaec/newsroom/earthday00.html.