BAMBERG, Germany Aca,!" The U.S. Army Garrison BambergAca,!a,,cs long-standing commitment to environmental stewardship was recognized April 17 when it captured the Secretary of DefenseAca,!a,,cs Overseas Installation Environmental Quality award for 2009.

The award followed in the wake of the garrisonAca,!a,,cs February victory in the Secretary of the Army Environmental and Sustainability Awards, which qualified Bamberg to compete at the Department of Defense award level.

Aca,!A"This is an outstanding achievement,Aca,!A? said Lt. Col. Gary Rosenberg, commander of USAG Bamberg. Aca,!A"The credit for this award goes to the dedication of our environmental management division, the conservationist effort by our residents and the partnership with the city of Bamberg; we have been making an enormous attempt to preserve the environment and itAca,!a,,cs nice to be recognized for our efforts.Aca,!A?

Aca,!A"IAca,!a,,cm thrilled and extremely proud that the secretary of defense has recognized BambergAca,!a,,cs achievements as a leader in environmental stewardship,Aca,!A? added Diane Devens, director of Installation Management Command, Europe Region. Aca,!A"But the award is really the icing on the cake after years of work theyAca,!a,,cve invested in their commitment to get greener.Aca,!A?

Devens noted that BambergAca,!a,,cs success comes from their community motivation efforts to increase environmentally conscious behavior among everyone living and working at the garrison, Aca,!A"making them part of the environmental team.Aca,!A?

The result, she said is the Army Aca,!A"being viewed as a well-respected partner and friend.Aca,!A?

Each year since 1962, the secretary of defense honors individuals, teams and installations for their achievements to conserve and sustain natural and cultural resources entrusted to the Department of Defense.

Aca,!A"Our environmental office has outstanding and dedicated professionals and this is a big reason why Bamberg was able to win the SecDef award,Aca,!A? said David Thompson, director of the garrisonAca,!a,,cs public works, which oversees the environmental management division, or EMD. Aca,!A"We must also thank the community for their support; our success is a reflection of their participation and concern for the environment.Aca,!A?

Some of EMD's programs include implementation of an Environmental Management System, hazardous waste/materials, natural resources, air emissions, and environmental noise.

Aca,!A"Winning this award wasnAca,!a,,ct something that can happen overnight,Aca,!A? said Uwe Rauch, chief of the USAG Bamberg environmental management division. Aca,!A"It takes a lot of commitment and time for the projects to develop and mature.

Aca,!A"We are very proud to win this award,Aca,!A? he said. Aca,!A"Winning this award shows we are moving our program in the right direction.Aca,!A?

EMDAca,!a,,cs programs ensure the installation is in compliance with local, state, and federal regulations, both U.S. and German. Indeed, sustaining and protecting the environment is a two-way street where both the Bamberg military community and Bamberg host-nation community work together.

The city of Bamberg was awarded as the Environmental City of Germany and the garrison supports the local city administration of Bamberg to meet the award requirements.

The same goes for the city supporting the installation.

Aca,!A"The city is helping us in several ways,Aca,!A? Rauch said. Aca,!A"As soon as there is a new law, they are informing us right way. They support our events and help to promote good environmental practices. We can always depend on them and contact them if we need support.Aca,!A?

One of a few projects both the garrison and city of Bamberg worked on was a net resources product. The two organizations collaborated on reducing the mowing of grass along Berliner Ring to twice a year, which contributed to the city being named the Environmental City of Germany.

Reducing the frequency of mowing is good for endangered species, Rauch said.

A primary goal of EMD has been to educate the community about the benefits of being environmentally conscious.

One EMD initiative that had an enormous environmental influence on the community was the construction of the recycling center. The facility is open 24 hours day seven days a week. There is also a hazardous waste storage facility located at the recycling center.

Eighty-five percent of waste the community generates is recyclable, Rauch said, but only 55 percent of this waste is actually being recycled. This Aca,!A"missed potentialAca,!A? is why the garrison promotes increased use of the facility as well as all of the other recycling points on Warner Barracks.

Aca,!A"We highly encourage our residents to use these environmental friendly resources available to them,Aca,!A? Rosenberg said. Aca,!A"Through our awareness and education efforts with all in-processing Soldiers, we have been able to contribute to our growing reputation as an environmentally friendly community.Aca,!A?

Overall, itAca,!a,,cs a partnership between a garrison and a host nation Aca,!A"to ensure the Soldiers of today and tomorrow have the land, water and air resources needed to train Aca,!A| with the continued support of local communities,Aca,!A? said Debra Dale, environmental branch chief for IMCOM-Europe.

Such a strong partnership goes both ways, said Dale, explaining: Aca,!A"USAG BambergAca,!a,,cs sophisticated use of environmental technology and sustainable practices was instrumental in the city receiving the Environmental City of Germany award.

Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for the Environment, Safety and Occupational Health Tad Davis recognized Bamberg earlier this year when it won service-level honors.

Aca,!A"Winners of our environmental awards demonstrate that the Army is getting more and more sophisticated in its use of environmental technology and sustainable practices. We're becoming a greener shade of green.Aca,!A?

The under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics will officiate a ceremony honoring the winners on June 3 at the Pentagon.