FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. — Earth Day is April 22, and the Directorate of Public Works’ Environmental Division has events planned throughout the week to help the Fort Leonard Wood community learn more about the importance of protecting and maintaining the environment.
This year’s Army Earth Day theme, “Sustain the Mission, Secure the Future,” is something Environmental Division Chief Charlie Neel said Fort Leonard Wood has a very proud record of doing.
“Earth Day is a great time for us to celebrate what Fort Leonard Wood does for the environment throughout the year, and we have some remarkable accomplishments,” he said.
To highlight some of those accomplishments, the division will host four events, beginning with a scavenger hunt on Saturday. Additionally, there will be a nature hike, a meet-and-greet with the environmental team, and an e-cycling event, where customers can drop off unused electronics for recycling with the chance to win prizes.
All events are open to anyone with access to Fort Leonard Wood, and participants of all ages are invited to attend.
The following is an overview of each event:
- Join the hunt to find Fort Leonard Wood’s hidden treasures during the Earth Day Scavenger Hunt, from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, starting at Memorial Grove. Participants will receive a safety briefing, event instructions and stopping points from Environmental Division staff before embarking on a journey to locate 15 environmental features within the cantonment area, while also having the opportunity to speak with environmental experts along the way.
“Features will range from historical sites and fishing ponds, to recreational areas,” Stormwater Specialist Patricia Littleton said.
Teams are limited to one vehicle each, and the three teams that return to Memorial Grove by noon with the most points will receive prizes.
- Take a hike with the Natural Resources Branch during their Walk and Learn event, from 1 to 2 p.m. Saturday, beginning at the Stone Mill Spring parking lot. The one-hour guided hike, led by Kenton Lohraff, a biologist with the Natural Resources Branch, will give participants the chance to learn about local wildlife, endangered species, animal and plant habitats, and hunting and fishing programs on Fort Leonard Wood.
“Plan to discover natural events and phenomena as nature reveals, or as questions may prompt, as we get outside and make personal connections with nature,” Lohraff said.
In addition to nature inquisitiveness, Lohraff recommended coming prepared for inclement weather, bringing binoculars, appropriate clothing items and snacks.
Call 573.596.2814 for details.
- Stop by the Meet Your Environmental Team event, from 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Wednesday at Countee Hall. Team members will be on-hand to talk about the different environmental programs on post, share information about on-going research efforts, and answer questions.
“Much of our day-to-day work is compliance-driven, which is very important, but we also do some fascinating work that we don’t always get to highlight,” said Stephanie Nutt, an archaeologist here, who works to preserve Fort Leonard Wood’s cultural resources. “This event will allow us to share information about the different aspects of our natural, cultural and environmental resources on post, and we hope that visitors will leave with a better understanding of how we work to preserve and protect our resources.”
Call 573.596.7607 or 573.596.3880 for details.
- The Earth Day Electronics Recycling and Pallet Turn-In event will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. April 21 at the Fort Leonard Wood Recycling Center. Customers can drop off their unused electronics and register to win prizes for the oldest item, largest quantity or most unique item.
Examples of items that can be dropped off include computers and computer accessories, printers, modems, flat-screen televisions, cell phones and boxed ink cartridges. Staff will be available to help unload heavier items.
“E-waste is currently the fastest growing waste stream in the world, and also one of the least recycled forms of waste,” said Environmental Protection Assistant Robert Schultz.
Call 573.563.3880 for details.