CAMP HUMPHREYS, South Korea — At U.S. Army Garrison Humphreys, every day is “Earth Day” - at least that’s what Keith Smith says. But to celebrate Earth Day, more than 100 volunteers participated in a post clean-up event, April 22, in the Canal Park area of Humphreys.
The event started at 9 a.m. behind Sgt. 1st Class Ray E Duke Memorial Library, where volunteers were handed trash bags and gloves. The group straddled the canal with volunteers picking up litter as they traveled to the 24-hours gas station on the corner of Tropic Lightening and 11th Street. Smith, who works as an environmental protection specialist in the Environmental Division of the Directorate of Public Works, said the event was the second "clean-up event" of the month. The week prior, 50 people from the community and installation worked together to clean the area surrounding Humphreys.
"Here at Humphreys we are guests of the Republic of Korea," said Smith. "We have been entrusted this land and the Environmental Division here at USAG Humphreys facilitates that protection and ongoing commitment through our inspections and training programs throughout the installation."
Smith said his office has minimal staff, however, like the safety office says "safety is everyone's job" so is stewardship of the planet.
"Protecting the planet is everyone's job and something that should be taken seriously because we only have one planet and every little bit helps," said Smith.
Monica Hofmann, co-chair for the Girl Scouts on Humphreys, said the scouts can earn accolades for taking part in "take-action projects" such as participating in the Earth Day clean up, however, she hopes the children learn something more.
"If it doesn't grow, it's gotta go," said Hoffman. "The earth is our home and we have to keep it clean. We have to make sure that the earth is a safe and sustainable place for everyone to enjoy the flowers, the grass, and if we're leaving trash all around that's not going to happen. We have to leave a place better than we found it."
Following the clean-up event, an Earth Day Jamboree took place in the Downtown Plaza featuring information booths, giveaways, games and prizes. The Exchange aligned the grand opening of their Outdoor Living area to coincide with Earth Day and the Jamboree.
“The intent of our community outreach engagements are to promote environmental awareness and stewardship,” said Smith. “At the same time, we want all tenants, mission activities, residents, and our host nation to know that we are being good stewards of the land that has been entrusted to us by the (Republic of Korea). Also, we would hope that all participants identify and implement practices to reduce their environmental footprint.”
The event was free and open to the public and Smith encourages others to find out how they can “invest in our planet” which is the theme for Earth Day this year. Smith says he hopes more events will take place to encourage responsible living.
“To assist us with holding true to Earth Day being Every Day, let’s have more community engagements throughout the year to highlight or promote an environmental program,” said Smith. “We want all USAG Humphreys tenants to recognize Earth Day every day through their actions.”