Base hopes to raise environmental awareness on Earth Day

Robins AFB, Ga. -- When it comes to environmental awareness no one should be in the dark, which is why members of the Robins environmental management team are using Earth Day to get the Robins community educated and prepared to help protect the environment.

The team will be hosting events around the base throughout April as part of its efforts to shed light on environmental issues. The events will focus on teaching the Robins community about environmental programs available and encouraging members of the community to conserve resources by recycling, conservation and other methods.

Members of EM and the Air Force Reserve Command have partnered to celebrate the earth and inform the community about the efforts of the installation and the reserve command to preserve the environment.

"Robins Air Force Base and the Reserve Command Headquarters have built a strong partnership in environmental protection based on our common goals of preserving our precious natural resources while enabling our airmen warriors," said Brig. Gen. Robert Bailey, director of installations and mission support for the Air Force Reserve Command.

For several days during the Robins Earth Day celebration, members of the environmental team will present Environmental Awareness Displays where volunteers will be available to discuss conservation, pollution prevention, recycling and other environmental programs available to the Robins community, said Griff Cox, an environmental engineer with 78th Civil Engineering Group. During the displays, volunteers will also be giving away recycled items such as pens, rulers and bags.

During the Earth Day festivities, three trees will be planted in memory of members of the Robins community, who have passed away. The three Leopold White Oaks will be dedicated during the Historic Forest Ceremony where Robins will also be presented with its 14th consecutive Tree City plaque from the Georgia Forestry Commission.

"This ceremony does three very important things. It encourages tree planting, it fosters an appreciation for our American Heritage and it helps memorialize people and events that are important to Robins Air Force Base," said Becky Crader, a Robins biologist and member of the EM team.

The bird watching event with guide, Bob Sargent, will allow novices and expert bird watchers to spot birds that inhabit and visit Robins while learning about the songs of these birds such as the call of the Cardinal or Blue Jay.

"Earth Day is all about celebrating the health of the planet and the environment," said Mr. Sargent, natural resources manager. "Getting out and bird watching provides an opportunity to enjoy and appreciate the environment."

For others who prefer to enjoy the environment while swinging a club, the Earth Day on the Greens is the perfect way for you to spend your day celebrating Mother Earth.

For younger celebrators there will be several opportunities to learn more about the planet. At Robins elementary students have already created their own masterpieces, using large brown grocery bags as their canvas to share an environmental message. The top 3 bags for each grade level will be presented with a gift certificate April 23 for their efforts and the winner for the school will be presented with a gift certificate, a large stuffed animal and their design will be used on next years Earth Day T-shirt.

All of the bags will help educate our community on the importance of recycling and protecting the environment when they are used by the Robins Commissary to bag groceries on Earth Day, April, 22, said Krista Folsom, a graphic and web designer with EM.

This year's T-shirt adorns the art work of Kiana Best, a former Robins elementary student, who won the contest last year, and her message is clear, "Animals are fading away. It's up to us to save the day." The T-shirts will be available for purchase for $5 during many of the Earth Day festivities.

Members of Team Robins will also do presentations at two area elementary schools, L.H. Williams and Quail Run Elementary. During the presentations students will be taught the importance of recycling, water conservation such as turning off the water faucet while brushing their teeth and other good environmental habits like turning off their video games when they are not playing them, said Shan Williams, an engineer with Air Force Reserve Command. Children will also receive gifts made from recycled materials such as piggy banks made from recycled denim and coloring books and posters made from recycled paper to help encourage environmentally friendly habits.

Environmental Awareness Day at the Base Exchange will serve as the main event for this year's Earth Day celebration.

"It's a chance to bring the kids and catch some spring fever," said Ken Wharam, who works with environmental solid waste and recyclables.

This event will feature an archeological dig, moonwalk and face painting for children. There will also be tons of giveaways during the event. The first 100 who stop by will receive a tree seedling with instructions on how to properly plant it.

Here is a full list of Earth Day events:

Environmental awareness displays will be available Tuesday from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. in Bldg. 125, Wednesday in Bldg. 1555 and Thursday at Bldg. 210

The Historic Forest Ceremony will be held at Parade Field at 2:30 p.m. April 12.

Bird Watching with Dr. Bob will begin at the Lodge at Lake Luna at 7:30 a.m. Participants should bring binoculars and field guides.

Earth Day on the Greens, a golf tournament sponsored by environmental management and the Society of American Military Engineers will begin with registration at 9:30 a.m. April 20. The event will be a four-person scramble and will cost $45 per person, which covers lunch, green fees , cart, bucket of range balls, beverages and chances for prizes for tournament players. Contact Kerica Conrtreras or Eric Anania at 922-7751 to sign up, only the first 100 will be accepted.

Wellston Trail Greenway Bay Gall Creek cleanup April 21 will assemble at Fountain Park on Corder Road at 9 a.m.

Paper bag art contest awards ceremony will be held April 23 at 8:40 a.m. at Robins Elementary.

Environmental awareness displays will be held on April 25 at the Base Medical Center and April 26 at the Base Restaurant from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m.

Environmental Awareness Day will be held at the Base Exchange from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. During the event a computer and electronics recycling event will allow members of the Robins community to recycle all sorts of electronic items. Most items can be dropped off free of charge, but TVs will incur a $10 charge. For a complete list of items that can be turned in visit https://cev.robins.af.mi/earthday.asp.