April 21, 2007

Virginia Guard celebrates Army Earth Day at Fort Pickett

By J.B. Daniel
Virginia Guard Environmental Program

Attendees learn about fresh water fish ecology from Dan Michaelson, a fish biologist with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries. (Photo by J.B. Daniel, Virginia Guard Environmental Program)

FORT PICKETT, Va. – The fifth annual Army Earth Day and Environmental Awareness Event was hosted by the Virginia Army National Guard on April 12 at the Maneuver Training Center at Fort Pickett in Blackstone, Va.

Attendance from the general public nearly doubled this year, with over 300 people in attendance on the beautiful spring afternoon.

As the skies cleared from the early morning storms, the temperature reached into the low 70’s as the crowd mingled through the environmental education exhibits on display around the lake.

Several state agencies and other cooperating groups participated in the event, including the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, the Virginia Department of Forestry, Southside Electric Cooperative, and the Ward Burton Wildlife Foundation.

Employees from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality teach children about water quality and how it affects water insects and ecosystems at the Virginia Army National Guard Earth Day event April 12 at Fort Pickett.. (Photo by J.B. Daniel, Virginia Guard Environmental Program)

 

These groups teamed together with Fort Pickett and the Virginia Army National Guard to provide environmental outreach and education on topics such as fish ecology, aquatic insects and macro invertebrates, prehistoric archaeology, fire safety, map reading for kids, worm composting, snakes, energy conservation, the benefits of wetlands, and water quality.

The children really enjoyed meeting Smokey Bear, making pine cone bird feeders, making clay pottery, and exploring the armored vehicles and the Blackhawk helicopter.

The Virginia Army National Guard team effort of planning and preparing for the event really paid off for those in attendance. Virginia Army National Guard contributors included Environmental, Facilities, Public Works, Logistics, Mobilization and Training Equipment Site, Plans, Training, and Operations, Forestry, Fire Department, Police Department, Morale, Welfare and Recreation, Army Aviation Support Facility, and the Medical Detachment. Meanwhile, volunteers from the Civil Air Patrol and the Virginia Defense Force assisted with safety and parking during the event.

Members of the Maneuver Training Center Forestry office demonstrate and supervise fire safety and management with participants. (Photo by J.B. Daniel, Virginia Guard Environmental Program)

The event was enjoyed by young and old alike, with everyone having fun and learning more about the environment in which they live.

The Virginia Army National Guard works hard to protect the soil, water and other natural resources on training lands and they were glad so many local citizens enjoyed participating in the event.

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