Fort A.P. Hill hosted its largest Earth Day celebration April 14.
Drawing about 900 students from local public and private schools as well as home schoolers, the post nearly doubled its first Earth Day celebration turnout in 2003.
Caroline Middle School students made up about half of the attendance.
Caroline Middle was joined by Madison and Bowling Green elementary schools. Private schools in the Fredericksburg area included Fredericksburg Academy, St. Patrick Catholic School, New Heights Christian Academy, Odyssey Montesorri School, Gladys H. Oberle School and The Marshall School.
The students enjoyed a variety of displays and activities from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Beaverdam picnic area to include 37 educational demonstrations and exhibits covering topics such as soil and water conservation, fisheries management, cultural resources, forestry, and wildlife management.
Students also planted trees, helping to establish a riparian forest buffer around Beaverdam Pond. After planting trees, the groups learned more about Fort A.P. Hill’s forests during a guided ecology walk along a nature trail on the outskirts of the pond.
Post employees also brought their children to the event in concert with the national “Take Our Sons and Daughters to Work” program.
In keeping with the Army’s theme, “Sustaining the environment for a secure future: Net Zero 2011,” Fort A.P. Hill Environmental Division Chief Terry Banks explained the purpose of the event is to educate everyone about the environment.
“We really focus on what we do today to ensure we protect the future of tomorrow and ensure our Soldiers and Warriors can have a good place to train, Banks said. “We try to use this forum just to educate everyone on what the right thing to do is environmentally.”
Whether it was holding a hissing cockroach or climbing into a Blackhawk, there were plenty of activities for all to enjoy in addition to learning about ways to take care of Mother Earth.