• Event highlights environmental responsibility

  • Fort Leavenworth celebrates Army Earth Day and Environmental Awareness Day.

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  • Christopher Burnett | Staff Writer
    Fort Leavenworth’s observance of Army Earth Day and Environmental Awareness Day was May 11 at the Frontier Conference Center.
    Students from post schools attended in groups to learn about electricity safety, wildlife conservation, pollution and natural resources management from the exhibitors who presented displays. An environmentally centric puppet show entertained and educated younger children.
    Britton Landry, a second-grader in Melissa Heinen’s class at Eisenhower Elementary School, said he enjoyed visiting the exhibits. He said learning about environmental awareness issues was an educational experience.
    “I like Army Earth Day because we learned so many facts about how to take care of the environment,” Landry said.
    Heinen said it was important to bring her class to celebrate Army Earth Day. She said all of the topics represent something educational for her students.
    “I think it is important for students to learn about the things that impact our environment and ways to help preserve it,” Heinen said. “As they go around to the different centers they also learn safety practices, conservation tips and have fun doing so.”
    Matthew Lambert, energy use coordinator with FreeState Electric Cooperative, said part of his job is to educate people about conservation and safety. He said the primary reason his company had a display was to reinforce safety.
    “Our presentation demonstrates safety around power lines,” Lambert said. “Our technician is a trained electrician who explains the most effective measures to take under various scenarios dealing with power lines.”
    Megan Hunter, museum specialist with the Frontier Army Museum, said the museum attended to teach students about archaeology.
    “Students are learning that archaeology is the study of old things left behind, including trash,” Hunter said. “It’s interesting that some of the students related some of the objects left behind with the need for conservation practices.”
    Environmental Protection Specialist Michael Goble said he was at the event to teach students about recycling using a game.
    “The game helps identify what is and isn’t recyclable,” Goble said. “If a recyclable is thrown away, it ends up in a landfill with regular trash. It’s important to know what can be reused.”
    Dr. Patrick Udeh, restoration manager with the Environmental Division, Directorate of Public Works, said the purpose of the game categories at his display was to educate students of all ages.
    “These games use several very common themes to teach,” Udeh said. “Students of different ages can relate to the concept of the games presented because the concepts are familiar, but the contexts emphasize our environmental awareness theme.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Garrison Commander Col. Andrew Shoffner presented the Super Saver Family of the Year award to Maj. Matthew Fontaine and his wife, Katrina, for energy-saving practices.
    Aaron Goldwater, operations coordinator for Fort Leavenworth Frontier Heritage Communities, said the idea of teaching energy-efficiency practices as a way of life is beneficial.
    “The Fontaine family saved about 4,000-kilowatt hours in one year,” Goldwater. “We want the importance of energy conservation to become an integral part of our communities.”
    For their efforts, the Fontaine family received a framed certificate of recognition, a $100 Visa gift card, gift certificates from the Adams Mark Hotel and Conference Center within the CoCo Key Water Resort and Mama Mia’s Italian restaurant, as well as tickets to a Kansas City Royals game and the Kansas City Zoo.
    Shoffner presented an award to John Dubuisson, who volunteered more than 440 hours on such projects as seining Missouri River flood pools, collecting brood stock for the endangered pallid sturgeon and helping with youth fishing days. Dubuisson also conducted a three-month long creel survey that provided fishing demographics that assisted fisheries management on the post.
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