Earth, Arbor Day celebration
By 2nd Lt. Justin Jarrell, 14th Flying Training Wing Public Affairs
/ Published April 14, 2007
COLUMBUS AFB, Miss. --
On Friday, Columbus AFB celebrated the annual Earth Day/Arbor Day Education Fair. This event, which took place all day at Freedom Park, was for fourth grade students from the Lowndes County Schools and all Columbus AFB home-schooled children. Children participated in a variety of educational and recreational activities. Many local and state organizations including Keep Mississippi Beautiful, Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, Mississippi Forestry Commission, Fish and Wildlife, USDA, and Golden Triangle Regional Landfill provided educational learning stations. Students rotated through the stations and received a full spectrum of learning about the environment. These stations were designed to promote environmental stewardship and raise awareness through educational activities.
During opening remarks for the Earth Day celebration, Mr. Rick Olsen of the Mississippi Forestry Commission presented Columbus AFB with its 14th consecutive Tree City USA and 5th Tree City Growth Awards. This achievement prompted Colonel Dave Gerber, 14th Flying Training Wing Commander, to establish April 13, 2007 as Arbor Day at Columbus AFB, a holiday normally celebrated the second Friday of February.
Many organizations on base helped in preparing for the event that hosted over 400 children. Ms. Renee Howell, head organizer of this year's event, was quick to praise their efforts in contributing to the education fair's success. "We could not do this without our sponsors," she said. She went on to comment on the importance of the local community's sponsorship of the event.
Ms. Howell said the children spent time, "learning about our environment, learning how to recycle, but also having a lot of fun." The smiling children attentively huddled around each environmental station were telling about the success of this year's event.