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A runner pushes through the last 100 meters of the 5K Earth Day Fun Run at Desert Wind’s Golf Course April 25, 2014. The run was held in celebration of Earth Day, combining fun and awareness. (Official USMC photo by Cpl. Ali Azimi/Released)

Photo by Cpl. Ali Azimi

Earth Day inspires Combat Center service members to clean up

25 Apr 2014 | Cpl. Ali Azimi

The Combat Center celebrated Earth Day last week with three events held on the base.

Earth day started with a base-wide, clean-up project. Combat Center units collected common recyclable goods, including, paper, cans, plastic bottles, as well as industrial types, such as large metals, boxes and wooden pallets for recycling.

The clean-up started on the morning of April 21 and continued for three days. All the collected waste was sent to the Hazardous Waste Lot and the Residential Commercial Recycling Section to be properly disposed.

Following the clean-up, the 5K Fun Run, hosted by the Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs office and Semper Fit, kicked off on the morning of April 25. The entry fee for the run was a recyclable can or bottle. More than 400 people arrived to run the course. The hundreds of runners paid the fee, filling multiple recycling bins.

But the run was not only beneficial to the environment. The runners expressed joy because of the opportunity to run on grass, as opposed to the usual dirt, sand and cement.

In attendance was the Combat Center’s chapter of the Stroller Warriors, a Marine Corps-wide running club made up of military spouses. The members ran the entire 3.1-mile course with their children snugly seated in the strollers in front of them.

“It’s very casual,” said Keith Mohn, Comprehensive Environmental Training and Education Program assistant, NREA. “We had formation runs and we had the ladies with the strollers. We are bringing people out for awareness and some fun.”

Later that day, the NREA continued Earth Day with the Earth Day Spectacular at the Lincoln Military Housing football field.

Detrick Edger, 9, ran in between the inflatable slides and rock-climbing walls on the field. As he crossed the NREA’s booths, his face lit up, and he ran to the attraction that made his day.

“I got to see a real desert turtle,” Edger said. “This is the best day of my life.”

The Desert Turtle exhibit was one of the many displays set up by the NREA to inform patrons about our delicate environment and the Combat Center’s responsibilities and efforts to protect it.

“NREA has booths for awareness, displays for the waste management section and a live desert tortoise display,” Mohn said. “It’s a combination of fun and education.”

In addition to the booths, the event provided free barbecue, rides and games for service members and their families to enjoy.

Although Earth Day is celebrated once a year, Combat Center residents can help reduce waste year-round through small, every-day tasks.

They’re very common sense types of things, Mohn said. Remember to turn off the lights when you’re not using it; think about how much water you need instead of wasting it and segregate your trash, that’s very important.

For more information on how to make a difference, visit http://www.green29.org/default.aspx

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