Fort Wainwright forges a foundation toward solid sustainability

For Earth Day 2012: Mobilize the Earth, Earth Day Network worked with over 1500 local government officials from across the world and in all 50 U.S. states to engage them in Earth Day events. These local leaders and elected officials are at the forefront of addressing the impacts of environmental challenges facing their communities while at the same time struggling to balance budgets, create jobs, and produce energy savings. In Alaska, three mayors participated in an Earth Day event at Fort Wainwright and signed a proclamation to “reaffirm their commitment to the goals and principles of Earth Day.” A piece about the event is below, courtesy of Fort Wainwright.

 

Fort Wainwright forges a foundation toward solid sustainability

April 26, 2012

By Allen Shaw, Fort Wainwright Public Affairs

 

FORT WAINWRIGHT, Alaska -- (April 20, 2012) There is a movement to reduce, reuse and recycle and Bernie Karl, owner of K & K Recycling said, "Fort Wainwright is leading the parade." Karl spoke during the 2nd Annual Earth Day Celebration, April 20 at the Physical Fitness Center on post. "As far as I know, no other Army base comes close," he said.

The Army has a vision leaders call Net Zero. The premise is that the use of resources and production of resources equal each other. The Net Zero approach means reduction, re-purpose, recycling and composting, energy recovery, and disposal. Karl said the Fort Wainwright community should be proud of what is happening and the direction leadership is taking us. "Your recycled cardboard and paper, right now is producing the electricity being used on the installation."

The Installation Management Command has taken notice that Fort Wainwright is moving in the right direction and the Earth Day event was a celebration of partnerships forged to support sustainability.

More than 25 exhibitors filled the Physical Fitness Center with information tables, displays and plastic furniture made from recycled materials. Library Services provided a special story-time as Lt. Col. Robert Ericksen, United States Army Garrison, Fort Wainwright, chief of staff read, "The Three Questions" to an audience of children. They also provided activities that emphasized the need to reduce, reuse and recycle.

"This year's Earth Day Celebration was a huge success," said Andy McDonough, plans specialist, Plans, Analysis and Integration Office and event chairman. More than 200 people attended the event and participated in demonstrations, discussions and give-a-ways. He said, "Fort Wainwright and our partners highlighted what we do every day in support of Earth Day and sustainability." 

The finale of the event was the signing of a Sustainability Proclamation by the local community leaders including the, Col. Ronald M. Johnson, Fort Wainwright garrison commander; Lt. Col. David K. Sieve, Eielson Air Force Base, 354th Mission Support Group, deputy commander; Luke Hopkins, Fairbanks North Star Borough mayor; Jerry Cleworth, Fairbanks city mayor and Doug Isaacson, North Pole city mayor. 

The signing was followed by a cake cutting ceremony symbolizing a commitment to sustainability with community recycling leaders, partners and community leaders. 

"There were many leaves added to our commitment tree which symbolized individual commitments from those who attended the event toward sustainability and Earth Day. It was their way to say "Me and Now" to our theme of "If not you, who and if not now, when," McDonough said.