By Laura Kaae

Killeen Daily Herald

Even those us who don't usually hug trees can make the effort to help the environment today through Tuesday as the nation celebrates Earth Day on Tuesday and Arbor Day on April 25.

The following are events scheduled in the Killeen area this week to help celebrate the earth.


In recognition of Arbor Day, the Keep Killeen Beautiful committee will plant four trees at the Killeen City Cemetery at 1 p.m. The trees will be planted at the graves of four former members or people affiliated with Keep Killeen Beautiful, said Robin Dehart, member of the Keep Killeen Beautiful committee.

Tuesday, April 22

At the Killeen Public Library, preschool children are invited to a free Earth Day presentation at the library's downtown branch at 205 E. Church Ave. at 9:30 a.m. "We will be teaching the children will be taught how to take care of the earth, how to reduce, reuse and recycle and why it is important," said Dehart.

The Killeen Independent School District is also hosting several events at three local schools.

East Ward Elementary School, 1608 E. Rancier Ave., Killeen, will host an Earth Day celebration with special guests appearing from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Willow Springs Elementary School, 1111 Willow Springs Road, Killeen, will host a science fair at 1:30 p.m.

Students at Skipcha Elementary School, 515 Prospector Trail, Harker Heights, will clean the park near the school at 10:20 a.m.

Festivities will be going on all day at Fort Hood for the post's Army Earth Day 2008.

The events kick off with a tree-planting ceremony at Hood Stadium in recognition of Arbor Day with environmental personnel, students and Garrison Commander Col. Bill Hill, which will lead into a school event.

Some 500 to 600 fifth-grade students from six Fort Hood elementary schools will join the activities for interactive, hands-on presentations from local and state environmental organizations.

The students will rotate through four to five stations every 10 minutes, have 20 to 25 minutes to roam freely and look at other stations, then will come together for a 30-minute interactive presentation by "Dinosaur George" Blasing, who is taping his own dinosaur series for the History Channel.

In the evening, the general public is invited to enjoy more of the Army Earth Day 2008 events beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Music, food, inflatables, gas-efficient vehicles, a native plant sale and the opportunity to learn more about environmental concerns are all on the agenda at the spectacular.

Dinosaur George will give a 30-minute presentation in the evening for the public, followed by a performance from musician Johnny Cooper that will last into the evening.

Booths will be on hand from Fort Hood Directorate of Public Works Environmental Division, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Central Texas Council of Governments, EPA Blackland, Austin Energy, Texas State Soil and Water Conservation Board, Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful, Central Texas College Mayborn Planetarium and Space Theater, and other environmental organizations.

About 3500 families are expected to attend the event.

National grocery store chain H-E-B plans to celebrate Earth Day by giving away reusable shopping bags. From 3 to 7 p.m. April 22, customers who bring in at least five plastic shopping bags to their local H-E-B will be given a voucher for a free reusable bag. The grocery store chain expects to receive about 750,000 plastic bags, which will be recycled.

In a news release, H-E-B officials stated their desire to encourage shoppers to change their habits by using these reusable bags.

Shoppers also can buy these bags for 99 cents each, plus tax. Five cents from each bag's purchase will go toward establishing H-E-B's Green Bag Grants for recycling programs through Keep Texas Beautiful.

Contact Laura Kaae at or call (254) 501-7464

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