By Holly Wise

The Cove Herald

The Copperas Cove High School National Honor Society got involved last week with the inaugural Eco Harvest event at the Copperas Cove Civic Center.

Nineteen members of the society volunteered as chaperones for the 250 fourth- and fifth-graders who turned out for the Friday event sponsored by Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful.

"This is an amazing group," said NHS adviser Brenda Piccirilli.

As members of the society, students are required to fulfill 20 hours of community service. This year, instead of volunteering individually, the students decided to work together.

"Now we work as a group, which builds camaraderie," Piccirilli said.

The chaperones donned Eco Harvest 2010 T-shirts and helped guide groups of elementary students through stations set up to teach them about sustainability and the environment.

"I love it," Piccirilli said. "The kids are all engaged; it's educational and fun."

The event was held Friday exclusively for students; it was open to the public Saturday. It featured organizations from around the area, including Fort Hood, that showed up to support the partnership.

"It's a really great success for this being the first year we're hosting the Eco Harvest event," Fort Hood Environmental representative Christine Luciano said. "It's important to educate the children. It starts with the youth."

Clusters of eight to 10 children traveled between stations where presenters discussed a variety of topics, including how to make compost, what items are recyclable, where the city gets its water and endangered bird species.

Daniel Mulberry, the Copperas Cove water superintendent, spoke to the kids about water conservation and sources.

"I'm trying to tell the children where the water comes from," he said. "Most people don't know where it comes from or how it gets here."

Marlena Del Hierro was a visiting presenter with Fort Hood Environmental. She showed students food items and quizzed them on the process of composting.

Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful Director Silvia Rhoads said the purpose of the event is to educate children and the residents of Copperas Cove about issues of sustainability.

"The main focus is on education," she said. "Not just young kids but also adults."

Contact Holly Wise at or (254) 501-7474.

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