Herald/TJ MAXWELL - Gil Eckrich of the Fort Hood DPW-Environmental Natural Resources Management Branch, left, tries to entice a correct answer out of Copperas Cove ISD students during the Eco Harvest for Kids at the Copperas Cove Civic Center on Friday.

By Holly Wise

Killeen Daily Herald

COPPERAS COVE - Compost. Water conservation. Endangered species.

The Copperas Cove Civic Center was bustling with sustainability information Friday as 250 fourth- and fifth-graders showed up at the inaugural Eco Harvest event sponsored by Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful.

"It's going great," Silvia Rhoads, executive director of Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful, said. "They seem to be having a good time; I'm sure they're learning a lot."

Clusters of eight to 10 children were rotated through stations whose presenters discussed things like how to make compost, what items are recyclable, where the city's water comes from and endangered bird species.

"It's going very well so far," Charlotte Reemts, with The Nature Conservancy, said just before her table was crowded with a new group of students.

Gasps shuddered through the little audience and a couple of students covered their mouths with their hands as they watched a video of a golden-cheeked warbler's nest being invaded by a snake.

Moments later, they crowded around Reemts' computer and listened to the bird's call.

The event featured organizations from surrounding areas, including Fort Hood, that showed up to support the partnership.

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

The event continues today and is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Rhoads said the event's purpose is to educate children and the citizens of Copperas Cove about issues of sustainability.

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

Contact Holly Wise at hwise@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7474.

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