Hundreds celebrate Earth Day at festival

| April 30, 2010 | 0 Comments

Army Hawaii Family Housing
News Release

SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Live hula dancers and tales of adventurous sea turtles captured the hearts and minds of hundreds of children, here, during the 3rd Annual Earth Day Festival at the Kalakaua Community Center, Friday.  

Alani Johnson participates in several make ‘n take activities, including planting a seedling that she can take home to nurture and grow. Performance Landscaping donated the seedlings and staff, like Army Hawaii Family Housing’s Steve Kirby, left, helped manage the booth. (Mark Brown | Army Hawaii Family Housing)Nearly two dozen exhibitors engaged a record number of approximately 450 children (with parents in tow) in activities that informed and taught them about all types of environmental sustainability ranging from energy, water, land, coral reefs, oceans and more. 

Upon arriving at the event, attendees received an Earth Day passport that was stamped after taking part in educational activities at select exhibits.  

The first hundred kids who turned in their completed passports received a 2010 Earth Day T-shirt and were entered into a drawing for fabulous prizes at booths throughout the festival.

Other event highlights included live theatrical performances on the main stage of “The Adventures of Gary & Harry, A Tale of Two Turtles.” 

The turtles creatively engaged kids in the story with their impersonations of lobsters, squid and other ocean creatures.  

The performance was presented by actors from Ohia Productions, an organization that educates children about the environment and island culture through theatrical performances.  

In the main activity room, the Hawaii Nature Center and the Hawaii Coral Reef Initiative taught kids about conservation on land and in the ocean through fun, hands-on activities. 

The Adventures of Gary & Harry, A Tale of Two Turtles, a live performance by Ohia Productions that took place on the main stage, gets kids engaged in the story with impersonations of lobsters, squid and other ocean creatures. (Stefanie Gardin | U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii Public Affairs)Outdoors in the courtyard and throughout the lawn area surrounding the Kalakaua Community Center, dozens more exhibitors spent the afternoon getting kids excited about learning.

“It’s amazing to see so many people come out to our event,” said Claire Ridding-Johnston, Army Hawaii Family Housing project director, as she took in the crowd. “The event has grown tremendously in just a few years, and we can credit much of this year’s success to the members of our Earth Day Festival Committee who spent several months planning it.”  

The annual event is coordinated by a committee staffed with representatives from U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii’s Directorate of Public Works, AHFH, and Actus Lend Lease. 

This year the committee was provided with important financial support from the Actus Community Fund, a nonprofit organization committed to supporting military men and women who live in homes and communities where Actus Lend Lease employees live and work.

Col. Matthew Margotta, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii commander, who has supported the event alongside Ridding-Johnston during the past few years, expressed his excitement over how much the event has grown during a brief address to families at the event.  

Both Margotta and Ridding-Johnston look forward to the event’s continued success, giving more families an opportunity to learn about sustainability, and how they can be part of important Army and AHFH partnership initiatives surrounding conservation.


Many organizations came out to support the Earth Day Festival, sharing exciting activities and information with military families, including the following:


  • Army and Air Force Exchange Services-Hawaii Exchange
  • Aqua Engineering
  • Directorate of Emergency Services’ Military Police
  • Directorate of Public Works’ Clean Water Branch, Energy Conservation Branch, and Environmental Services
  • Hawaii Coral Reef Initiative
  • Hawaii Nature Center
  • Hawaiian Electric Company
  • Mark Gervacio, Hawaii Story Time
  • Ohia Productions
  • Performance Landscaping
  • Schofield Barracks Commissary
  • Sea Life Park Hawaii
  • Sgt. Yano Library
  • Tetra Tech


Check out more photos on Army Hawaii Family Housing’s Flickr site or U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii’s Flickr site.


Category: Community

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