Story and Photo by
2nd Lt. Lauren Looper
65th Engineer Battalion Public Affairs, 130th Eng. Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command
SCHOFIELD BARRACKS — Engineers demonstrated their commitment to the environment by participating in Earth Month activities with U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii’s Directorate of Public Works, here, recently.
Soldiers with the 70th Engineer Company (Geospatial), 65th Eng. Battalion, 130th Eng. Brigade, 8th Theater Sustainment Command, helped clean up a bio-retention project in a parking lot near their company area.
Hayley Diamond, Clean Water Program specialist, DPW, USAG-HI, said the Soldiers refurbished a bio-retention system that treats storm water runoff and pollutants from the parking lot. Bio-retention is the use of plants to help with drainage and keep pollutants out of the water.
DPW installed the bio-retention area in 2008 as part of the Clean Water Act Permit program and used hibiscus bushes to help filter water. The area also includes a drain for overflow.
“The hibiscus dilutes the toxins and keeps pollutants out of the water,” said Pfc. Nathan Carter, 70th Eng. Co.
Bio-retention facilities work best when they’re maintained regularly. Scheduled maintenance includes replacement of mulch once a year and weeding, when necessary.
Throughout the morning, Soldiers pulled weeds and cut out plants that were interfering with the bio-retention area.
Sgt. 1st Class Walter Hill discussed how the project showed the commitment of the 70th Eng. Co. to be green.
“1st Sgt. Todd Jackson, 70th Eng. (Geo.) Co., is really good about this stuff. We have recycling bins for everything,” Hill said.
The money from the company’s recycling program goes to fund its Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers, or BOSS, program.