Bavaria Military Community “Go Green” Glimpses of Earth Day 2013 Caecilia Meier, Environmental Division, Bavaria Military Community
BMC Newsletter “Go Green” Issue 3 June 2013
The Bavaria Military Community celebrated Earthday with a series of events in the months of April and May 2013.
Inside this issue: Glimpses of Earth Day
What about a king in a beehive?
Household hazardous waste
New water-monitoring station
Protect yourself from ticks
Go Green — vehicle maintenance
Interesting places to go
It all started out with an environmental book display at the Rose Barracks Vilseck and Tower Barracks Grafenwoehr libraries and got to a first highlight on April, 22nd, when the new Freecycle Center was opened. In the same week, Vilseck High School planted a hedgerow together with DPW Environmental Division and the Bundesforst, Grafenwoehr Elementary School had a science fair and MWR CYS celebrated its annual Kinderfest with several environmentally friendly activities. In mid-May, third graders from Vilseck Elementary School had a lot of fun during a nature walk in the forest near the Family Housing area with members of the Environmental Division. The big finale were two school-organized environmental days at Grafenwoehr Elementary School (May 17th) and Netzaberg Elementary School (May 24th). On both days, members of the 44th Expeditionary Support Battalion spent their free time to contribute to the events.
Opening of the freecycle center
44th ESB explaining beaver facts
DPW SORT coordinators at Graf Elem School
“Playing green” at the CYS Kinderfest
Thanks to all who contributed to the 2013 Earth Day events and activities at Bavaria Military Community. More: www.facebook.com/ USAGGEnvironmental
Willow Dome, Rose Barracks
Nature walk, Vilseck Elementary School
Newsletter Bavaria Military Community “Go Green”
What about a king in the beehive? Caecilia Meier, Environmental Division, Bavaria Military Community What about a king in the beehive? That’s one of the most amazing questions the students asked the hobby beekeeper Mr. Reinhold Birner during the environmental day at Netzaberg Elementary School on May, 24th — but of course, there is none. Mr. Birner had set up a comprehensive exhibit about bee keeping and harvesting honey including a complete set of beekeeper’s equipment as well as a living beehive behind a glass panel. The students learned a lot about the life cycle in a beehive, how to uncap the combs, harvest the honey or how to process the wax. Above all, they had a lot of fun wearing the protective gear of a beekeeper, turning the centrifuge and last but not least tasting the honey.
Netzaberg Elementary School students with hobby beekeeper Reinhold Birner
Offspring at the white-tailed eagle’s nest Stefan Haertl, Environmental Division, Bavaria Military Community
In May and early June, Mr. Daniel Schmidt, Germany-wide expert for raptors, banded the nestlings of the white-tailed eagle at Grafenwoehr Training Area (GTA). He was accompanied by members of the Garrison Environmental Division and the Federal Forest Office. The bands provide information about the birds’ birth place and date, thus supporting the conservation efforts for this species. In Germany, the white-tailed eagle is protected by law. Around 1900, it was almost extinct in Europe. Now, Germany is home to around 700 breeding pairs, but there are only 4-5 pairs in Bavaria. Outside of GTA, whitetailed eagles are known to breed near the Altmühlsee (since 2006) and the bird sanctuary “Lower Inn River” (since 2009), a wetland of international importance. At GTA, the first successful brood of whitetailed eagles in Bavaria was recorded in 2001, when a young eagle was seen on one of the ranges. Protected from human disturbances like sports and other leisure time activities in the surface danger zones, the eagles successfully increased their population. This year, there are at least two breeding pairs at GTA Page 2
with four nestlings, which is very likely 50 % of the total population in Bavaria. Furthermore, several non-breeding eagles from other parts of Germany, Poland, and Czechoslovakia have recently been observed at GTA — identified through their individual color bands around their legs. The European white-tailed eagle is a close relative to the American bald eagle.
Two white-tailed eagle nestlings at Grafenwoehr Training Area Photo: Daniel Schmidt
Newsletter Bavaria Military Community “Go Green”
Household hazardous waste Elisabeth Prem, Environmental Division, Bavaria Military Community
ardous materials. Dispose of these materials at the places shown in the table below.
Hazardous materials (HM) are not used at work places alone. A close look through your household will reveal different kinds of hazardous material: Adhesives, antifreeze, corrosives, batteries, bleaches, brake fluids, detergents, disinfectants, dyes, fertilizers, motor oil, nail polish, pesticides , printer cartridges, solvents, stain removers, strippers, thinners, toners are examples of haz-
Electronic equipment contains toxic substances like lead, mercury, cadmium, but also re-usable substances, e.g. copper or aluminum. Since March 2006, electric and electronic waste (e-waste) must also be collected and disposed of separately from household waste.
One ton of old mobile phones contains valuable resources: - 1,7 kg silver - 300 g gold - 80 g palladium - rare earth elements
Total Value ~ $ 20,000
More Info: Elisabeth Prem, Environmental Engineer, DSN 476–2932 http://www.grafenwoehr.army.mil/ usag_dpw/environmental/hazmat/ env_hm_household_haz_waste.asp
New water monitoring station in place Albert Amberger, Environmental Division, Bavaria Military Community
The Directorate of Public Works Environmental Division just completed an environmental project to install a water monitoring station in the Schaumbach Creek at the eastern boundary of Grafenwoehr Training Area. The installation of the monitoring station is a requirement of the host nation water rights permit for the Tower Barracks. It is the last of eight stations placed in a major creek within the training area border. New water monitoring station in the Schaumbach creek
The purpose of these stations is to
collect data about the quality and quantity of surface water leaving the training area. The quality of the surface water is determined by measuring conductivity, temperature, pH-value, oxygen content and other characteristics of the water. In addition, automatic water sampling can be initiated over a given period of time for biological, hydrological and further water quality analysis. Furthermore, data are used to - run erosion and runoff models - ensure good water quality for fishing - optimize erosion and runoff control - identify water pollution origin - defend the training area against wrongful off post claims.
Newsletter Bavaria Military Community “Go Green”
Protect yourself from ticks Source: Public Health Command Fact Sheets
Useful tools for removing ticks (available in drugstores or pharmacies) www.chppmeur.healthcare.hq usareur.army.mil/sites/ usachppmeur/FactSheets.aspx http://phc.amedd.army.mil/ search/Pages/ LibraryResults.aspx?k=tick
Most bugs are just an annoyance, but some, like ticks, can transmit the bacterium responsible for Lyme disease (borreliosis) or spread other diseases like the tick-born encephalitis. Although most tick bites won’t transmit a disease, some can. Pre-cautions you can take Avoid known tick areas since ticks are picked up after direct contact only. In risk areas for tick borne encephalitis: vaccination (encephalitis only). Protect yourself by adequate clothing (long pants, trouser legs close to the skin, light colored clothes and shoes). Search for ticks on your clothes and especially on the body after you’ve been outdoors. Apply repellents.
In case of a tick bite Remove tick(s). Use narrow-tipped tweezers to grasp it as close to your skin as possible, and pull upward slowly and steadily. Then wash your skin and hands with soap and warm water. Never crush or squeeze an attached tick. Closely watch bite area for changes in skin color, get medical treatment, if necessary, send in tick for bacterial analysis. Protect your pets from ticks: Ticks crawling on cats or dogs can cross over to humans. Therefore, try to keep your pets free of pests. The most effective tick control are products from your veterinarian that kill all stages of ticks. Consistency is the key for success; one missed dose will expose your pet to a greater risk for tick borne diseases.
Go green - vehicle maintenance By Reinhold Froehlich, Environmental Division, USAG Hohenfels.
More Info: Environmental Division, USAG, Hohenfels, DSN 466-2658
Motor vehicles represent a major source of air pollution. Routine vehicle maintenance is essential to reduce the direct emissions of pollutants to the air from vehicle fuel combustion. Vehicle exhaust contains carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas), particulate matter, carbon monoxide (a component of smog), and volatile organic compounds (some are carcinogens). Regular inspection of the exhaust and
emission control systems will identify damage to components that play a critical role in reducing pollution. Regular checks of hoses and seals will prevent leaks of toxic fluids like glycol containing antifreeze and brake fluid. Regular checks of fluids will ensure that they only get topped up or replaced when necessary. Regular checks of tires will identify damage and uneven wear and ensure that the tires are inflated to the level that optimizes fuel efficiency.
Interesting places to go Caecilia Meier, Environmental Division , Bavaria Military Community Grafenwoehr Nature Trail Playground at the garden exhibit in Tirschenreuth
The trail is located in the immediate vicinity of the new Outdoor Recreation Center near Dickhäuter Lake that will be opened this summer. Interesting facts can be found along the trail, from topics like trees, butterflies, and forestry to wildlife management, soil, and wetlands. At a leisurely pace, the trail can be com-
Grafenwoehr nature trail Page 4
pleted in about one or one and a half hours. To get there, exit Tower Barracks Grafenwoehr thru gate 9 and turn right. Landesgartenschau Tirschenreuth This gardening exhibit offers a lot of fun for children but also information about nature and fish hatcheries in the local area. http://gartenschau-tirschenreuth.de/