FORT LEE, Va. (April 15, 2010) – “Earth – It’s Your Call,” is the theme of this year’s Fort Lee Earth Day and the focus is on educating adults and children about how they can become better stewards of the environment.

Students in grades 3-5 from Fort Lee surrounding communities have been invited to come out April 29 and take the “Earth Day Pledge” to a better earth, to include fifth graders from DuPont Elementary in Hopewell who came up with this year’s Earth Day theme.

Children will have the opportunity to play environmentally educational games that focus on standards of learning test questions and view more than 50 interactive exhibits Earth Day morning.

“This is a historic event because it celebrates the 40th anniversary of Earth Day,” said Carol Anderson, Environmental Management Office director. “We would like to have our largest turnout ever.”

Beginning at noon, military members and Civilians are invited to come out and enjoy Earth Day activities tailored to them – beginning with a song dedication.

Nearly 100 third graders from Tussing Elementary School in Colonial Heights, will come out with their music teacher, Michael Souders, and sing “Thank You Soldiers,” co-written by Souders with his wife, Angela.

“I’ve always been a really patriotic guy,” Souders said. “I felt that we needed a real sincere thank you to the Soldiers. We’ve already had 800,000 views on YouTube for the song. It’s such an honor to come to Fort Lee and sing it for the Soldiers it was written for.”

This year, the traditional Earth Day tree planting in the afternoon will take a slightly different turn. “The trees in the tree planting will symbolize the Sustainment Center of Excellence and the schools that now are under SCoE: Ordnance, Transportation, and Quartermaster Schools, Kenner Army Health Clinic, the 49th QM Group, Fort Lee Garrison and the Army Logistics University,” said Alan Mills, environmental specialist. Mills said that children from the Child Development Center on post will help each command representative to plant the trees.

“We hope most Civilians on the installation who help us do our jobs are going to be there,” said Matthew Weeks, hazardous waste program manager. “We would like to educate them on the resources that we use and how it affects them,” he said.

Earth Day festivities are from 9 a.m. - noon for the visiting school children. After lunch, the focus will be more adult oriented.

“It’s more than just an Earth Day, it’s a Soldier appreciation celebration event,” Ballinger said.