KCCB draws a crowd, educates at annual Eco Harvest
By LYNETTE SOWELL
The fifth annual Eco Harvest took place Saturday, with more than 300 visiting the exhibits and participating during the three-hour event that focuses on sustainability.
On Friday, fourth graders from CCISD had the opportunity to get a sneak peek before the civic centers opened its doors Saturday morning for the entire community.
The exhibits ranged from learning how to recycle paper, to planting seeds in used Keurig cups, to learning about rainwater harvesting, to with making a garbage pizza.
Those who arrived early enough on Saturday were treated to a free pancake and sausage breakfast, along with coffee and juice, cooked up and served by members of the Copperas Cove Rotary Club.
In addition, the animals of Zoomagination charmed the crowd with their very presence, as the traveling educational organization came from San Antonio to share facts about the animals along with getting a closeup view.
Kids were treated to the sight of a sloth, a ball python, a porcupine named Sahara, and a young kangaroo who enjoyed shelter in a cloth pouch.
The garbage pizza project table was a popular stop for those who had the chance to decorate a paper plate pizza—with “pieces” already split up to show the contents of an average trash can, which can contain as much as 30 percent paper.
Outdoors, representatives from the Mayborn Planetarium had a table where they had several solarscopes set up to view the sun safely. The Fort Hood Natural Resources Management Branch was on hand to share information about the conservation practices on the hundreds of square miles that make up Fort Hood, which their exhibit display claimed is “the last large block of land whose wildlife and native plants are protected from development.”
Covite Bruce Coons, a citizen committee member of the Cen-Tex Sustainability Partnership, helped run rounds of Jeopardy! For those who stopped by his table. The Eco Harvest version of the game included multiple choice quiz facts on water conservation and sustainability.
Coons said the Cen-Tex Sustainability Partnership focuses on educating citizens in the Central Texas area about sustainability, as well as sharing resources and information.
“We're helpers,” Coons said. “We meet monthly to share ideas and talk about what we've been doing in our communities. Copperas Cove is a leader in sustainability.” The Cen-Tex Sustainability Partnership also has a five-year plan in which the cities have been working toward goals together, such as single stream recycling programs.
Also at Eco Harvest, the Copperas Cove Code Compliance Department had a display and two of their personnel were present to answer questions about keeping properties in line with city codes, to include watching out for high grass, junked vehicles and appliances, trash and refuse, along with sewage.
Erika Poppel, a KCCB member, kept busy instructing kids and their parents on how they can recycle paper in their own homes with the help of a blender and some water.
“You use paper that's already been shredded, put it in a blender and add some water,” Poppel said. “Do not do this by yourself.”
After making a pulp from the shredded paper and water mixture, Poppel then demonstrated how to make new paper, as well as use the pulp to make seedling cups.
“These are good because you can plant them right in the ground,” she said. “It does not disturb the root and if I put this in the ground, (the paper) will disintegrate.” The recycled paper seedling cup also turns into compost for the seedlings, she added. Children stopping at her booth were each given some recycled paper to take home.
Saturday morning, the Eco Harvest featured a number of door prizes to give away, and took in surveys, where those who completed the form had their name entered into a drawing for a $50 H-E-B gift card.