Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful host annual Eco Harvest

By PAMELA GRANT
Cove Leader-Press

There’s only one Earth, and it’s our responsibility to take care of it. That was the message and the goal of the 8th Annual Eco Harvest, held by Keep Copperas Cove Beautiful on Saturday at the Copperas Cove Civic Center. 
The event is intended to raise awareness about the environment and to encourage people to take better care of the planet. Participants were shown simple ways to be more eco-friendly and what benefits doing so can make.
This year’s Eco Harvest featured several booths offering a wide range of eco-friendly events and activities. Participants had the opportunity to craft bird feeders, seed “cookies” from recycled paper, and recyclable planters. They could also learn about how to recycle and what benefits recycling can have. To the delight of many, Zoomagination also performed at the event.
There were tables to teach about sustainability, composting, rain water harvesting, protecting the environment, protecting wildlife, and more.
“I think it’s great,” said Mayor Frank Seffrood. “I think it gives people a chance to find out ideas that we can use in our daily life. By doing that we’re preserving nature and then we’re recycling back to it and taking better care of it so we don’t waste it. And each one of these dedicated booths here has an idea in mind, and if you collectively put them all to work we would have an unending economy of natural resources.”
Seffrood added that the Eco Harvest did a good job of getting people to the event and presenting their messages in fun ways.
Edith Freyer, a past KCCB president, manned a booth showing how to create a planter using a water bottle. She demonstrated how to cut a water bottle in half, put water in the bottom and soil with seeds in the top with a string running through the soil and into the water. This way the seeds can get all the water that they need and you don’t have to worry about drowning them by pouring the water directly onto them. She said that by reusing items in creative ways, you don’t have to use money to buy other items.
“I want to leave the world a little better for the next generation,” said Freyer. “We teach them to recycle and they tell mommy and daddy ‘Don’t put that in the garbage, put that in the recycling bin.’”
Scott Summers, a wildlife biologist for Fort Hood Natural Resource Management Branch, and his wife, manned a booth teaching about how important it is to manage our wildlife habitats and teach about how vital maintaining our natural world is.
“It’s important that we make an impression on kids on the importance of the natural world because the human population continues to grow and pressure our natural world and ecosystem,” said Summers. “In order to maintain Fort Hood—and frankly America and the whole world—and keep it sustainable for the Army to continue to train in the future and the people to continue to live here, we’ve got to have clean air and clean water. The more biodiversity we have on Fort Hood, the cleaner the air and water and the more sustainable Fort Hood will be in the future.”
All of the booths were family-friendly, and many parents brought their children to the event.
“It’s good for the community to come out. There’s a lot of things for the kids to do,” said Precious Aikens who brought her daughter, Joy Aikens (3), to the event. “It’s informative and interactive.”
“I liked it. I liked making the bird feeder,” said Kadrian Gee (8) who attended the event with his mother. He said it’s important to recycle because “you don’t want litter all over the place.”
Silvia Rhoads, KCCB Director, said that they hold the event free to the community because it’s important to spread awareness about how easy it can be to help the environment. Saturday’s event was only possible due to the combined efforts of many volunteers. The Rotary Club of Copperas Cove cooked the pancakes and sausage, Starbucks donated coffee, and many volunteers donated their time and expertise.
Rhoads said that it was important for the event to be fun for people of all ages.
“The number one thing that I hope people get out of this is how much more we can do for the environment for our kid’s futures,” said Rhoads. “That’s everything from recycling to beautification.”
On Friday, hundreds of CCISD fourth graders also had the opportunity to attend the event and go through each of the exhibits. 

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Copperas Cove, TX 76522
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