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April 11, 2014

Nellis AFB goes green for Earth Day

2nd Lt Corey Booker
99th Civil Engineer Squadron

NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — The 2014 Air Force Earth Day theme is “Conserve Today — Secure Tomorrow.”

The theme focuses on mission sustainability. Mission accomplishment is achieved without compromise and operates into the future without decline of the natural and man-made systems.

The first Earth Day occurred on April 22, 1970, introduced by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin. Across the Air Force, installations are taking aggressive strides for common goals: pollution prevention, enhance sustainability, minimize waste and cut costs through the use of innovative technologies, strategic reuse and recycling of products and materials and substitution of nonhazardous materials for hazardous material.

Energy conservation and efficiency programs, as well as the use of alternative and renewable energy sources, are also helping pave the way for a sustainable, “greener” Air Force.

There are many strategies for increasing sustainability: reducing energy consumption, limiting the use of hazardous chemicals and conserving water resources are just a few. While much progress has been made in these areas, Air Force officials emphasize there is always more that can be done, and it takes a concerted effort from all members of the Air Force team.

All Airmen are urged to join in support of Earth Day 2014 and recommit to the Air Force’s broader environmental efforts.

Nellis AFB has been a leader and an active environmental steward in the Las Vegas valley, implementing water resource management and pollution prevention measures such as:

  • Investing in energy efficient measures such as Energy Star Washers, Xeriscaping, Hybrid Vehicles Purchase which saves approximately $600,000 annually in energy costs.
  • Operation of the 140-acre Nellis AFB Photovoltaic Solar Array, which produces over 14.7 Megawatts of power, supplying approximately 25% of at the base electrical requirements.
  • Operation of Nellis AFB recycling center, which processes 3,400 tons of recyclable material annually.
  • Xeriscaping or desert landscaping resulted in the removal of 92,000 square feet of grass, saving 4.2 million gallons of water annually.

Since 1992, Nellis AFB has conducted and participated in an array of activities during Earth Week. In addition, this year will mark the 20th year that Nellis AFB has been designated as a Tree City USA by the Nevada Department of Forestry in partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation.

Why plant trees at Nellis? Trees conducive to the desert environment will take less water than grass, clean the air, provide shade and beautify the area.

The Tree City USA program is a national program that provides the framework for community forestry management and meets four core standards of sound urban management. More information on Tree City USA can be found at http://www.arborday.org/index.cfm
The Civil Engineer Team invites the Nellis community to participate and attend the following activities in support of Earth Day/Arbor Day:

  • Major General Billy McCoy Environmental Grove Clean Up – 99th Civil Engineer Squadron will be coordinating efforts to conduct clean-up and beautification of the Environmental Grove. Volunteers are welcome. Suggested uniforms are ABU for military and work attire for Civilians. Clean up efforts will begin at 8 a.m. on April 24.
  • Cleanup of Southeast Portion of the Base – Littered with dumped tires, 99th CES will sponsor the cleanup efforts on 25th of April, volunteers are welcome. Meet at the building 812 at 7 a.m.
  • NDF presentation of Nellis AFB designation as Tree City USA – Nellis AFB will receive recognition as Tree City USA community for 20 years. NDF will present this award to Nellis at 10 a.m. on April 28 at the McCoy Environmental Grove.
  • The Arbor Day Tree Planting Ceremony – Nellis AFB will celebrate an Arbor Day tree planting ceremony at 10:30 a.m. at the McCoy Environmental Grove on April 28.

To capture and highlight the impact of individual efforts across the Air Force, we will continue to collect and promote personal posts on the “Blue Acts of Green” Facebook page, which was launched in 2012.

Airmen and their families are encouraged to commit to perform an act of “green” at home or work to better conserve and manage our natural resources and assist the Air Force with its sustainability efforts. The site is available at www.facebook.com/blueactsofgreen.

As millions of people around the world observe Earth Day this year, Nellis AFB Leadership and other Air Force leaders are challenging Airmen and their families to perform actions that will protect the natural environment. For more information, resources and environmentally friendly tips, visit the Air Force Civil Engineer Center website at http://www.afcec.af.mil/news/earthday2014.
For additional information on any of the events above, contact 2nd Lt. Corey Booker at (702) 652-4288 or corey.booker@us.af.mil.




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