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Second-graders at Ramstein Elementary School watch with their teacher, Yvonne Engels, as Ulrich Knuff, the German forester for U.S. military bases in the Kaiserslautern area, demonstrates how to plant a birch tree sapling. As part of Earth Day on Wednesday, April 22, 2015, the students planted 300 birch tree saplings in a barren area on next to the driving range on Ramstein Air Base, Germany.
Second-graders at Ramstein Elementary School watch with their teacher, Yvonne Engels, as Ulrich Knuff, the German forester for U.S. military bases in the Kaiserslautern area, demonstrates how to plant a birch tree sapling. As part of Earth Day on Wednesday, April 22, 2015, the students planted 300 birch tree saplings in a barren area on next to the driving range on Ramstein Air Base, Germany. (Jennifer H. Svan/Stars and Stripes)
Second-graders at Ramstein Elementary School watch with their teacher, Yvonne Engels, as Ulrich Knuff, the German forester for U.S. military bases in the Kaiserslautern area, demonstrates how to plant a birch tree sapling. As part of Earth Day on Wednesday, April 22, 2015, the students planted 300 birch tree saplings in a barren area on next to the driving range on Ramstein Air Base, Germany.
Second-graders at Ramstein Elementary School watch with their teacher, Yvonne Engels, as Ulrich Knuff, the German forester for U.S. military bases in the Kaiserslautern area, demonstrates how to plant a birch tree sapling. As part of Earth Day on Wednesday, April 22, 2015, the students planted 300 birch tree saplings in a barren area on next to the driving range on Ramstein Air Base, Germany. (Jennifer H. Svan/Stars and Stripes)
The hands of two second-graders pat down the dirt next to a newly planted birch tree sapling at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. As part of Earth Day, second-graders at Ramstein Elementary School planted 300 birch tree saplings on Wednesday, April 22, 2015, next to the base driving range that had previously been mostly deforested.
The hands of two second-graders pat down the dirt next to a newly planted birch tree sapling at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. As part of Earth Day, second-graders at Ramstein Elementary School planted 300 birch tree saplings on Wednesday, April 22, 2015, next to the base driving range that had previously been mostly deforested. (Jennifer H. Svan/Stars and Stripes)
Imani Salmon, left, and Jordyn Bloss plant a birch tree sapling at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on Wednesday, April 22, for Earth Day. The second-graders' class at Ramstein Elementary School planted 300 birch saplings in a barren area next to the base driving range.
Imani Salmon, left, and Jordyn Bloss plant a birch tree sapling at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on Wednesday, April 22, for Earth Day. The second-graders' class at Ramstein Elementary School planted 300 birch saplings in a barren area next to the base driving range. (Jennifer H. Svan/Stars and Stripes)
Noelle Unruh, a second-grader at Ramstein Elementary School, places a birch tree sapling in a dirt hole on Wednesday, April 22, 2015, at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. Noelle and her classmates planted 300 birch tree saplings in an area next to the base driving range that had previously been mostly deforested. Teacher Yvonne Engels had her students help with the planting project as part of Earth Day.
Noelle Unruh, a second-grader at Ramstein Elementary School, places a birch tree sapling in a dirt hole on Wednesday, April 22, 2015, at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. Noelle and her classmates planted 300 birch tree saplings in an area next to the base driving range that had previously been mostly deforested. Teacher Yvonne Engels had her students help with the planting project as part of Earth Day. (Jennifer H. Svan/Stars and Stripes)
Second-graders at Ramstein Elementary School planted 300 birch tree saplings on Wednesday, April 22, 2015, next to the driving range on Ramstein Air Base, Germany. The students worked with their teacher, Yvonne Engels, and the base forester and biologist on the project.
Second-graders at Ramstein Elementary School planted 300 birch tree saplings on Wednesday, April 22, 2015, next to the driving range on Ramstein Air Base, Germany. The students worked with their teacher, Yvonne Engels, and the base forester and biologist on the project. (Jennifer H. Svan/Stars and Stripes)
Ramstein Elementary School second-grader Azarias Porter concentrates on making sure the birch tree sapling he's planted stands tall and straight. Porter's class planted 300 birch tree saplings next to the driving range on Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on Wednesday, April 22, 2015, as part of Earth Day. Porter said it was fun to get his hands dirty, "especially at school."
Ramstein Elementary School second-grader Azarias Porter concentrates on making sure the birch tree sapling he's planted stands tall and straight. Porter's class planted 300 birch tree saplings next to the driving range on Ramstein Air Base, Germany, on Wednesday, April 22, 2015, as part of Earth Day. Porter said it was fun to get his hands dirty, "especially at school." (Jennifer H. Svan/Stars and Stripes)
Julia Wemhoff, left, Jasmine Rebik, center, and Bryce Wehmeyer plant an "egg-carton garden" on April 22, 2015, outside the U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz Main Library at Landstuhl, Germany. For Earth Day, the library provided patrons with a variety of flower and vegetable seeds that they could plant in an egg carton to take home and grow a garden.
Julia Wemhoff, left, Jasmine Rebik, center, and Bryce Wehmeyer plant an "egg-carton garden" on April 22, 2015, outside the U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz Main Library at Landstuhl, Germany. For Earth Day, the library provided patrons with a variety of flower and vegetable seeds that they could plant in an egg carton to take home and grow a garden. (Jennifer H. Svan/Stars and Stripes)
Bryce Wehmeyer sprinkles flower seeds in an egg carton on April 22, 2015, outside the U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz Main Library at Landstuhl, Germany. For Earth Day, the library provided patrons with a variety of flower and vegetable seeds that they could plant in an egg carton to take home and grow a garden.
Bryce Wehmeyer sprinkles flower seeds in an egg carton on April 22, 2015, outside the U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland-Pfalz Main Library at Landstuhl, Germany. For Earth Day, the library provided patrons with a variety of flower and vegetable seeds that they could plant in an egg carton to take home and grow a garden. (Jennifer H. Svan/Stars and Stripes)

Kids in the Kaiserslautern Military Community dirtied their hands Wednesday, planting trees and tiny gardens during base and school activities held in celebration of Earth Day.

At Ramstein Air Base, Germany, second-graders at Ramstein Elementary School planted 300 birch tree saplings on one side of the base driving range — an area that had been previously cleared of trees. Pitching in to help the students were the base forester and biologist, teacher Yvonne Engels and several classroom and parent volunteers.

“It’s kind of like the earth’s birthday, so I want to give it a present – more trees,” said Evan Rotramel.

At Landstuhl, the U.S. Army Garrison Rheinland Pflaz Main Library wasn’t as crowded after school as usual, likely because of the warm, sunny weather. But a few students hanging out among the stacks came out to participate in the library’s Earth Day activity: planting an egg-carton garden. Library staff provided soil, seeds, a hand shovel and egg cartons. Patrons could plant seeds and take them home to grow a garden.

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