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YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — Military commands throughout South Korea plan to do their part to “make every day Earth Day.” Beginning this week, units throughout the region will host a variety of environmentally-themed activities.

One of the most ambitious will be at Osan Air Base, where 51st Fighter Wing officials are asking all personnel to leave their vehicles at home this week. Instead, they should walk, ride a bus or bike — whatever gets them out of their individual cars.

Volunteers will also be planting trees along the base during the week, according to coordinator Senior Airman Sarah Clark. The week will be highlighted at Osan by an Earth Day fair Thursday at the Osan American High School football field from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The week will be capped off with Osan Pride Day on Friday, when community members will take part in a base-wide cleanup, said 2nd Lt. Renee Lee, a 51st Fighter Wing spokeswoman.

Area I events include a Better Opportunities for Single and Unaccompanied Soldiers (BOSS) tree-planting at Camp Red Cloud on Thursday. Camp Page soldiers will be offered a tour of the nearby Chuncheon City water treatment plant Thursday, to observe its operations. The tour leaves from the Camp Page Directorate of Public Works compound at 2 p.m.

At Camp Long, officials will hold a “spill response demonstration” Tuesday to highlight base containment procedures. Further south, Taegu area bases will begin a drive to collect and properly dispose of household hazardous wastes. And Tuesday, a ceremony will mark the end of an 18-month project in which contaminated soil from a base golf course was cleaned through a “biopile” system which uses aeration to treat tainted soil.

Earth Day has been observed on April 22 every year since 1970. It was begun by Gaylord Nelson, then a senator from Wisconsin. At the time, awareness was only beginning to grow about choking pollution in industrial cities, gas-guzzling cars and fouled waterways.

The Earth Day Network, which has since built on Nelson’s idea, claims some 20 million Americans took to the streets and parks on April 22, 1970, to publicize environmental awareness. Each year, the events have grown more widespread and sophisticated, officials say.

— More information on worldwide Earth Day events, including those in South Korean communities, can be found at

—Franklin Fisher contributed to this report.


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