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Minnesota National Guard
Earth Day at Camp Ripley

CAMP RIPLEY, Minn " In celebration of Earth Day, Camp Ripley employees performed projects Apr 20 to beautify and further implement a long standing practice of environmentalism and taking care of the habitat that allows the military as well as local, state, and federal partners to execute high-level training

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The day began with a press conference during which the Camp Ripley Environmental Supervisor Jay Brezinka announced that Camp Ripley had won a National Guard Bureau award for its environmental management program The environmental quality award recognizes efforts to protect human health and the environment by achieving full and sustained compliance with all applicable environmental requirements

The Environmental Team was recognized by the National Guard Bureau in Atlanta, Georgia at the National Environmental Workshop on May 1, 2012 The Camp Ripley Environmental Staff has won 16 environmental awards since 1996

In the morning, Camp Ripley employees conducted projects  that  included the establishment of a Tree Nursery, the cleanup of DeParcq Woods Campground, and chopping firewood for the deployed Soldiers' wood program The program gives two cords of free firewood to families of deployed Soldiers to help offset heating costs

The final event was the releasing of a native Northern Saw-whet Owl back into its natural habitat at Camp Ripley Maj John Donovan, Camp Ripley Public Affairs Officer, spoke of how the environmental staff contacted the Wild and Free Wildlife Rehabilitation Organization in Garrison, Minn, who rehabilitated the bird for almost a month The owl flew into a nearby tree momentarily and then disappeared into the forest

"The releasing of the owl was symbolic of the care we show to our surroundings,"�said Marty Skoglund, Camp Ripley Environmental Program Manager

"We understand that we have to take care of the environment not only for the wildlife, but also to ensure that camp is here for the generations of Soldiers to come,"�said Skoglund

By 1st Lt Blake E St Sauver           
Camp Ripley Public Affairs Officer
April 22, 2012

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