VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE -- Vandenberg Air Force Base hosted an Earth Day celebration on April 21, 2021 that featured free raffles, a rock wall, food trucks, VAFB environmental resource groups, and vendors from earth-related agencies across the local area.
"It was a joy to see so many families, airmen, and other personnel at this lively event," said Tiffany Whitsitt-Odell, Center for Environmental Management of Military Lands/30th Space Wing wildlife biologist. "We had roughly 300 visitors throughout the event between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. who were able to enjoy the demonstrations, giveaways, and walk away with tangible ideas they can implement at home to improve their environment."
30 CES hosted groups from the local area, including Earth Works cultural resources management, Balfour Beatty, Base Exchange, VAFB Homeschool Group, Starbase, Wrack Lines of California/ocean plastics education, and American Water.
California Polytechnic State University's herpetological group set up an interactive snake exhibit for visitors, and the 30th Security Forces Squadron Military Working Horse unit provided two horses for children to meet.
Along with having animals to interact with, vendors had vibrant interactive displays for visitors to see.
"We were able to help teach the local community about archaeology," said Eric Nocerino, Applied Earth Works cultural resources management senior archaeologist. "We also spoke about the Chumash culture and their technologies, context, tools used during excavations, and about the rich environment we live in here."
Event volunteers from the 576th Flight Test Squadron and 30th Civil Engineer Squadron manned the rock wall and ensured the event ran smoothly.
“It is important to relay to the base community and to the public that the Air Force takes seriously its responsibility to be good steward to the environment at the same time supporting the mission,” Tiffany Whitsitt-Odell, Center for Environmental Management of Military Lands/30th Space Wing wildlife biologist. “The annual Earth Day event is a great opportunity to showcase the many ways the 30 SW, especially 30 CES/CEI, works to achieve mission success while mitigating impacts to the many natural and cultural resources here at Vandenberg. Additionally, the interactive event allows education of environmental issues to the base community and how important their role is in protecting these resources”
Please call the 30th Space Wing Environmental office at 805-606-1110 or email at 30CES.CEIEA.NaturalResources@us.af.mil for information about Earth Day or ongoing environmental initiatives and volunteer opportunities.