By MC3 Robyn Melvin

Navy Public Affairs Element Southeast

Sailors stationed at Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville came together with their families at Allegheny Park to celebrate Earth Day, April 22.

The festivities celebrated environmental consciousness as well as entertained the children with games, bounce houses and face painting. 

"Earth Day is a day that we need to reflect on how what we do affects (the planet)," said HM3 Kimberly Jamison, who attended the event. "It's about thinking of more that just ourselves." 

The NAS Jacksonville Environmental Management System mission is to ensure environmental compliance, prevent pollution, sustain natural and cultural resources and promote continual improvement.

"We thought it was important to set up a display here so that we can talk about some of our initiatives with environmental division," said Michael Pattison, NAS Jacksonville environmental director.

"It's a great opportunity to get kids involved and teach them how to treat the Earth correctly."

According to GreenFleet.dod.mil, the Navy and Marine Corps are deeply committed to changing the way energy is used and produced, preserving the environment and planning for and combating the harmful effects of climate change.

"There are rules and regulations that we have to make sure the Navy and NAS Jacksonville are abiding by," said Pattison.

"We also have a lot of natural and cultural resources, so we try to do a good job of taking care of those."

One purpose of the Earth Day celebration was to teach kids about the environment. Children were allowed to pet a snake, see a frog up close and learn about how they could help keep the Earth healthy.

Brian, age 7, says he learned about the impact of his actions on the planet and how he can make the world a healthier and cleaner place. 

"Helping the Earth stay healthy is easy," said Brian. "Don't throw trash on the ground and plant flowers to make the Earth pretty."

To learn more about Earth Day and NAS Jacksonville's policy on the environment, visit Earthday.org and https://www.cnic.navy.mil/regions/cnrse/installations/nas_jacksonville/om/environmental_support.html.