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Fremont area fourth graders were treated to a day of environmentally friendly education on Thursday, courtesy of Keep Fremont Beautiful (KFB).

The environmental non-profit, part of the greater organization of Keep Nebraska Beautiful and Keep America Beautiful, hosted its annual Eco-Fair in the City Auditorium for most of the day Thursday.

Scores of students walked among 30 volunteer-run booths that emphasized “various environmental issues that are relative to our area,” according to KFB’s former executive director and the founder of this event, Sue Reyzlik.

Stands covered a variety of topics and included a slew of volunteers from throughout the community. The Dodge County Sheriff’s Office had a booth explaining how to use its “Litter Hotline.” The Knights of Columbus had a stand on how to be a good, involved citizen. A stand on water pollution used visuals to explain how pollution affects drinking water. There was a display on composting, as well as a Fremont Police Department-run stand on the dangers of drug-related litter.

“Our mission is to improve everyone’s waste management practices and to take greater responsibility for improving the environment,” Reyzlik said. “We talk about different issues that they can do to make their personal home environments better and then how they can preserve the local environment.”

Kids also had hands-on activities and crafts that spoke of the importance of recycling and reusing.

Over at Waste Connection of Fremont’s stand, for instance, Robbin Anderson was teaching kids about the importance of breaking down cardboard.

“It takes up less space for hauling to the recycling center,” she said. “We’re just showing them how to break down a box and, again, the importance of fitting as much as they can into their own container at home, which allows us to fit a lot of it on the trucks to haul it to the recycling center.”

She believed events like this were important to teach kids the importance of being environmentally conscious while they’re young.

“They’re so interested,” she said. “I haven’t seen anyone of them just kind of breeze through.”

David Sutton, a counselor at Linden Elementary School, said that the kids were very excited to join the festivities. The event tied in with some of the student’s schoolwork, especially in science classes, he added.

“Anytime that we can get the kids out and get them on hands-on activities, real life things that bring their teachers’ lessons to life, it’s a big deal,” he said.

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