by Christa Rolls, USAG Bavaria Environmental Division
GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — The Culture and Military Museum of Grafenwoehr will open a special exhibition highlighting environmental protection at Grafenwoehr Training Area from Sept. 17, 2019, to March 15, 2020.
Hosted by Stadt Grafenwoehr and the Heimatverein Grafenwoehr, the exhibit shows how the U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria Environmental Division, in close cooperation with the Integrated Training Area Management Program and Bundesforst, manages the interface between military training and environmental conservation as a partnership rather than a contradiction.
Despite being heavily used for military training for more than one hundred years, Grafenwoehr Training Area is an extraordinary nature sanctuary. GTA is home to many endangered animal and plant species because of military training and not despite of it.
The foundation of environmental protection on military training lands was put in place by an Executive Order (EO 11991) relating to the protection and enhancement of environmental quality. Since its implementation in 1977, the Army has become an outstanding steward for the environment.
The primary natural resource needed for the military mission is an area of uninhabited open land that provides realistic training conditions.
Many people may be surprised to know that military training areas tend to be areas of high preservation and conservation significance, given that training is limited to certain areas within the training lands and development is largely prohibited. Because of the relatively undisturbed nature on military installations, they typically provide the most suitable hotspots and habitat stepping stones for preserving sensitive species in an otherwise developed world.
The exhibition contains artifacts, posters, photos, and more to detail this success.
The Museum’s regular opening hours are Tuesday through Thursday, and Sundays, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Additional programs will be available to the public during the exhibition period, including an English-speaking guided tour of the exhibition on Jan. 26, 2020, and March 1, 2020, at 2 p.m.
Guided tours on the nature trail at the Wild B.O.A.R. Outdoor Recreation Center can be given to groups by appointment through the USAG Bavaria Environmental Division.
Museum and exhibit information can be found on the Military Museum’s website at https://museum-grafenwoehr.de.
More information about the Environmental Division can be found at https://home.army.mil/bavaria/index.php/environmental.