By Chelsea Bauckman
Fort Detrick, in conjunction with the City of Frederick, hosted Fort Detrick Day at Baker Park on Sunday, August 22. Several hundred residents visited the outdoor event and took part in the displays and activities. Mission partners, such as the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Agency, the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Disease, the Telemedicine and Advanced Technology Research Center, the National Museum of Health and Medicine as well as other community groups hosted experiments, games, and demonstrations highlighting the work that takes place on Fort Detrick.
“The afternoon was an excellent opportunity for the members of the Frederick community to get to know Fort Detrick a little better and for us to get to know them. It was such a pleasure to come out to Baker Park and interact with some new faces from around town,” commented Garrison commander Col. Allan Darden.
The U.S. Army Garrison Office of Environmental Management organized a recycling game to teach attendees about what items can and cannot be recycled. USAMMDA prepared a balloon experiment using baking soda and vinegar to explain how oxygen generation works. The National Museum of Health and Medicine and USAMRIID were also in attendance with interactive displays highlighting their work. While some people were squeamish of USAMRIID’s Madagascar Hissing Cockroach, many of the attendees, especially those under 10 years old delighted in this exotic insect exhibit. The Army Blues Band provided a musical soundtrack to the event. The band played more than a half an hour of classical tunes and took special time to honor the five branches of service and those service members in attendance.
The afternoon continued with many more family oriented activities. Fort Detrick Day at Baker Park illustrated the importance of a unified partnership and a shared responsibility to the surrounding communities. Although the event lasted for just an afternoon, the rapport that was established between the two groups will continue on for much longer.