Approximately 500 Nelsonites marched down Baker Street and congregated on the steps of city hall as part of Sunday’s global Walk with the World climate march, which was led by the newly created Green Team from Mt. Sentinel Secondary.
Residents of all ages participated, including representatives from local churches, the Citizen’s Climate Lobby, the West Kootenay Ecosociety and a variety of other organizations. The crowd also included Wildflower students Phoenix and Sequoia Hayden, who marched with their teacher Krista Lynch.
Recently two other Wildflower students, Parker Hargreaves and Fiona Rooney-Fredrick, spoke to city council about the pressing need for climate action.
“I think that’s amazing that two nine-year-old girls would do something like that,” said organizer Michael Jones, who put together the march with his wife Liz Barbour. In the days before the event Jones told the Star he was inspired to help after seeing the growing effects of climate disruption around his home in the Slocan Valley.
“I think everyone knows how urgent this is,” he said, comparing the situation to that of Easter Island. “At some point someone has to say ‘Bob, that’s the last tree over there’.”
Jones spoke personally to Mayor Deb Kozak, who is currently injured, and was assured the city wholeheartedly supported the event. She sent acting mayor Valerie Warmington in her place.
“What a fantastic turnout,” said Warmington.”I hope you know how much your city supports you in moving towards a reduction of greenhouse gases and a mitigation of climate change as well as adaptation to the inevitable consequences of climate change we’re already seeing.”
Jones chose not to have any other speeches during the event, because he feels all that needed to be said was represented by the people in attendance.
“The march is the message,” he said.
Humans of Nelson author Ryan Oakley took a shot of the crowd to be shared with the other 600,000 people globally that marched in 175 countries.
Warmington told the crowd there’s reason for hope.
“I think we have open eyes and ears in Ottawa these days, so hopefully Canada will take the leadership role it has to take on this issue.”