By Taylor Scarpelli, Trees Matter 2017 Spring Intern
On Saturday, April 22nd, 2017 Trees Matter participated in the March for Science rally in downtown Phoenix. With so many people interested in the same environmental topics, it was an empowering day!
A Quick Flashback to April 22nd, 1970: A Day That Made History
Inspired by the student anti-war movement, Senator Gaylord Nelson (Democrat) from Wisconsin and Congressman Pete McCloskey (Republican) came together to organize a day that put the needs of the environment in the media spotlight. April 22nd, falling between Spring Break and Final Exams, was selected and, thus, the first Earth Day took place. It was a day where people from all walks of life gathered to rally for legislation that protects our Earth. The marchers, and all the marchers that have come after, are responsible for pushing for environmental legislation such as the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Air Act, and the Clean Water Act still enforced today.
Now Fast Forward to April 22nd, 2017: Phoenix March for Science
8:00am: Set Up
10:00am: Begin to rally
11:00am: We march
Thousands of people that day were united through one purpose: to fight for science. It did not matter your age, your ethnicity, or where you came from. All that mattered was that you believed in the march. One could imagine that an onlooker peering down from a nearby window could see a vision resembling a school of fish ebbing and flowing, twisting and swaying through the cityscape. Instead of the sound of the ocean, a wave of chants and hope could be heard. It was a scene the founders of Earth Day could have looked over with pride.
12:00pm: Science Fair
Once the march was complete, Trees Matter held a booth at the Science Fair located at Washington St and 1st Ave. We were overwhelmed with the amount of people shuffling through the booths and were delighted to share conversations with people interested in our mission. We eagerly discussed our most recent program, The Edible Tree Series, and our SRP Shade Tree Workshops.
To encourage the act of slowing down to observe what’s around you (and say thank you), Trees Matter created a Tree Scavenger Hunt for the marchers. The hunt required participants to solve riddles in order to locate eight trees we had selected around the block where the rally was held. Each tree was numbered and included a fun fact, the scientific name, and the common name. Once all the riddles were complete, participants received either a Cherry Sage or Purple Sage liner (a young plant) as a prize. The Tree Hunt was a great interactive way to get people thinking about trees and the benefits that they provide in an urban landscape. We had a lot of fun creating it and people seemed to enjoy participating in it!
Thank you to the many people that stopped by the Trees Matter booth that day—we walked away with 4 full pages of newsletter and volunteer sign-ups. Jeez Louise, the amount of support we felt from the community was tremendous!
To whom we shared a laugh, sparked a conversation, or exchanged a smile: Trees Matter thanks you for your time and your support!
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