Asheville grandparents bring the heat to Washington with a protest march

Asheville grandparents bring the heat to Washington with a protest march-attachment0

Walking about 100 miles in the July heat of Washington, D.C., “shows a sense of purpose that, sometimes, letters themselves can’t communicate,” says Warren Wilson College professor Steve Norris. He’s leading more than 100 community members on the 2013 Walk for Our Grandchildren — an event that starts just outside Camp David in Maryland and ends at the White House. The walk, he explains, is an alternative way of calling for a reduction in the nation’s dependency on fossil fuels and protesting the Keystone XL Pipeline, which Congress may vote on later this summer. (Photo at Pritchard Park in Asheville — during cooler days — by Richard Fireman)

It’s also one of many Summer Heat movements — a string of movements dedicated to pushing for change in the fossil fuel industry and stop climate change.

The protests aren’t limited to grandparents. Local Walk for Our Grandchildren participant Mark Siler says, “Both my 11-year-old daughter and 79-year-old father became excited about the idea of [doing] this. I can’t miss the chance to walk alongside them [and have] three generations together.” He learned about the walk at his church, he mentions.

Event organizer Cathy Scott says she first became interested when she heard the walk would be multi-day. “The pace of a walk allows [people] to really connect with the environment and notice things they often fail to when [they are] moving faster,” says Scott.

Small family donations and networking have been a couple of many factors involved in helping the group pull the event together and get their voices heard in the nation’s capitol. So far, they have raised approximately $25,000 for the journey. They’ve also lined up campgrounds, food and medics.

Walk for our Grandchildren participants will be joined by “day walkers” — folks who jump in along the way — as well as by national groups such as The Chesapeake Climate Action Network. Together, participants hope to raise awareness on the implications of further depleting fossil fuel sources.

Norris concludes, “I’m 70 years old, so I’d like to address [these issues] while I can. In my mind, it’s that important.”

To keep track of the walkers’ progress, follow along them on Facebook (2013 Walk For Our Grandchildren) and on Twitter under 2013 W4OG (@_Grandchildren) with the tag #walk4grandkids.

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