March for Change

Locals join thousands across nation to urge new climate policies

Marchers show off their signs at the 2017 Marquette Climate March.

MARQUETTE – More than 300 people turned out Saturday to participate in the fourth annual Marquette Climate March, which organizers said was meant to celebrate local energy developments and climate adaptation efforts, as well as demonstrate support for better climate change policies on a national and global scale.

The march and festival in downtown Marquette was a satellite event of the People’s Climate March in Washington D.C., where thousands marched on President Donald Trump’s hundredth day in office to demand action on climate change, according to the Associated Press.

Participants held signs and chanted, “What do we want? Climate policy! When do we want it? Now!” as they marched in a loop along the Iron Ore Heritage Trail and West Washington Street, starting and ending at the Marquette Commons.

A rally was held at the commons, where local organizations set up informational booths and attendees enjoyed music and conversation.

Dwight Brady, a Northern Michigan University professor who recently announced his Democratic run for Michigan’s 1st Congressional District, gave a speech highlighting his contributions to improving climate policy in Michigan over the last 10 years and touted renewable energy as jobs-creating economic boon.

Marchers show off their signs at the 2017 Marquette Climate March.

“I’m from here, and I want to be for here,” Brady said to applause.

John Forslin of the Climate Reality Project presented a large card board “thank you” signed by march participants to Marquette Board of Light and Power Assistant Director David Lynch for his efforts in bringing about the Marquette Community Solar Garden project, which is set to open in August.

It will offer MBLP customers the option of purchasing some of their energy from a non-carbon source.

The project had a soft opening last week, with panels now available for purchase at $499 apiece. Energy generated would then be credited to the customer’s bill. To reserve a panel or find out more, go online to www.mblpcommunitysolar.org.

Event organizer Jessica Thompson, a Northern Michigan University professor of communications and co-founder of the Northern Climate Network, said in an email the main reason for the march is to spread dialogue and awareness.

Marchers show off their signs at the 2017 Marquette Climate March.

“We want to empower people to be able to talk to their friends, neighbors and representatives in government about the urgency of the climate issue and the action and policy options available to us to build a better, cleaner, healthier world,” Thompson said.

Marchers show off their signs at the 2017 Marquette Climate March.

Marchers show off their signs at the 2017 Marquette Climate March.

Marchers show off their signs at the 2017 Marquette Climate March.

Marchers show off their signs at the 2017 Marquette Climate March.

Marchers show off their signs at the 2017 Marquette Climate March.

Marchers show off their signs at the 2017 Marquette Climate March.

Marchers show off their signs at the 2017 Marquette Climate March.

Marchers show off their signs at the 2017 Marquette Climate March.

Marchers show off their signs at the 2017 Marquette Climate March.

Marchers show off their signs at the 2017 Marquette Climate March.

Marchers show off their signs at the 2017 Marquette Climate March.

Marchers show off their signs at the 2017 Marquette Climate March.

Marchers show off their signs at the 2017 Marquette Climate March.

Marchers show off their signs at the 2017 Marquette Climate March.

Marchers show off their signs at the 2017 Marquette Climate March.

Marchers show off their signs at the 2017 Marquette Climate March.

Marchers show off their signs at the 2017 Marquette Climate March.

Marchers show off their signs at the 2017 Marquette Climate March.

Marchers show off their signs at the 2017 Marquette Climate March.

Marchers show off their signs at the 2017 Marquette Climate March.

Marchers show off their signs at the 2017 Marquette Climate March.

Marchers show off their signs at the 2017 Marquette Climate March.

Marchers show off their signs at the 2017 Marquette Climate March.

Marchers show off their signs at the 2017 Marquette Climate March.

Marchers arrive at the rally at the Marquette Commons after their march.

John Forslin of the Climate Reality Project explains at his booth what's possible in a warming climate at the post-walk festival portion of the march.

Marchers arrive at the rally at the Marquette Commons after their march.

Kids colored and painted at the rally in support of the environment. One little girl wore an elephant costume, highlighting the risk endangered species face in a warming climate.

Marquette Board of Light and Power Assistant Director David Lynch receives a "thank you" signed by march participants from John Forslin of the Climate Reality Project for Lynch's work on the MBLP's community solar garden project.

Local organizations talk shop with march participants.

Local organizations talk shop with march participants.

Rally attendees ask questions at the Marquette Board of Light and Power booth.

Local organizations talk shop with march participants.

Event organizer Jessica Thompson talks with a march participant.