Appalachian Climate Action Collaborative holds first kickoff event

Olivia Bouzigard, News Reporter

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Students, faculty, staff and local residents of the High Country sang “One Earth, one home, we share, join us; we have work to do” as they paraded through Boone.

The Appalachian Climate Action Collaborative hosted its first kickoff event, Keep Winter Chill, on Jan. 26 to celebrate successes regarding climate action.

The meeting room was filled with eager students, faculty, staff and locals who are part of the Appalachian Climate Action Collaborative. The collaborative consists of those who wish to make society and institutions just and sustainable.

Sydney Blume, campus garden manager and App State alumna, said everyone was there to celebrate. Blume said she wanted everyone to know that climate change is daunting with immense challenges, and the group’s statement was to come together and celebrate past and future climate action.

Members of the Appalachian Climate Action Collaborative march down Blowing Rock Road toward Highway 105 on Saturday.

People chanted songs, held signs and paraded out of the Plemmons Student Union meeting room 169 at 4 p.m. to end up at the intersection of Blowing Rock Road and Highway 105.

“I am retiring soon and I want to leave some sort of legacy for generations to come,” Creston-resident Helen Clark said.

Singing “Hey ho, Hey ho, fossil fuels have got to go,” the peaceful protest was there to stay at the 105 intersection. The group received honks and positive yells of support from community members.

“The reason I am here is because I care about the stewardship of the earth,” former App State professor Herbert Hash Jr. said. “We need to be proactive and reactive about the damage occurring that humans are responsible for.”

Keep Winter Chill is the kickoff event for the collaborative to help propel the university to climate neutrality by 2025. The collaborative aims to grow and hold more events in the future.

“We have a responsibility. We have done things that are not okay, and we need to undo them,” junior sustainable development major Meredith Alling said. 

The movement ended at the student union with a potluck dinner and music. To learn more about the movement, visit the website:  https://climateactioncolla.wixsite.com/climateaction