GLEN ELLYN – The Great March for Climate Action came through Glen Ellyn on Friday during a march across the country.
The group is headed for Washington, D.C., in an effort to promote national discussion about environmental concerns. They started walking from Wilmington, Calif., on March 1. They are due to arrive in Washington on Nov. 1.
Glen Ellyn Sustainability Group organizer Jeff Gahris said the marchers arrived at Blackwell Forest Preserve in Wheaton on Thursday. On Friday, they took the Illinois Prairie Path through Glen Ellyn and into Oak Park for the night. On Saturday, the group held a rally at Daley Plaza in downtown Chicago.
The sustainability group and environmental commission both passed out refreshments along the Prairie Path and helped set up activities for the marchers in Glen Ellyn.
Marchers had a meet and greet at the Glen Ellyn Public Library and visited a Glen Ellyn School District 41 elementary school.
Gahris said he thought it would be good for the school kids to see people with dedication doing something they love.
"When they see someone walking across the country, that's not something they see everyday," he said.
Gahris also saw the event as a chance to find out what concerns Glen Ellyn residents have about the environment.
The goal of the Great March for Climate Action is to encourage the American people, their elected leaders and people across the world to act to address the climate crisis, according to the group's website.
The group has marched more than 2,000 miles so far, braving a wide range of weather, including flash floods, dust storms, drought, hail, tornado watches and humidity, according to a news release from the sustainability group.
Jeffrey Czerwiec, a marcher who walked from Los Angeles, said he is inspired by the people he has met along the way.
“From our experience, climate action is happening in every corner of the country, and as we cross into the second half of our journey, we look to build connections and create a louder collective voice across all communities for significant action on the climate crisis,” he said in the news release.
The marchers represent 36 states, six countries, and range in age from 8 to 93 years. They are walking about 20 miles per day.