Roots and Shoots marches for climate change

Community members take their voices to the streets

Kate Schneider

While looking out at the crowd before speaking at the climate change walkout, junior Zoe Frank said she felt hesitant prior to speaking.

“I was nervous, but once I was up there it felt really cool and there were so many faces. I was expecting like 15 people and this was better than I could’ve expected,” Frank said.

Frank said the global climate strike inspired her to create a school walkout and to continue spreading awareness.

“Climate strikes were happening internationally last Friday (Sept. 20) and there’s an importance in repeating things,” Frank said. “So here we are, to show that it’s not a one-time thing.”

Junior Audrey Long said these events show the significance of climate change.

“Climate change is a big issue. If we don’t have (events) like this, there will be no one advocating for what we need,” Long said. “I just want my voice to be heard.”

According to Frank, the walkout was a last-minute decision, but Roots and Shoots was able to pull it off through teamwork.

“It was kind of spontaneous actually, and in one meeting we decided everything (and) distributed the work,” Frank said.

City Council candidate Larry Kraft said the event was about what students can do for the environment.

“I wanted to support the club, so in speaking, I wanted to make sure I highlighted the role young people play,” Kraft said.

I’m hoping to continue opening people’s eyes to climate change. ”

— Zoe Frank

Long said immediate action needs to be taken to prevent climate change and the first step is protesting.

“I’m going to be living in the future, and if we don’t start advocating for change now, then it’s going to make change when we really need it much more difficult,” Long said.

According to Kraft, it is important to have people in office who prioritize climate change, but there are other ways for teens to help.

“One thing people can do is make sure that who you vote for is a climate champion,” Kraft said. “Then also look at what you can do in your own life — there’s lots of little things you can do.”

Frank said getting involved with local events other than walkouts is an easy way for students to help out. With more people involved, more will get done.

“Find ways to get involved with local policy because there’s stuff going on all the time in and out of the school,” Frank said. “There’s also power in numbers so the more we all show up to (events), the more we’re going to get enacted.”

Frank said she wanted to use the walkout to inform others about climate change.

“I’m hoping to continue opening people’s eyes to climate change and that policy needs to be enforced,” Frank said.