More than 100 students gathered for a peaceful climate march to celebrate Earth Day at Laurentian University on April 22. The sunny high of 9 C on Friday afternoon made for the perfect weather for the march that took place.
Chanting could be heard a block away from Founders Square in Laurentian University where the march began.
“What do we want?”
“When do want it?”
The teenagers yelled as they marched in circles within the square. Students were between the ages of 11 and 12 from RL Beattie Public School and Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School as a part of the Fridays For Future movement. Some Laurentian University students also attended the lively event.
Several students held signs that pointed to saving the Earth, others held signs to raise awareness for the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.
“So our personal outcome that we're hoping for (with the climate march) is that the Greater City of Sudbury endorses the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty — basically phasing out of greenhouse gasses and moving into clean energy is the main goal of it,” Sophia Mathur told Sudbury.com in an interview.
Mathur is a 14-year-old climate activist and one of 25 young environmental activists from across the globe honored by Action For Nature (AFN) as a 2021 International Young Eco-Hero. She’s been fighting for a better environment since the young age of seven and has also long participated in Fridays For Future in Sudbury and was invited by the march organizers to take part in the event.
“Climate change is going to affect our future, it's going to affect the future for everyone, especially kids, so it's important that we stand up for our future, and especially because kids are empowering. A lot of the kids here are passionate and they should be speaking out for that, and politicians and adults should be hearing them out,” Mathur said.
The students looped around the UN Restoration Trail before making their way to the Laurentian Beach where 100 trout would be released into the lake.
The Ministry of Natural Resources were able to drive 100 trout from North Bay all the way to Sudbury to be released into their new habitat as a part of this event. The trout finding a new life in Laurentian’s lake — a lake that was once named Trout Lake — makes it all the more fitting.
“There'll be a plaque on the beach, where the students commit to helping restore the lake they share with the community. And they will be working in the decade ahead to help improve the lake. And one of the ways of doing that is helping return the missing fish to the lake,” Dr. John Gunn told Sudbury.com. Gunn is director of the Vale Living with Lakes Centre at Laurentian University and was one of the organizers for the march.
The event was a success with the high and hopeful energy from the students who participated. The different activities involved with the march, such as returning fish to the Laurentian Beach and tree planting (Professor Peter Beckett with Laurentian University was seen giving seedlings out to students to plant), made for an involved community of people who want to see a more sustainable Sudbury.
“It's very motivating to see that there's so many people that have interest and care and want to see a healthy, sustainable environment for the Sudbury community,” said Anastacia Chartrand, head organizer of the event and president of the environmental sustainability club.
Eden Suh is a new media reporter at Sudbury.com.