Bees and bike ride to be part of Tri-Cities Climate March on April 29

Tony Casey • Apr 23, 2017 at 5:37 PM

Every day can be an “Earth Day” if the right efforts are in place.

Organizers of the April 29 Tri-Cities Climate March in Johnson City are making sure that’s the case, as they will host this family-friendly event while focusing on promoting area pollination and the ever-expanding cycling community.

The apolitical march will start with the “Pedaling for the Planet” bike ride at 9 a.m and then the actual march occurring at 10:30 on the corner of University Parkway and West State of Franklin Road. Parking at nearby East Tennessee State University is free for attendees of the march.

The event’s motto is “Educate, Inspire and Renew” and one of the big ways they’ll be doing that is with a tree planting at the Oak Hill Cemetery just above Founders Park. This is a combination of efforts between the Climate March and What’s the Buzz Johnson City, which is celebrating its one-year anniversary since Johnson City allowed beekeeping in the city.

With the support of Bartlett Tree Experts and arborist Chase Giebner, 55 pollinator-friendly trees will be planted at Oak Hill.

This will provide a prime landing and pollination spot between ETSU and downtown Johnson City. That’s the goal of What’s the Buzz Johnson City’s Director Judith Hammond.

“Our dream is to offer pollinators a trail of nectar and pollen with a bee's eye view from Main Street to ETSU”, she said.

This portion of the Climate March will begin at 11:30 a.m.

“One of our primary reasons for creating a local momentum, through this family-friendly initiative, is protecting what we all love — our children and families; and our world where clean air, water and food sources are protected,” the organizers said in a press release.

“The goal for the event is to also express, to our community leaders and representatives, our desire that the beauty and wellness of our region, and of our world, continue to be robust in our lifetime and for future generations.”

Kicking off from South Side Elementary School in the Tree Streets neighborhood, the bike ride will be part of a growing non-automobile as transportation movement in Johnson City and its surrounding area.

Dan Reese, a local transportation guru and consultant who helped complete the Tweetsie Trail and is working on the Tannery Knobs Bike Park, said Johnson City’s elected officials take notice when they see so many people hop on their bikes for a group ride.

“What we’re seeing is more families riding bicycles and getting safer places for these families to ride bicycles,” Reese said. “And every age is doing it, from 1-year-olds in bike trailers to seniors riding battery-assisted bicycles.”

The Climate March, Reese said, and all its family-centered activities will be great for the cause.

“It represents our community doing our best to plant trees and get people up and out. That's why it's happening. It's a display of not just getting out and cycling, but actually getting out and doing something.”

Participants of the bike ride are encouraged to decorate their bikes and dress up like their favorite critter or plant.

This march is part of the national People’s Climate March on Washington, D.C., which will focus on a resistance to fossil fuels, shedding light on the industry’s role in economic, social and racial justice while offering solutions to the climate crisis.

Email Tony Casey at [email protected]. Follow Tony Casey on Twitter @TonyCaseyJCP. Like him on Facebook at www.facebook.com/tonycaseyjournalist.

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