Sandstone, MN is gearing up for action like none the town has seen before.  It’s great to know that while the big cities are organizing large rallies, and folks in the mountains are planning adventurous actions on glaciers, the smaller communities around the country are pouring equal amounts of energy and creativity into April 14.  Thanks to all those in Sandstone.  Keep it up…

On April 14th, in the small town of Sandstone, located in east central Minnesota, we will be hosting a Step It Up event with the title of “Restore the Balance”.   At 12 p.m. in what is known as Train Park, on the main street, we will gather in what we hope will be a celebration of grassroots activism.  One of the highlights will be live music performed by Bryan Wood, who has written an original song about Global Warming – now posted on the Step It Up website.  Check it out – it’s very good.  We will have speakers, including three of our elected (Minnesota) officials and the town Mayor.  Local merchants are donating a variety of items (compact fluorescent bulbs, tree seedlings, maple syrup, Restore cleaning products) for a drawing.  In order to enter the drawing, each person must write their name and at least one action they will take personally, to help offset climate change.  There will be a large poster listing all the various things individuals can do in their daily lives.  Including – driving slower.

The Green Slow Moving Vehicle campaign will be represented by its founder, Fulton Hanson and he will have bumper stickers available for those who discover the values ($$ and environmental) of driving slower.  There will also be a letter/petition to sign asking our government to take significant action now – and enact energy legislation that will reverse the disastrous path we’re on.

Live, educational birds of prey and an ECO-RV that has been converted to run on waste vegetable oil will also be there to inspire the crowd.  Of course, we will have our large banner (made from recycled plastic bags and fabric from a Thrift store) asking Congress to Cut Carbon 80% by 2050 ready for the photo session when all those gathered will stand behind it and be recorded on this historic day.  This will be an event unlike anything Sandstone has ever witnessed and we hope that people driving by will get out of their cars to see what’s happening.  It is guaranteed to be an exciting couple hours.

The only thing we can’t guarantee is the weather.  In this part of Minnesota, we could see sunshine or snow showers.  But we’ll be there regardless of the weather.

Kate Crowley is an naturalist and author who lives in Willow River, Minnesota with her husband and writing partner Mike Link.  She has been committed to preserving the natural world (an environmentalist!) for decades, but feels the need for even more effort now that she is the grandmother of three little boys.