A global movement is happening in our own backyards. Well, at least it will be on Saturday morning on the Palmer River in Warren.
With the help of two residents and a worldwide network of activists, locals are invited to hop in their canoes, kayaks, and otherwise non-motorized boats to row or paddle out to “Three Tree Island” in the Palmer River to plant a few native trees. The event is part of a larger global day of action that aims to bring attention to climate change and a reduced reliance on fossil fuels.
Warren resident Jerry Belair planted the seed, so to speak, for the local event on the 350.org website when he noticed there were no other local events for a global action day. (Since then several others have cropped up.) The 350.org website is comprised of a network of people around the world as well as environmental, humanitarian and religious organizations and businesses committed to helping reduce the use of fossil fuel. According to the website, 350 is the number of parts per million of CO2 that climate experts say is the safe upper limit. Currently the planet is at 392.
“If everyone reduced their carbon footprint by 15 percent we’d get that number down,” says Belair. “What does that involve? If you’re using 1,000kw of electricity, reduce it by 150kw. Maybe you have ten light bulbs and you replace two with fluorescents. There are just a lot of little things you can do.”
“Three Tree Island,” as locals know it, is a small island in the Palmer River, north of Belcher Cove, owned by the Warren Conservation Commission. According to Belair, one tree came down during Hurricane Irene, so after the planting of a native tree and two native shrubs on Saturday it might be called “Three Tree, Two Shrub Island,” Belair joked.
Belair and friend Ron Cranwell, another Warren resident, have so far organized about a dozen participants for the paddle. They’ll leave from Belair’s house on the end of Kelly Street by the bike path around 9 am. People are encouraged to walk or bike there. By kayak, the trip to the island takes approximately a half hour. Afterwards Belair will host a barbecue for all involved.
“If people just recognize it doesn’t take a lot to make a difference, maybe we can turn this thing around."