Thursday, April 12, 2007

Locals look to ‘step it up’

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Area residents plan to urge lawmakers to step up their commitment to reverse climate change during a national day of climate action, Saturday, in downtown Frederick.

Frederick is one of more than 1,000 cities and towns across the nation that will participate in ‘‘Step It Up 2007” events. Step It Up 2007 is a campaign that aims to put pressure on Congress to cut carbon emissions 80 percent by 2050.

Step It Up events are also planned in more than 20 cities across Maryland, including Eldersburg, Myersville, Poolesville and Annapolis.

According to Kita Murdock, Step It Up organizer in Frederick, Friends of Frederick County, the Sierra Club and the Chesapeake Climate Action Network are sponsoring Saturday’s event in Frederick.

The day of action is intended to be family-friendly with a large turnout expected, Murdock said. Participants will gather at 2:30 p.m., at Parkway Elementary School and bike ride to the Carroll Creek amphitheater where guest speakers, local musicians and elected officials will address the crowd.

Cyclists are encouraged to decorate their bikes for a contest to represent alternative forms of energy such as the sun, corn or wind, Murdock said

Local businesses, including Proof, Downtime Café and Dancing Bear Toys and Gifts, will award prizes and gift certificates to contest winners. The Oscar-winning documentary, ‘‘An Inconvenient Truth,” featuring Al Gore, will be shown at the C. Burr Artz Public Library at 4 p.m.

The Frederick event will also highlight local environmental initiatives and goals for Frederick County and Maryland.

Step It Up 2007 in Frederick advocates for an extension of rail transit from Shady Grove Metro station to Frederick County, the development of a network of bike paths and the inclusion of Frederick in the Sierra Club’s ‘‘Cool Cities” campaign. The ‘‘Cool Cities” campaign is a national program including U.S. cities that support energy solutions to reduce global warming.

Murdock noted that the time is right for environmental discussions, since many people are waking up to these issues and taking interest, she said.

‘‘I think it’s just something that people are really interested in now,” Murdock said.

If You Go

When: 2:30 p.m., Saturday

Where: Begins at Parkway Elementary School, 300 Carroll Parkway, Frederick, and continues at the Carroll Creek amphitheater

What: Speakers, music, movie screening of ‘‘An Inconvenient Truth” at 4 p.m.

More info: