Twenty Menomonie Middle School students marched two miles to the UW-Stout clock tower Tuesday to raise awareness about the results of climate change.
Seventh-grader Owain Collins, who co-organized the protest, said the group of students were inspired after learning about humans’ impact on the environment.
“Me and some friends are seeing the harm that we’re doing to earth and how it’s resulting in really bad things,” Collins said. “Just as long as people are getting our message, we’ll walk anywhere.”
March co-organizer and sixth-grader Matilda Huff said the group was inspired by the young Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg. Thunberg has spoken to European leaders on climate change, held a demonstration outside the Swedish parliament in 2018 and sparked student climate protests around the world, including a Madison rally in March.
Huff and Collins called for the community to send letters to lawmakers, eat less meat, buy fewer single-use plastic products and sign petitions for stronger laws protecting the environment.
“Simple things like … biking or walking places, taking a bus or carpooling,” Collins said.
Co-organizer and seventh-grader Scout Amberson said the students decided to make the two-mile march from the middle school to the UW-Stout campus to encourage members of the community to take action: “Stop waiting for someone else to do something.”
The Wisconsin State Journal contributed to this report.
Editor’s note: This story has been corrected to reflect that student Matilda Huff was also a co-organizer of the climate change event.