A play-in environmental protest brought hundreds of children to Capitol Hill on Wednesday in what looked like a summer camp outside Russell.
Organized by Moms Clean Air Force, parents and their children had fun in an effort to urge action on air pollution and climate change.
Attendees received a red shirt that read, “Tell Washington: listen to your mothers!” and organized events filled the field.
Climate champions Tom Udall, D-N.M. , and Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I. , joined the event and greeted several children. One little girl, Kira Blinova, handed Udall a tiny white flower she picked from the ground.
“I met a young lady right here, Kira, to show you her sensitivity to me and to the natural world, she gave me this little flower. She picked it,” Udall said.
Udall was enthusiastically joined by the group as he thanked Moms for Clean Air for their work.
“Taking action on climate change is important to me. It’s important to all of us here,” he said. “It may be the biggest man-made threat that we face.”
Posters were written to every senator, which people were encouraged to sign, leave notes on and leave their hand prints in paint.
Children also decorated white cloud-shaped posters with words and phrases on them, including hope, fracking, political rhetoric, solar wind, smog and community. More characteristic of the elementary-school aged kids, one read “solar power” and one read “coal” with a mean monster face below it.
Volunteers acted as counselors as they played kick ball, hula hooped and led around giant walking puppets. Other activities included pinwheel spinning, group led yoga and musical performances from the band for children, Guster.
The band then led the children into a call and response song: “whatever you do, don’t waste stuff.”
Stations had iced tea bottles from Honest Tea and fig bars provided by Nature’s Bakery.
Paired with climate change and air pollution, the event also demanded solutions like renewable energy and federal limits on greenhouse gas emissions.