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Heart of the City "Takes a Hike" for the Environment

(Published April. 9, 2007, 11:38 a.m.)

A host of family friendly events are planned in Fort Atkinson surrounding Earth Day. A week of events is kicked off by a Step It Up Rally sponsored by Heart of the City. Join Heart of the City and "take a hike" on April 14th.

Fort Atkinson and area residents concerned about energy usage and the catastrophic effects of global warming will hold a rally Saturday, April 14th at noon to urge Congress to put America on the path towards reducing carbon emissions 80% by 2050. The event is part of the national Step it Up campaign begun by author Bill McKibben. Over 1200 such rallies are taking place in 50 states- in big cities, small towns, and iconic locations across America, organized by citizens who agree on one thing: the need for substantial and rapid action in order to stave off the disastrous effects of global warming.

The Step it Up rally begins at noon on the Riverwalk below the Cafe Carpe at 18 S. Water St. W. After taking a group photo, participants will proceed by foot and bike on the sidewalks and bike path to Jones Park. ETA at Jones Park is about 12:35. There attendees may picnic (bring your own), throw a Frisbee, play music, talk, and pick up trash. Another group picture will be taken at the park. (If you can only come for a short while, try to be present for one of the group pictures. These pictures, along with those from rallies all over the country, will be uploaded to the web on April 14th and sent to Congress. For more information about the national Step It Up campaign, please visit www.stepitup2007.org.) For questions about the local event, please call 920-723-2679.

This event is also the official kick-off of Heart of the City's "Atkinson Diet" campaign. The not-about-losing-weight "diet" is a community effort to reduce the city's energy usage and carbon dioxide emissions by joining with fellow citizens to make some painless lifestyle changes which collectively make a big difference. Signing up for this effort is urged, and can be done at www.theAtkinsonDiet.com. If you cannot make it to the rally, but wish to register support, post a comment to the blog on the Atkinson Diet web site.

Another opportunity exists the following weekend to help beautify our local environment. Registration forms will be available at the rally for Clean Up Fort Atkinson. Gather your neighbors, church group, scouts or family together to help beautify our city. Find a location that needs litter pick-up. Registered teams receive garbage bags, gloves and the chance to win door prizes. In addition, any trash or recyclables can be dropped off on Saturday, April 21st in the municipal parking lot between S. 3rd St East and East Milwaukee Avenue between 10 am and 2 pm.

Following the clean up there will be a full schedule of environmentally focused events and speakers at the Dwight Foster Public Library located at 102 East Milwaukee Avenue in Fort Atkinson.

Events include:

10 am - Ken Lonnquist sings earth day songs for the whole family

11 am - The Timber Wolf Alliance explains everything you wanted to know about the wolves of Wisconsin

10 - 11 am - Environmental Information Fair Information available about:

Jefferson County Parks

Local environmental campaigns

Organic lawn care and gardening


Please join us for one of the fun, free and environmentally friendly activities available in our fair city.

Heart Of The City is a grass-roots citizens' organization that gathers to discuss community issues in Fort Atkinson with a focus on advocacy for sustainable change and the promotion of the public good by working with other citizens and government in visioning and planning. The group encourages sustainable development, preservation of existing and treasured civic characteristics, and active participation of the citizenry. Grantor of the coveted Big Heart Award each year around Valentine's Day, which recognizes individuals, organizations or businesses that demonstrate 'heart' for the community and personify the tenets of its mission, Heart of the City hosts film discussions, speakers and will be launching a community garden this Spring in collaboration with the Jefferson County Parks Department. Community members are invited to attend meetings and/or join the Heart of the City mailing list to receive information about sustainable living practices and future meetings. Heart of the City relies on donations for its operating expenses, and donations can be sent to HOC, P.O. Box 399, Fort Atkinson, WI 53538. More information can be obtained at www.heartofthecity.us, by calling 563-0416 or emailing heartoffort@gmail.com.


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