Outdoors

Nature Needs You

Exercise your civic muscles

Attend

What: Skagit Activists Training

When: 11 am Sun., Apr. 9

Where: Burlington Community Center, 1011 Greenleaf Ave.

Cost: Free, donations accepted

Info: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Sometimes getting out means standing up.

Outdoor recreation is an economic powerhouse in the United States, each year generating $646 billion in consumer spending and 6.1 million direct jobs, according to the Outdoor Industry Association.

In Washington, recreation generates $22.5 billion in revenue, with at least 63 percent of the state’s population enjoying the great outdoors.

And yet it is all under assault, from cuts to environmental protection to the elimination of protections for threatened species to dramatic cuts to our national parks and conversion of those lands to mining and extraction.

The folks who hike in the high mountains or comb the lonely beaches are often shy types who avoid crowds and meetings. But our natural heritage demands that people of strength and character step forward.

Learn to exercise your civic muscles through activist training.

Activist training can help prepare participants psychologically for the struggle, and to develop the morale and solidarity for more effective action. Training can help deepen your understanding of the issues, and build skills for applying nonviolent action in situations of threat and turbulence. Even if you don’t know where to begin on these issues, others do. And they can use your help.

“In the first few months of 2017, participation in protests, community events, and turnout at town halls and other public policy activities has been higher than I have ever seen it in more than a decade of organizing environmental campaigns in Northwest Washington,” notes Alex Ramel, field director for Stand.earth.

Stand.earth (formerly ForestEthics) was founded nearly 20 years ago by a group of dedicated people who were working day in and day out to solve a big problem: What do you do when the health and foundation of communities and their environment are being undermined?

They’ve joined with local groups like Indivisible, Anacortes Action, and the Riveters Collective to organize hundreds of volunteers at regular meetings with hundreds more engaging online.

“Longstanding organizations are seeing a resurgence of energy and interest,” Ramel said. “The participation in the Women’s Marches in January, as amazing as it was, was only the tip of the iceberg. People are fired up and looking to get engaged.”

The goal is to build alliances across a multitude of interests, and create a sort of activism that can help build support or endurance to stay in the fight.

“It’s in that context that a group of organizations including Stand.earth, Stand Up to Oil, the Sierra Club, and the Na’ah Illahee Fund have come together to offer an in-depth activist training for people in Skagit County,” Ramel said. “Our goal is to help knit together these different efforts with common language, tools and networks in Skagit County.”

About 70 people gathered for six hours on Sun. April 2 to develop skills in everything from meeting facilitation to creating powerful narratives to acting in solidarity with communities impacted by social or environmental injustices. A second course will be offered this weekend. There will be new content for those who attended the first meeting, but also with a catchup session for those just joining in.

There is still room for more.

It’s no longer enough to simply vote and head for the hills. Nature needs you. Heed her call.

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Events
Today
Cascade Games Convention

9:00am|Bellingham Cruise Terminal

Wild Things

9:30am|Lake Padden Park

Garage Sale and Health Fair

12:00pm|Settlemyer Hall

Books and Bites

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Coffee Tasting

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Food Not Bombs

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Art Auction Gala

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Anacortes Women's March

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Family Story Night

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Sierra Club Winter Member Party

6:30pm|Boundary Bay Brewery

Xanadu

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Opera Scenes

7:30pm|Performing Arts Center

The Flick

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Tropical Heat Wave Dance

8:00pm|Majestic

Five for Fighting

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Space Trek, Backyard Brawl

8:00pm|Upfront Theatre

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Tomorrow
Cascade Games Convention

9:00am|Bellingham Cruise Terminal

Garage Sale and Health Fair

12:00pm|Settlemyer Hall

Bellingham Folk Festival

4:30pm|Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship

Xanadu

7:00pm|Bellingham Arts Academy for Youth

The Flick

7:30pm|Sylvia Center for the Arts

Space Trek, Backyard Brawl

8:00pm|Upfront Theatre

Pancake Breakfast

8:00am|Ferndale Senior Center

VFW Breakfast

8:00am|VFW Hall

Mason Bee Management

9:00am|Garden Spot Nursery

Smoking Crow Opening

9:00am|Smoking Crow

Plant Society Field Trip

10:00am|Birch Bay State Park

Nordic Ski Ambassadors

10:00am|SnoPark at Salmon Ridge

Skagit Eagle Festival

10:00am|Howard Miller Steelhead Park

March on Bellingham

10:00am|Bellingham City Hall

Winter Farmers Market

10:00am|Depot Market Square

Of marching and mending

12:00pm

Travel to Cuzco and Machu PIcchu

1:00pm|Blaine Library

Cedar Weaving Workshop

2:00pm|Lynden Library

Teddy Bear Biographies

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Learn to Grow a Vegetable Garden

2:00pm|Sumas Library

Mona Openings

2:00pm|Museum of Northwest Art

Mysticism in Art

2:00pm|Skagit County Historical Museum

Exploring Port

2:00pm|Seifert & Jones Wine Merchants

The Fight Against Human Trafficking

3:00pm|Everson Library

Kindgom Quest

4:00pm|Village Books

Music and Memories

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Robert Burns Supper

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Ensemble Electra

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The Good Lovelies

7:30pm|Lincoln Theatre

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Sunday
Cascade Games Convention

9:00am|Bellingham Cruise Terminal

Bellingham Folk Festival

4:30pm|Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship

Xanadu

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Skagit Eagle Festival

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Nonfiction and Memoir Writing Group

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see our complete calendar »

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