Region residents become part of Arctic environmental message

2013-04-20T19:15:00Z 2013-04-20T23:31:24Z Region residents become part of Arctic environmental messageSusan O’Leary Times Correspondent
April 20, 2013 7:15 pm  • 

VALPARAISO | A love letter showed up on the shore of Loomis Lake at Rogers Lakewood Park Saturday morning.

The letter wasn’t made of paper and stuffed in a bottle. But it will soon be seen by millions around the world.

Volunteers created a human banner that read “I ♥ Arctic,” as part of a Greenpeace International objective to promote protection of the Arctic wilderness from activities like oil drilling and industrial fishing.

Kaitlin Rogers, a Valparaiso University student, organized the effort after signing up online to volunteer for Greenpeace a few months ago. Hundreds of similar groups around the world were to form similar banners April 20, take a photograph, and upload it to Greenpeace’s Arctic council for publication on its Web site.

“We want to get the word out about saving the purity of the Arctic,” said Rogers, a junior at VU.

Rogers created a Facebook page for her event, posted fliers and recruited her friends and family for the banner, including her mother, Adrian Blackwell.

“I support her in anything that she does,” said Blackwell, of St. John. “She’s my animal fanatic and environmental child, and I’m very proud of her.”

Rogers, who said she had high hopes for a large turnout, created and bought 80 blue T-shirts and sweatshirts with the words I ♥ Arctic and a polar bear logo for members of the group to wear.

While volunteers held painted banners with the words “I” and “Arctic,” the rest of the group formed a heart symbol between the banners.

“I don’t think people care enough,” said Ann Butler, a member of the group, from Cedar Lake. “We need to take care of it (environment). It starts here.”

Rogers, who snapped a few photos for the upload, said she was pleased with the turnout of about 20 people.

“Everyone is so worried about going super fast,” said Rogers. “It’s important to look at the beauty around us. When it’s too late, there will be no turning back from what we’ve lost.”

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