CEDAR CITY – Nearly 200 residents of Iron County showed up Saturday to participate in the International March for Science in Cedar City.
A worldwide event, the March for Science was held in more than 600 cities across the world as thousands participated in an effort to bring awareness to the importance of science in society.
The march in Cedar City was co-sponsored by the Women’s March in Washington, Cedar City group and the Southern Utah University Earth Club. It was one of six marches happening in multiple Utah cities, including St. George.
“There were families, children in strollers, children riding on their fathers’ shoulders, young, old and students all came out to participate,” Jean Bjerke, a member of the WMW Cedar City group, said.
Bjerke said group members had hoped for 200 people to show for the march but were pleasantly surprised when they did.
Starting at the Main Street Park near the Cedar City Library, the group marched with signs and banners in tow around to Center Street walking straight to the Southern Utah University campus where they ended in front of the Gerald R. Sherratt Library.
“The group’s mood was positive, upbeat and enthusiastic,” Bjerke said.
Those participating in the march hoped to send a message to Washington that they want policymakers to make decisions based on facts and science. Those who attended in Cedar City felt the number of supporters who came out across the country Saturday were by themselves enough to get that message across loud and clear.
At one point participants were invited to stand in a circle and share what science meant to them.
For many there, science is a part of their careers and everyday life as employees of the Bureau of Land Management and Fish and Wildlife, both federal agencies tasked with the responsibility of taking care of the earth and wildlife.
For Bjerke, like others at the march, science is the “foundation of a civilized society.”
“Everything is dependent on science,” she said. “Our medicines, our water, the quality of life we live and the technology we use daily is all due to science.”
Many of the children and SUU students also shared their thoughts, saying they want to “grow up and be a scientist like” their mom, dad or grandparents – loved ones they felt represented the definition of science.
At the conclusion of the march, participants heard brief remarks by some of the local march leaders. Carrie Trenholm, Briget Eastep and Emily Dean. Alejandro Lucero, the president of the SUU Earth Club, also shared a few words with the group.
SUU students also participated in the march and were there on site at the campus to offer various science activities for the kids to enjoy. Some of these included a “dress up as your favorite scientist” contest, an archeology excavation, kite flying, bubbles, painting and anthropology demonstrations.
Members of the SUU Animal Ambassadors Club also brought a variety of exotic reptiles the children had an opportunity to pet.
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