The March for Science scheduled for Saturday, April 22, in Ashland has been scaled back.
A planned parade, which would have gone from Ashland High School on South Mountain Drive at Iowa Street to ScienceWorks Hands-On Museum could not find sufficient resources to pull it off.
Organizers and participants will walk instead on the sidewalk from Garfield Park at 11 a.m. to ScienceWorks to demonstrate support for science, but the full parade couldn’t be managed given the amount of help needed, according to organizers.
The parade was to meant to coincide with a National March for Science in Washington, D.C., and marches across the globe that call for support for science, scientists and evidence-based policy-making that protects the environment.
“After an extensive search, a volunteer planning committee was unable to find enough certified flaggers to obtain permits for road closures,” according to organizer Laura Davis, who announced the cancellation.
The city of Ashland has a requirement for certified flaggers for a parade permit.
“The Oregon Department of Transportation provides traffic-flagger training. After completing the training, participants will be certified flaggers for two years,” according to the city website.
If parade organizers cannot find certified flaggers to volunteer, city staff can be assigned to work the event, if available, but the applicant has to pay 60 percent of the overtime costs.
Brett Belan, founder of Apparent Energy, who planned to lead the march in his solar-powered VW Bus, expressed disappointment at the parade cancellation, but he remains hopeful about support for science and an event still happening at ScienceWorks.
“I’m a little bummed,” he said, adding he’ll still be at ScienceWorks showing off his various solar-powered vehicles. “I appreciate doing my part to keep science in front of the community and show what’s possible through renewable energy. It’s inspiring.”
Belan and others will be at ScienceWorks starting at 11:45 a.m. Saturday, presenting “Scientists Speak Up,” part of a global community advocating for science, according to Davis.
Belan still plans to display his van, which he drives around town using energy from the sun, along with rickshaws and other solar-powered vehicles.
— Email Ashland freelance writer Julie Akins at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her on Twitter at twitter.com/@julieakins.