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Students in Bothell Demand Washington to Declare Climate Emergency

By Blake Rae

Edited by Marian Mohamed

Innovation Lab High School students and community members marched from Pop Keeney Stadium to Bothell City Hall demanding that the city and Washington state declare a climate emergency. (Photo/Courtesy of Denitza Deltcheva)

Most Washington residents know that we must act quickly to stop climate change, but how do we accomplish that? A group of Innovation Lab High School (ILHS) students intend to answer that question by reaching out beyond campus grounds and to their community. 

After wildfire smoke infiltrated Washington’s horizons in 2022, the ILHS Climate Action Club sought to make change however they could. This sparked the idea of organizing a march, and eventually led to one being held on March 30. 

“The students had this goal of getting our state to declare a climate emergency; that’s still our big goal, and so part of that is outreach and getting more people involved, more organizations involved,” said Alex Carpenter, ILHS Climate Action Club advisor. 

Before the main event started, dozens of community members marched in unity from Pop Keeney Stadium to Bothell City Hall to fight for climate conservation. 

This was ILHS Climate Action Club’s second time holding a March for Climate event; the first march occurred on March 4th, 2023. 12 organizations led booths at the second rally, and each booth offered a variety of fun activities. Marchers were informed of upcoming opportunities to become more involved. From tree planting to answering trivia questions, there was certainly something to get everybody thinking about the environment. 

On March 30, students residing in Bothell organized a march and community engagement opportunity in an effort to raise attention to the climate crisis. (Photo/Courtesy of Denitza Deltcheva) 

“Seeing a whole group of people walking in unity and chanting together just knowing that we’re not alone was really uplifting,” Carpenter said. 

Although it’ll be a long battle for the state to declare a climate emergency, ILHS Climate Action Club members will continue the fight and educate the city of Bothell about climate change for many years to come. The March for Climate rally is expected to become an annual event in the city of Bothell. However, they don’t stop the fight after their yearly event. 

The fight for Washington State to declare a climate emergency continues on with the club launching an online petition and holding meetings with city council members. On April 1,  its declaration was endorsed by Inglemoor High School Earth Corps, Whale Scout, Protectors of the Salish Sea, Friends of North Creek Forest, Sno-King Watershed Council, and the Northshore PTSA. 

The city of Bothell is actively engaging in pro-climate conservation events such as Sustainamania, which will take place in September 2024. The city council is taking action by partnering with its sustainability assistants. Its 2040 city vision plan includes climate conservation, reducing energy, and general waste within Bothell.

“We’re past the point of people understanding that this is a crisis. We’re putting more resources and funds into it,” Carpenter said. “We’re having more conversations about it just to show that this is something that people are taking seriously.”


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