John Francis: PA-destrian
He just came back from walking in Bolivia, and now John Francis
, author of Planetwalker
, the story of how he walked, in silence, across the United States, is about to hit the road again.
This time, on April 22nd (Earth Day) he'll begin walking from Philadelphia, where he'll be seen off by Mayor John Street
, who some time ago urged his own citizens to start moving
, and walk to Gettysburg
, where there was a little local difficulty I believe in the 19th century and some guy gave a good speech
En route, John will be telling people about environmental conservation and leading a purposeful life. He may not be a fat man walking
, but he's got a vision, and you can join him en route. Read more for his route and his message.
In 1990 Rotary adopted Preserve Planet Earth as an avenue of service to promote environmental awareness among Rotarians and increase the number of environmental service projects undertaken by Rotary Clubs. Since then the mandate has become central to Rotary International to improve the world environment. Clubs throughout the world have developed projects such as clearing streams and rivers, recycling waste products, creating parks and woodlands.
On Earth Day 2005, I began a walking journey back across the United States, retracing the steps of my seven-year silent planetwalk across America. The message I am carrying, how each of us can make a difference in making a better environment for us all, is the subject of his recently published book, Planetwalker: How to Change Your World One Step at a Time. It is particularly poignant with today’s real concerns about global warming.
An honorary Rotarian I was supported by Rotary Clubs from Cape May, New Jersey to Philadelphia. For the next leg, Earth Day 2006, beginning in Philadelphia I will be continuing to work with local Rotary Clubs for support, as well as other organizations including Lions International, United Steel Workers of America and the Sierra Club as new support partners. I will highlight this year’s walk as a keynote speaker in Toledo, Ohio at the District Conference for Governor Abe Kuttothara.
While traveling I will be looking for those similarities and differences in the landscapes I have walked before. And as I highlight the message of personal empowerment to America, I will be looking to encourage non-traditional partnerships in support of the goals and ideals of the walk. One such goal is the development of an environmental, science, and social studies curriculum, with a community service component based on the walking pilgrimage for elementary, high schools and colleges across the nation.
In this endeavor I am asking for the help and support of all Rotarians, whether in the form of financial assistance, walkers, hosting and transporting walkers and equally important your ideas and aid in forming supportive partnerships with other organizations, and individuals in “Preserving Planet Earth.”
Here's his schedule:
April 22, Day 1: Philadelphia route 30 to Devon
April 23, Day 2: Devon route 30 to Exton
April 24, Day 3: Exton route 30 to 340 White Horse
April 25, Day 4: White Horse route 340 Intercourse, Bird-in-hand to Lancaster
April 26, Day 5: Lancaster route 462 to Hallam
April 27, Day 6: Hallam route 462 to York (or on to route 30 to Thomasville)
April 28-30 rest days (John travels to Toledo RI conference speaks Noon April 30)
May 1, Day 7: York route 30 to Abbottstown
May 2, Day 8: Abbottstown to Gettysburg
May 3-5: Available for book signing, speaking and media.