Here are some frequently asked questions about the First Nation – Farmer Climate Unity March. The first section has questions marchers may have, and the second section has questions hosts may have.
Q: What does a typical day on the March look like?
A: Marchers wake-up around or before 6:00 a.m., eat breakfast, make their lunch, pack up camp, and circle up for announcements by 7:30 a.m. Marchers then depart together by 8:00 a.m. Each day’s mileage is between 10 and 13 miles. There will be a break about every 3-4 miles to recharge, take a bathroom break and to have lunch or a snack. Upon getting to camp, marchers will set up their tents, relax, take care of any social media work they have to do. At 6:00 p.m. each day there will be a community forum that all marchers should plan to attend, followed by a community dinner and music. Click here to review additional details.
Q: What will it cost me to march?
A: To offset the costs of the March, each marcher is asked to contribute $20 per day — either personally, through finding sponsors, or through a scholarship. Children 12 and under are $10 per day. There is no charge for the welcome night on Friday, August 31. We will help you set up your profile on our Meet the Marchers page. Marching fees will cover food, camping space fees, march t-shirt, and transportation of gear while marching. You will be responsible for providing your own tent and camp gear — though we expect to have some supplies donated that we can share with marchers who don’t have these things. We will be creating a video to show you what to pack and you can review the packing list here.
Q: What equipment will I need?
A: We have created a packing list and will be adding a packing video soon. Limit is two large bags and one small backpack for day use. All camping gear, and personal items must fit in these bags. No loose items (other than a camp chair), or anything breakable please. We recommend that ALL ITEMS have your name and contact info on it, and leave valuables (including pets and vehicles) at home.
Q: What should I leave at home?
A: Alcohol, illegal drugs and weapons are prohibited on the March, per our Code of Nonviolence. Also leave at home your pets, vehicles, and anything valuable that you would not want to lose.
Q: How will our equipment be transported?
A: We are looking for a 25-foot moving truck to carry our gear and pulls a solar generator. We also have a pickup truck to haul the commodes.
Q: What about food?
A: Ahh the food! The march will have the amazing vegan Chef: Lyssa Wade and her vegan food truck “Veggie Thumper” prepare most all our meals. We will have an extra cook stove and coolers for those who want meat. Marchers, staff and volunteers will be expected to provide their own mess kit and clean it up afterwards. While not guaranteed, we strive to address as many unique dietary restrictions and preferences as possible.
Q: How do I get to and from the march?
A: It is requested that marchers arrange their own transportation to and from the march, although there likely will be people coming and going to the march who might be able to provide a ride in either direction. Please DO NOT PLAN TO LEAVE YOUR VEHICLE PARKED WHERE YOU START, OR ALONG THE MARCH ROUTE.
Q: Can marchers bring pets?
A: We do not encourage any animals on this march. Extreme weather conditions, road safety, and consideration for our other marchers, all contribute to this decision. Special consideration may be made if it is a registered service animal, but we cannot guarantee approval.
Q: Where will the marching community set up camp?
A: Marchers are camping at various locations contingent on available opportunities. Camping locations include public campgrounds, public parks, farm fields and private property. The complete list of campsites will be made available as soon as we have all the details nailed down.
Q: Is there electricity on the march?
A: Yes, the march has a solar generator that can power electrical equipment. Please have all electronics and charging cords labeled clearly with your personal information.
Q: What if I cannot march the entire mileage a certain day or days?
A: There will be opportunities to volunteer to drive the break truck that pulls commodes ahead every 3-4 miles, and there is a passenger seat also available in that vehicle. When available, there will be a sag wagon vehicle to pick up marchers that have had enough walking for the day and be brought ahead to the camp. The sag wagon car may not go directly to camp as soon as a marcher is picked up. It may wait en route in case others need a ride.
Q: Will marchers interact with the communities we pass through?
A: YES! This is perhaps the most important aspect of the march. The opportunities for interaction between marchers and host communities include learning from the people we will meet along the way and exchanging information about how climate change affects us, and about other pressing issues of importance to the constituency groups partnering with Bold to pull together the march. Every evening, there will be a community forum, shared meal and live music.
Q: Can I march part-time?
A: Yes. Marchers are invited to march any duration they are able. While we strongly encourage people who can to participate in the entire march, if you are interested in participating for a day or two, please indicate on the application what days you will be attending so we have a count for food and camp needs. Please arrange to be picked up and dropped off at the appropriate locations.
Q: Where can I leave my car?
A: At home, preferably! We aim to have as few vehicles on the march as possible. Do not plan on bringing your car to the march, and instead have someone drop you off and pick you up. If you are camping with us the Friday night before the march, we will provide transportation to get to the Iowa Utilities Board offices for the press conference and the start of the march. For those marching the entire distance, we will be providing transportation from Fort Dodge back to Des Moines. Email [email protected] to reserve your space for both those dates. Otherwise, please arrange transportation to your arrival and departure locations. Thank you.
Q: What volunteer support is needed?
A: When you fill out the marcher application, you will share what volunteer opportunities you have the skills and preferences for. Examples include but are not limited to:
● loading and unloading of vehicles (must be able to lift up to 30-50 lbs.)
● camp-scaping to leave each camp area as good or better than we found it
● driving a 20-foot gear truck ahead to next camp site; arrangements can be made to have you delivered back to the march route if you want to march that day
● food prep, sanitation and clean up
● driving the truck that pulls the commodes and water for breaks while marching; we break every 3-4 miles so we can switch off drivers if needed
● speaking or performing music at our evening forums (contact [email protected] if interested in speaking or playing music, and we’ll try to accommodate as many voices as possible)
Q: How many marchers will there be?
A: It is hard to give an exact number because we have people joining us along the way for all, or part of the march. We expect to have 50+ marchers for the entirety of the march, but there will be more than that on any given day, particularly weekends.
Q: What kind of accommodations are needed?
A: Our caravan is limited, but fairly self-sufficient with our own solar showers, solar generator, composting toilets, tent camping gear, etc. However we welcome local support of these daily needs. A level space for parking, and the space to set up around 15-30 tents for one night is essential. Two of our vehicles need semi-truck style parking, with pull-through options. The tents can be set up close together, on as level ground as possible and ideally on a site not too close to traffic noise. Back-up option: Marchers may also sleep on a floor indoors with their and sleeping bag and pad. We will also need access to electricity for the food bus.
Q: What won’t you need?
A: Alcohol, illegal drugs and weapons are prohibited on the March, per our Code of Nonviolence. We are also providing our own food and water, however if you are joining us for dinner, please bring your own service ware (plate, bowl, cup, silverware, napkin).
Q: Besides basic needs: what are you hoping to accomplish on this march?
A: The First Nation – Farmer Climate Unity March will connect people from urban centers with rural residents to share stories and concerns regarding the abuse of eminent domain, climate change and a range of other issues. With the polarization in our country, it is more important than ever that these opportunities to meet and talk happen. Our allies are eager to share stories that may be unfamiliar to people in rural communities. Similarly, we want to give people in the towns we walk through a chance to share their stories, not just about how climate change is affecting them but stories about challenges facing farmers and others who live and work in rural Iowa.
Q: What do marchers prefer to eat?
A: Dinner is on us! Come meet the marchers, and make new friends. Bring your own service ware (plate, bowl, cup, silverware, napkin).