Viewers of Needham’s July 4th parade responded enthusiastically to the unexpected sight of a 12-foot float traveling down the street with no vehicle pulling it. Featuring replicas of solar panels and wind turbines, the Needham League of Women Voters/Green Needham “fossil-fuel-free” float was built on small wheels and simply pushed along by the five people walking inside. Accompanying the float were representatives of local environmental groups marching together behind a banner “Working Together for a Greener Future.”
The green contingent, which included 46 people representing 11 local organizations and houses of worship, made an eloquent statement about the town’s vibrant activism dedicated to environmental issues. Local projects include organic farming, composting cafeteria waste, promoting local solar power, developing walking/biking trails, congregants “greening” their houses of worship, and many more. The youngest marchers were from the Eliot School Green Kids Club and the “Radioactive Hamburgers,” a First Lego League Robotics team of sixth graders working on a project to protect bees.
Becky King, whose son Daniel participated as a representative of the “Radioactive Hamburgers,” remarked that “as a spectator I thought this was the most creative and diverse group in the parade.” The judges agreed. The foot-powered float was awarded the Grand Marshal’s trophy for creative design.
Click on the picture to see the slide show and list of participating groups.