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The Earth Day 7K has gone virtual!

The Earth Day 7K has gone virtual!

By Madison O'Shea
April 22, 2020

Four years ago, Nature Up North and the St. Lawrence Land Trust created the First Annual Earth Day 7K.  That race, in 2016, brought eighteen participants together as they ran and walked in support of Mother Earth. Since that first race, the number of participants has grown to over 100. The Earth Day 7K was initially designed to foster a deeper connection to, and appreciation for, nature in the North Country. Each year, participants of the four races, through their race entry donations, have supported local conservation and environmental education initiatives in the North Country. Since its creation, the Earth Day 7K has also fostered a deeper connection to, and appreciation for people in the North Country. Each year as we gather together, we bond over our desire to protect the beautiful natural resources available to us in the North Country and over the love we share for our community.

The Annual Earth Day 7K through the years

In light of the uncertainty and social isolation that we in the North Country and the world are facing, there has never been a more important time to stand (or walk or run) together in solidarity. Because we cannot get together in person, we have re-designed this year’s Love Your Mother 5th Annual Earth Day 7K as a virtual race! Although we at Nature Up North and The St. Lawrence Land Trust are going to miss seeing all of you in person this Earth Day season, we are looking forward to partaking on this new virtual adventure with all of you. This year we run not only in support of Mother Earth, but also in support of those in the North Country who are impacted by the  COVID-19 pandemic. All net proceeds from the virtual Love Your Mother 5th Annual Earth Day 7K will be donated to the United Way of Northern New York COVID-19 crisis fund to support our North Country neighbors in greatest need.  According to the United Way,  The crisis fund will go toward addressing the shortage of supplies needed to meet basic health and safety needs; the impact extended closures of school, childcare and after school programs have on children's access to breakfast and lunch programs and parents’ ability to work; and addressing the immediate economic impact of the pandemic on many workers, particularly in the service, retail and travel industries.

Here is how you can participate:

  1. Register at https://www.natureupnorth.org/form/2020-earth-day-7k-registration. Early registration is appreciated, but you may register up to the day before you run or walk. The first 50 participants to register will have the choice of receiving a T-Shirt by mail. Note that there may be delays in shipment due to COVID-19. 

  2. If you wish to compete with your time, download one of the following three running tracker apps: “Running Distance Tracker,” “Map My Run by Under Armour,” or “Runkeeper-GPS Running Tracker.”

  3. Pick a date to run between April 22nd (Earth Day) and May 22nd.

  1. Pick a trail near you (preferred) or your at-home treadmill (acceptable). For ideas of where to run, visit https://www.natureupnorth.org/trails. Remember to observe all social distancing guidelines! The official Earth Day 7K trail connects the Kip and Saddlemire Trails of St. Lawrence University. If you choose to use this trail, you would begin at the Wachtmeister Field Station. Below are directions to the Wachtmeister Field Station and a map of the 7K trail.

Official Earth Day 7K trail map

Directions: The Wachtmeister Field Station is located just south of the St. Lawrence University campus on Park St./County Route 27 in Canton. If approaching from Canton Village, it is the first driveway on the left after passing over the wooden bow bridge over the Little River. If approaching from the south, the Field Station is the third driveway on the right after passing the Kunoco.

  1. On your chosen date, run or walk 7K, using your running app to track your distance and time. We encourage you to take a picture while walking/running and submit it to Nature Up North as an encounter or publicly (shareable) on social media using the hashtag #earthday7k2020

  2. For your time to be considered in competition, take a screenshot of your distance and time displayed on your running app and email it to info@natureupnorth.org.

Those with the fastest times for each category and division will receive a downloadable certificate via email. All other registrants will receive a downloadable participation certificate. The race fee is $25 for general admittance and $15 for students to be paid electronically at time of registration. Youth 12 and under are free. Please contact info@natureupnorth.org with any questions.

Happy Earth Day season from all of us at Nature Up North and the St. Lawrence Land Trust. We are looking forward to racing together while we are apart!

By Madison O'Shea
Canton NY

Madison is the Nature Up North Project Manager and a 2019 graduate of St. Lawrence University, where she studied Biology and Education. As an undergrad, she worked with Nature Up North to create Monitor My Maple lesson plans and curriculum and MOW the Grasse teacher resources to provide students with opportunities to connect the topics they learn inside the classroom with nature in their own backyard. Growing up in the North Country, she and her family went camping every summer in the Adirondacks where she enjoyed hiking and sitting by the campfire. In her free time, Madison enjoys singing in University Chorus and reading books of all genres. Her interest in environmental education began after her semester of student teaching high school biology where she found that students are immensely curious about the natural world around them and enjoy partaking in citizen science. Madison is excited for the opportunity to connect her passion for education and nature with her love for the North Country community.