• ECHO Action Editor



Will you walk with them for PEACE and to STOP THE NED PIPELINE?

* Photo of prayer flags at the New England Peace Pagoda on New Year’s Day, 2016

More than a hundred walkers have registered for the MLK Walk to Stop the NED Pipeline scheduled to step off from the site of a proposed natu

ral gas pipeline compressor station in Northfield on Saturday, January 16, according to Hattie Nestel of Athol, organizer.

The Reverends Gyori Kato, Toby Keyes, and Clare Carter of the New England Buddhist Peace Pagoda in Leverett will lead the thirty-four-mile, three-day walk to the Plainfield construction yard site for the proposed pipeline.

“Every step deliberate, every step a prayer to stop the pipeline,” Nestel said, borrowing a line from the Camino de Santiago in Spain. “On any given morning or afternoon during walk weekend, we expect that we’ll have from ten to thirty walkers on the road.”

Each evening during the walk, a potluck meal will be shared with participants at 5:30 on Saturday and Sunday and 4 Monday. A Buddhist monk or nun will offer considerations of the walk and pipeline from the perspective of Martin Luther King, Jr. or Buddhist tradition. Leigh Youngblood, executive director of Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust, will share insights about conserved land under Article 97 of the Massachusetts state constitution.

Storyteller David Arfa of Shelburne will offer celebrations of ancient Hebrew environmental wisdom. Lyn Shaw of Hartford, Connecticut, will discuss the International Peace Belt, which she describes as a living link among cultures, a symbol of peace and unity that will be carried during the walk. Ben Grosscup of Greenfield will lead singing.

Jim Cutler of Hilltown Community Rights will provide information about compressor stations and construction yards after Saturday’s potluck. On Sunday and Monday after the potluck, Rose Wessel of Cummington, founder of will provide updates on the pipeline controversy.

Saturday walkers will meet at 8 am at the Centennial Bed and Breakfast at 94 Main Street in Northfield, according to Nestel. They will be offered a light breakfast before shuttling to the proposed compressor station site on Gulf Road to begin the walk.

After more than eleven miles, the contingent will stop Saturday night at All Souls Unitarian Church at the corner of Hope and Main streets in Greenfield. Following Sunday breakfast, walkers will cover another eleven-plus miles to the United Congregational Church at 44 Whately Road in Conway. After breakfast at the Conway church on Monday, participants will walk another eleven miles to the proposed Plainfield construction site where they will be shuttled to Village Congregational Church in Cummington for a closing program and circle following the potluck meal.

Nestel urged walkers to dress appropriately in layers and to wear dependable footwear. “Even in cold weather, walking tends to warm the body,” she said. “so layers are important. If walking conditions are rainy or icy, walkers must be prepared for the elements and road surfaces.”

Walk organizers have notified police departments along the way and have arranged for support vehicles, food, and overnight accommodations.

CONTACT HATTIE NESTEL - To Register & Participate


#peacewalk #NEDpipeline #MLK