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Organizers announce rally, route for March for Science Chicago

A local march propelled by fears about President Donald Trump’s plans to slash funds for the EPA and other scientific research is scheduled to coincide with Earth Day on April 22, 2017. (Screen shot)

Organizers have announced a route for the March for Science Chicago that will coincide with the national march on Earth Day.

Scheduled for April 22, the local march was propelled by the regional science community’s apprehension about President Donald Trump’s presidency and his plans to make severe cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency and other areas of federal government that rely on scientific research. The march’s Facebook page has thousands of followers and encouraging comments, most from people who hope to attend. The event now has more than 13,500 people expressing interest.

Participants will gather for a rally at 10 a.m. on South Columbus Drive, just south of East Jackson Drive, where a stage will face south. Attendees are encouraged to take public transportation and enter the rally through East Congress Parkway from Michigan Avenue, according to the march’s website.

Attendees will begin the march about 11 a.m. on Columbus and head south toward the Museum Campus, where they can attend a science expo from about noon to 3 p.m. The location of the expo and its participating organizations have yet to be announced.

Attendees can exit the march off Roosevelt Road, using open pedestrian pathways at Grant Park, the Museum Campus and the Lakefront Trail, according to the march’s website.

Research for many studies, including those done in collaboration with nongovernmental groups, has been put on hold because the White House wants to review the EPA’s scientific research to make sure it aligns with the administration’s views and priorities, Nicole Cantello, who represents EPA employees as chief steward of the American Federation of Government Employees Local 704, told the Tribune last month.

In March, the leaders of several Illinois environmental groups held a news conference to sound the alarm about possible deep cuts to Great Lakes restoration programs and said the cuts would have harmful consequences to the region.

Organizers hope to make the march nonpartisan and apolitical. While they won’t be able to control the sentiments of attendees, organizers are choosing to focus on touting the importance of scientific thought and research and its value to the city and the community.

Chicago Tribune’s Patrick M. O’Connell contributed.

Twitter @marwaeltagouri