April 12, 2011 —
A beautiful vessel holding water from Buttermilk Falls in New York’s Catskill Mountains will be borne by five women on a 90-mile trek beginning at the Neversink Reservoir near Liberty, NY and concluding at Salt Springs State Park in Susquehanna County, PA. The women will walk 15 miles daily to accomplish their mission to raise awareness of the sacredness of the water and the land upon which life depends.
The walk will begin on April 17 and conclude on the 23rd with events open to the public.
The grassroots initiative is a journey of the heart and a creative action of solidarity, born of concern for future generations, according to one of the organizers, Chrys Countryman. The effort is described as a response to the threat of contamination of clean water by the extraction of fossil fuels such as natural gas. Part of the objective is to raise funds for baseline water testing in the Marcellus Shale to be performed by shaletest.org.
Ribbons are being sold, which will be carried by the walkers. An opening ceremony will be held at Aden Road, next to the Neversink Reservoir beginning at 9 a.m. with blessings from urban shaman Mama Donna Henes and an address from Laura Sheinkopf of Safe Water Movement, together with other local activists. The walk will commence at 10 a.m. Various gatherings will occur along the way.
Music director Marc Black, who is currently working on his “No Fracking Way” video, is coordinating music for the events. Visit Black’s website at www.marcblack.com  for more.
The walk concludes on April 23 with a daylong celebration at the Salt Springs State Park Pavilion beginning at 10 a.m. There will be a ceremony led by alchemist and shaman Maya Minwah to celebrate the water’s voyage, lovingly carried on foot through many communities, receiving gratitude and blessings along the way with the understanding that it symbolizes all water everywhere. Those who wish to may bring some of the water back to their own communities.
A drum circle led by Thomas deerheart will follow. All are welcome to drum, sing, chant and dance. Many drummers are expected, but extra drums will be provided by deerheart for those who do not have one. Visit http://web.me.com/deerheartdrumming/site/deerheart_home.html  for more.
One local opportunity to meet the women will occur on April 18, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Delaware Youth Center Picnic Pavilion in Callicoon NY, where a potluck dinner, open to the public, is planned. Featured guests include musician and Catskill troubadour Mighty Xee, Sullivan County legislator David Sager, local organic farmer Greg Swartz and stilt walker Tannis Kowalchuk. Join the women as they cross the Delaware River into Pennsylvania. Visit www.walkaboutwater.blogspot.com  or www.facebook.com/pages/Walk-About-Water/116856188378005  for more information, including a schedule of events.