MARQUETTE — Thursday night’s bitter cold weather didn’t stop a group of dedicated locals from showing their appreciation for the Earth and the local non-profits that protect it.

The first installment of ‘Dancing for the Earth’ took place at the Presque Isle Pavilion last night. The series is meant to honor non-profits in the area that are working to restore and protect the U.P environment.

Last night’s performance celebrated the Cedar Tree Institute, a non-profit that plants trees and works with tribes to protect native plants.

“Non-profits bring a special, special gift to the work of our community. We call it the fifth column,” said Cedar Tree Institute Director, Jon Magnuson. “In light of the current political situation, you’re going to see non-profits increase because they’re transparent, they have a board of directors they’re accountable to and they’re not in it to make a lot of money, they’re in it to make a difference.”

These performances will be going on monthly until the equinox. Non-profits that will be honored in the future include the UP Environmental Coalition and the Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve.