Dallas Sierra Club

Dallas Sierra Club News - April 2019

Sierra Club Picnic, Saturday, April 6, Churchilll Park, Dallas

Hot dog with mustardBring your friends, families, dogs, cats and whomever else you love to hang out at our twice-annual picnic at Churchill Park, 7025 Churchill Way, Dallas, Saturday, April 6 from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM. New, recent and prospective members are especially invited. there will be lots of food, veggie burgers, drinks, hot doggies, and chips and dips and salads. We will have some games, some water-balloons and a variety of giveaways; gift cards, backpacks, Sierra club memberships, and random stuff from our collection of never ending goodies! Here is a Google map to guide you.

It looks like it's going to rain, but that OK. Our picnic is under a large covered pavilion, so you won't get wet. A little rain number slows down the Sierra Club.

General Meeting Program - Tuesday, April 9, 7:00 pm - Refreshments at 6:30

Legislative Action Needed on Environmental Bills in Austin
The 2019 Texas Legislature is in full swing. April is a critical time for the final push to persuade our legislators to pass good environmental legislation and to stop the bad. We need all interested environmentally-concerned activists to make calls, send emails and take action now. Come hear about what you can do to make a difference at this critical juncture in the 86th Texas Legislative Session.

Grow Your Own Food in North Texas
Ruth KleinTexas Master Gardener Ruth B. Klein will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about growing your own vegetables in Texas.

Ruth was born and raised in Dallas. She used to wish she were a gardener, but never took it up because it seemed too hot and there were too many bugs and pollens in Texas.

In 2006 she decided to landscape her small yard. The desire to landscape using sound ecological principles ignited a passion for gardening she never knew she had. After a heroic effort to learn about gardening through books and classes, she joined the Master Gardener program in 2009. In 2010 Ruth’s home landscape was chosen to be on the City of Dallas WaterWise Tour.

Her current interest and focus is on community vegetable gardening. She helped start and leads a community garden at Temple Emanu-El in Dallas where the crop is donated to a local food bank.

Everyone is welcome. FREE! You don't have to be a Sierra Club member. Just show up. We'd love to meet you.

Our General Meeting starts at 7:00 pm, but come at 6:30 for snacks, information and fellowship. The meeting takes place at Brookhaven College. Click over to our General Meeting page for more information and a map.

Are North Texas’ Recycling Programs Facing Peril?

By Victoria Howard, Dallas Sierra Club Recycling Coordinator

The recent headlines in papers like The New York Times both shock and alarm the recycling supporters reading them. Opening sentences declare: “Philadelphia is now burning about half of its 1.5 million residents’ recycling material” and “[T]he Florida city of Deltona faced the reality that despite their best efforts to recycle, their curbside program was not working and suspended it.” * Advocates of recycling worry that the progress attained in the last three decades is about to become undone and give way to more bulging landfills and polluted air.

The increased cost of dealing with contaminated recyclables is motivating several U.S. cities to alter or eliminate their programs. With targeted neighborhoods being identified and singled out, Philadelphia is choosing to burn those loads with highly contaminated recyclables in nearby Chester City. “[I]n the past three months, half of these recyclables have been loaded on to trucks, taken to a hulking incinerator facility and burned...” **

How does this troubling trend affect North Texas’ recycling stream? “Since recycling is becoming less viable or more expensive, we’re [the City of Dallas] advocating for less consumption.” Murray Myers, Dallas Sustainability Manager tells me in an email exchange. “Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Rot are being highlighted as the 5 R’s...so that the waste is never generated.”

Myers goes on to explain that “ Dallas is in better shape than other cities since the [current] contract with FCC was completed before the markets plummeted and there are more local markets in DFW... [The]FCC hasn’t relied heavily on markets from overseas, but other cities in the region use different MRFs and they’re suffering.”

Although slightly comforting that Dallas and surrounding areas are not immediately faced with the challenges that the North East is dealing with, it is imperative that it stays that way.

*(Corkery, Michael. “As Costs Skyrocket, More U.S. Cities Stop Recycling.” NY Times, March 16,2019),
**(Milman, Oliver. ‘Moment of reckoning’ US cities burn recyclables after China bans imports” The Guardian, February 21, 2019)

Colorado Bend State Park Group Campout - You Are All Invited

Trail SignCamp, Chill, or Hike at Colorado Bend State Park
Dallas Sierra Club has booked a fantastic riverside group campsite for the weekend of April 26-28. Click here for details. This is a big State Park near the Bend, Texas, on the north edge of the Hill Country. Spicewood Springs, Gorman Falls, the River Trail or all three are great hike destinations for Saturday morning or afternoon. This trip is good for families, couples and individuals, but you’ll need to sign up early, as the riverside group camp allows only forty campers. Take the back roads to the park to see the spring wildflowers and join us for a great weekend campout!

Wilderness Navigation Two Night Class - May 7 and 8 (Tuesday and Wednesday)

Reading a mapSome walks in the woods are pretty easy, but journeys of all lengths can turn from amazing to catastrophic if you can't find your way. Learn the fundamentals of navigating your way in the wilderness in this fun and comprehensive two-night class. Among the subjects covered are: looking for and purchasing different type maps, how to read maps, how not to get lost, map use if you do get lost, different kinds of compasses and how to use your compass. There will be some discussion about GPS, but our main focus is learning how to use a map and compass so you're not trusting your navigation (and life) to something that takes batteries. If you have a compass, bring it. If not, we'll have extras you can use and will show you what to look for when you purchase your own.

The class will be held in the upstairs meeting room at Whole Foods Market, southeast quadrant of Preston Road and Forest Lane in Dallas. This two-night class will begin at 6:30 PM and finish about 9:00 PM. The class fee is $35 for members and $40 for non-members. Cost covers both nights and handout materials. We encourage online signups by Monday before the class (click here) or you can pay with cash or check at the door. A half-day hike the following Saturday or Sunday with the class instructors Arthur Kuehne and Bill Greer will be offered to class participants who want to practice their new skills.

Go Solar with SunPower

It’s up to all of us to advance climate solutions, that’s why the Sierra Club is partnering with SunPower to make it easy for Sierra Club members to go solar. When you go solar with SunPower and the Sierra Club, you will receive a $1,000 mail-in rebate. Plus, the Sierra Club will receive $1,000 to support our work, including fighting for clean air and water and protecting the health of our communities. Click here for details.

Dallas Sierra Club Outreach Speakers Program - Speakers for Your Group

The Dallas Sierra Club has started a Outreach Speakers Program to provide outdoor and environmental education in the form of entertaining and informative presentations. To find out how the Dallas Sierra Club can provide a speaker for your group, please follow this link.

Videos of Our General Meetings

We have started posting videos of selected General Meetings on YouTube. Visit our General Meeting Page to find links.

Limerick of the Month

As my eyes sweep across and scan it,
I admire "All That Is" that did plan it.
     It's a marble-ous sight,
     Picturesque, a delight,
Although most people take it for granite.

By Kirk Miller

If you would like to submit an environmental limerick for our Limerick of the Month feature, send it to editors@dallassierraclub.org.


Announcement IconApr 13 (Sat) Electronics Recycling and Documents Shredding
FREE Electronics Recycling and Document Shredding, 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., Saturday, April 13, Richardson Square - Most electronics will be accepted. For details, click here. You do NOT have to be a Richardson resident to participate.

Backpack IconApr 13-14 (Sat-Sun) Beginner Backpack Trip to the Caney Creek Wilderness
Join us for one of the Dallas Sierra Club’s favorite Arkansas backpacking trips. We’ll backpack about 4 1/2 miles along Caney Creek in Caney Creek Wilderness, cross the creek a few times, and climb some small hills. We'll set up camp near a waterfall then do a short optional day hike as time and energy permit. For many of us this was our first Wilderness hike and it's still one of our favorites. Leader: Bill Greer Send Email 972-247-0446

Dallas Sierra Club Meeting IconApr 17 (Wed) Outings Committee Meeting
The Outings Committee meets on most third Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. to plan outings and events. Anyone interested in outings is welcome to attend and participate. Come upstairs at Whole Foods Market, SE quadrant of Preston Road and Forest Lane, Dallas. Reply to Bill to be added to the advance agenda email list or to suggest an agenda item. Organizer: Bill Greer Send Email 972-247-0446

Announcement IconApr 18 (Thu) Seasons at Simmons Climate Change Walk
In conjunction with Trinity Park Conservancy, we will lead a climate change walk through downtown Dallas, beginning at 6:00pm and returning by 8:00pm. Reserve your spot in the hike here. Leader: Chris Guldi Send Email 972-239-5878

Announcement IconApr 22 (Mon) Earth Day
Today is Earth Day

Car Camp IconApr 26-28 (Fri-Sun) Colorado Bend State Park Group Campout
Gorman FallsTent campers of all ages and abilities will enjoy this weekend adventure at one of Texas' most scenic state parks. The park is a four-hour drive through the hill country from Dallas to near Bend, Texas, west of Lampassas. We've reserved the large group campsite by the Colorado River for tent camping on Friday and Saturday nights. Pack your tent, camp chair, hiking shoes, bike, kayak, guitar, telescope or croquet set--this park is great for adventure or just relaxing. Everyone will have plenty of time to explore the unique park highlights, including Gorman Falls (pictured at right plunging 65 feet over fern-covered travertine). Spicewood Springs is another attraction, suitable for April soaking in clear water. Details, cost and reservation forms (required) are in this PDF. Sorry, no RVs or pets. Coordinator: Liz Wheelan Send Email 214-368-2306

Dallas Sierra Club Meeting IconMay 1 (Wed) Dallas Sierra Club Executive Committee Meeting
The Executive Committee (or Excom) is the elected governing body of the Dallas Sierra Club and meets upstairs at Whole Foods Market, southeast corner of Preston Road and Forest Lane, in Dallas at 6:30 pm. Contact the Dallas Group Chair for more information.

Day Hike IconMay 4 (Sat) Visit the Blackland Praire Raptor Center. In Lucas on the shores of Lake Lavon
Spend the morning up close and personal with some of Texas' raptors. The raptor center houses and cares for raptors who for various reasons can no long care for themselves. We will see Great Horned owls, Barred owls, Barn owls, Red Tail hawks, and Red Shoulder hawks to name a few. Arrive at the raptor center at 9:30. From 10-11am we will go see the new born raptors and hear how they are raised. From 11-12 we will go to the ampitheatre for a presentation on the adult raptors. And from 12-1 we will take a walk with master naturalists on the remnant priarie. May is the beginning of wildflower season so the flowers may be putting on a show. $5 per adult and $3 for children. This fee also entitles you to have your picture taken with a raptor so bring your camera. Limit 12 and no dogs. Call Jim Binnings to reserve your spot. Leader: Jim Binnings Send Email 205-746-3266

Class IconMay 7 (Tue) Wilderness Navigation Class - Part 1
Want to plan a hike or bushwhack off-trail but you're uneasy about finding your way? Don't risk your safety on a GPS and batteries - join us for this highly respected two-night, hands on class and learn how or refresh your skills to read and use a topographic map and compass to plan, orient, and navigate your journey through our special places. Part 1 is Tue., part 2 is Wed., both at 6:30 p.m., upstairs at Whole Foods Market, SE quadrant of Preston Road and Forest Lane. Cost for the two-night class is $35 for Sierra Club members, $40 for non-members (best class price around). An optional nearby hike for class participants will be offered the following Sat or Sun. morning with instructors to help you practice what you learned. Pre-registration greatly appreciated by clicking here or just show up and pay at the door. Bring a compass if you have one. If not, we'll have an extra you can use and we'll advise what to look for when you buy your own. Sessions will run until 8:45pm. Coordinator: Liz Wheelan Send Email 214-368-2306

Class IconMay 8 (Wed) Wilderness Navigation Class - Part 2
Second night of our two-part class that begins Tue., May 7. Both sessions are at Whole Foods Market, Preston Road at Forest Lane. See above for details and link to pay online. Coordinator: Liz Wheelan Send Email 214-368-2306

Day Hike IconMay 11 (Sat) Dayhike At Palo Pinto State Park
Just 80 miles west of Fort Worth, in the hilly Palo Pinto Mountains, lies Palo Pinto State Park. It's about 2 hours drive from north Dallas. Texas Parks aquired the land in 2011 but the Texas Legislature has so far not funded development of the park and it is not open to the public. This day hike will visit the north part of the park along Palo Pinto Creek. It's likely we will be the only people in the park. Our Texas Parks guide for the hike has asked that we limit group size so advance signups are required. You'll need to bring a lunch, water bottle, and the usual stuff for a long dayhike. After the hike we may visit a local museum and/or adjourn to a local restaurant for an early supper. We'll meet in the Palo Pinto area at 10:00 am so you'll need to leave Dallas by 8:00 am at the latest. To sign up and get all the details contact your fearless leader. Leader: Bill Greer Send Email 972-247-0446

Dallas Sierra Club Meeting IconMay 14 (Tue) Dallas Sierra Club General Meeting
Speakers not booked yet. If you have ideas for a Sierra Club General Meeting speaker, or would like to help plan General Meeting speakers, please contact programs@dallassierraclub.org. Everyone is invited. Full details will be on our home page soon.

Dallas Sierra Club Meeting IconMay 15 (Wed) NO Outings Committee Meeting this month
There will not be an Outings Committee meeting this month. Our next meeting will be Wednesday, June 19, at Whole Foods. Organizer: Bill Greer Send Email 972-247-0446

Backpack IconMay 19-21 (Sun-Tue) Exploratory backpack trip in White Mountains Wilderness, New Mexico
For many years our Memorial Day bus trip alternated between White Mountains Wilderness, near Ruidoso, and Bandelier National Monument, nearWhite Mountains Wilderness Los Alamos. Then wildfire devastated both, and it’s been years since we’ve been back. But fire is a natural part of forest ecosystems and they do recover. It’s time to go back and see what the new White Mountains are like! We’ll meet Sunday morning, check out trailheads, and spend two nights in the back country to see how trails have recovered. Wednesday we'll check out some other BLM and historic sites in the area. It’s a scouting trip so expect plans to be fluid! Much of our backpack trip will be on the Crest Trail, which features some of the best views to be found anywhere. Leader: Bill Greer Send Email 972-247-0446