Having trouble receiving this email. Try adding newsletter@dallassierraclub.org to your address book.
Unsubscribe here.  View a web version of this email.

Dallas Sierra Club
Explore, enjoy and protect the planet
#########Dallas Sierra Club News

November, 2009: In This Issue. . .


November General Meeting Program - November 10, 7:00 pm

Nature's Best Pest Control Operators
Learn how to solve rodent and mosquito problems by attracting barn owls, chimney swifts, purple martins and barn swallows. Discover the fascinating secret lives and amazing parenting skills of these unusual birds. Find out how they have become completely dependent on manmade structures for nesting sites. Presented by Bonnie Bradshaw, Texas Master Naturalist, Certified Wildlife Rehabilitator and vice president of WildCare, the support group for North Texas wildlife rehabilitators.

Texas Land Conservancy
Russ Jewert will present information on the Texas Land Conservancy which includes a general outline of its history, its mission and how it operates.

For those unfamiliar with the organization, the original founder was Ned Fritz, a local, long-time environmental activist.  TLC was originally called the Natural Area Preservation Association.  It is one of the oldest and largest land trusts in the state.  Through voluntary conservation easements and acquisition of lands, TLC has protected over 74,000 acres of land in Texas.  TLC holds easements on, or owns outright, 99 separate properties.  Twenty two of those properties are located in the Dallas-Fort Worth area!

Join us as Russ educates us on the process of protecting land for wildlife habitat, as well as its unique environmental value, not just now but for generations to come.

Russ Jewert is retired from the US Dept. of Health and Human Services.  He is a Board Member of The Texas Land Conservancy (formerly the Natural Area Preservation Association), and a Board Member of the Friends of Big Bend National Park.  Hobbies include backpacking and woodworking.

Visit our website for complete information about our General Meeting, including a map.


Dallas Sierra Club Annual Holiday Party, Sunday December 13, 6:00 pm

##################All Sierra Club members and their guests are invited to our annual holiday party at Winfrey Point located on White Rock Lake.  This year's party will feature a wine tasting contest, dinner, music, and prizes.  Everyone is invited to bring either their favorite bottle of wine for the wine tasting.  The dinner is pot luck, so bring a covered dish to share. Also help us save on paper plates and plastic cups by bringing your own plate, glass (and wine glass), silverware and napkin.  Great prizes (well, maybe pretty good prizes) will be awarded to those bringing the best organic wine, the bottle with the most original holiday label, and other surprise categories.  Tickets are $8 per person at the door.  Need directions?  Here is a Google map.


Outings Highlights

Becoming a Sierra Club Outings Leader, November 11
Have you ever thought about becoming an outings leader for the Sierra Club? Come to this introductory seminar and we'll tell you how to get started. We'll go over the types of outings the Club does, what we expect from our leaders, what training is required, and what services the Club provides. We'll look at the schedule of additional training for those of you who want to start leading outings. The seminar will be held at REI (Cross Timbers Room), 4515 LBJ Freeway, Farmers Branch, TX 75244 (north side of LBJ between Midway and Welch) from 7:00 - 8:30 PM. Organizer: Arthur Kuehne 214-902-9260(H)

Annual Bus Trip to Big Bend National Park, November 25-30
#########The Dallas Sierra Club Thanksgiving Holiday tradition continues with our annual bus trip to Big Bend. There will be a variety of hikes that will visit different parts of this very scenic National Park. If you've never been to Big Bend National Park, you owe it to yourself to discover this unique part of Texas. If you've been before, come on back and explore another area! Our chartered sleeper bus leaves Dallas around dinner time Wednesday and returns early morning on Monday. Some backpacking experience is required. Complete trip details, cost and reservation forms are at www.dallassierraclub.org/outings. Contact: Arthur Kuehne 214-608-3210(C)

Taos Bus Trip, February 18-22
There's already snow on Taos Mountain - Save the date!
Want to play in the snow but can't get away over the holidays? Mark your calendars now for our fun bus trip to Taos, New Mexico leaving after work Feb. 18 and returning early morning, Monday, Feb. 22. Complete trip details, price and reservation information will be available through our outings page beginning in December. To receive notification when reservations open, send an email with your name to Liz@dallassierraclub.org.   

For a complete list of our outings, visit our outings page.


REI Giving Trees for Inner City Outings

Want to give a little and still make a huge impact? Starting next week the Dallas and Plano REI stores will have Giving Trees displayed and will be accepting monetary donations for Inner City Outings ("ICO"), our outreach program. ICO volunteers provide free wilderness experiences for Dallas area disadvantaged youth. 100% of the donations will be used toward our outing expenses and equipment needs. This all volunteer program is self financed and donations allow us to reach as many kids as possible. For more information or to send a donation directly, please contact ico@dallassierraclub.org or 214-368-2306. And a huge thank you to REI for your continued support of our program. Thanks-for-Giving!


Recycling Round-Up
by Rita Raccoon

RECENT RECYCLING NEWS - November 2009

Council of Governments Panel Reviews 44 Grand Proposals
The Resource Conservation Council (RCC) of the North Central Texas Council of Governments (NCTCOG) is reviewing 44 grants from area cities, counties and other entities seeking TCEQ funds for projects aimed at three overall goals: assuring capacity, stopping illegal dumping and supporting recycling. Some grant proposals are first-time recycling programs while others seek to expand recycling to new groups - such as small businesses, multi-family housing and sports/recreation complexes, or new materials like composting Your correspondent, Rita Raccoon, is honored to be a program evaluator. In December, I will report on the innovative programs have been funded by NCTCOG.

Not Your Grandfather's Landfill
By Patricia Redfearn, Ph.D., Solid Waste and Recycling Manager, City of Grand Prairie
For more than a decade, land disposal has been regarded as the last choice in an integrated waste management system after waste minimization, reuse, recycling, and incineration with and without energy recovery. In fact, a September 2009 Sierra Club publication recommends entirely phasing landfilling out of municipal solid waste management as we move toward a zero waste environment. Like them, I optimistically look forward to the day when we spend more time thinking about the long-term effects of production than we think about consumption.

That said, I have the opportunity to provide tours of our facility in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Visitors include secondary and post-secondary students, special interest and civic groups, and foreign tourists. Invariably, one of the touring party will tell a story of when their father or grandfather used to take them to the “dump” when they were a child. They recount the sights and smells of a time when there were materials piled all over the place, open burning was common, and scavenging was not only allowed but encouraged. I never grow tire of hearing them exclaim, “this isn’t anything like I remember!”

If that’s how you remember it, I’m pleased to tell you, it isn’t anything like that anymore. Today, a landfill isn’t just an area for disposing items that we just can’t reduce, reuse, or recycle. It’s the last point where we have an opportunity to educate the community about the real-life effects of our communal consumption. If handled correctly, it is also the last point of diverting materials such as concrete, landscaping and wood waste, televisions and computer materials, metals, car batteries, paint, tires, and Freon. All landfills in the state of Texas are required to screen for prohibited materials but many of them also provide a program whereby citizens can drop materials for sending offsite to appropriate disposal facilities.

For the last two decades, landfills have evolved into areas where air and water quality are closely monitored. One of the primary air quality concerns is methane. For a while now, methane has been closely watched for migration at the boundaries so that neighboring areas are kept safe. Now methane production is viewed as an opportunity for projects that might direct-fire boilers or produce electricity. Several area landfills like Denton, Arlington, Farmer’s Branch, and Garland are involved in such projects.

Water quality is a high priority for solid waste operations. In the past, dumps were unlined, allowing rainwater and the liquids in the waste to filter down to the groundwater underneath. Now landfills are required to be lined with a thick geomembrane liner and a system for pumping the liquids out to collection tanks to prevent them from intruding on underlying aquifers. As the next natural progression, some area landfills have wetlands adjacent to them. The City of Grand Prairie is currently in the process of constructing a functioning wetland on deed restricted property between the landfill and the Trinity River. This area, covering 77 acres, is being studied by the University of North Texas for baseline data regarding hydrologic cycle, annual water retention, existing macroinvertibrates, and wetland vegetation.

To sum up, waste management is changing in exciting ways. Trips to the dump are things of the past but opportunities for environmental education are everywhere you look.

Green Material Recovery Facility Unveiled in McKinney
IESI, a leader in the U.S. solid waste industry, unveiled its new Material Recovery Facility (MRF) in McKinney, Texas. Upon the U.S. Green Building Council's approval, this facility will be the first privately funded single-stream LEED certified Material Recycling Facility in North America.

"This is an exciting day for not only our company and residents of North Texas, but for anyone who cares about making a difference in reducing our environmental impact," said Mickey Flood, IESI president & CEO. "We have essentially succeeded in making recycling even greener by processing the collected materials in a state-of-the-art environmentally conscious facility. We are not just talking about being green, we are showing our dedication to the environment with our actions and investment."

The 28,000 square foot facility will annually process more than 144 million pounds of non-hazardous materials including glass, plastic, paper, aluminum, tin and cardboard. The facility itself incorporates sustainable features such as certified wood, building materials containing recycled content, low-emitting materials, water-conserving fixtures and features to reduce the heat-island effect.

Developed by the U.S. Green Building Council in 2000, and regulated by the Green Building Certification Institute, LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of green commercial structures.

"With the public becoming even more committed to recycling, it became apparent that we needed to expand our facilities," said John Gustafson, IESI vice president, Texas Region. "We decided it was important to do it right and make the investment to build a LEED certified facility. Our new Material Recovery Facility more than triples our capacity. It will process collected recycled materials from residential and commercial customers across North Texas."

The IESI McKinney MRF also houses a second-floor community room and observation deck overlooking the recycling operations area. Here, IESI invites area schools, scouting groups, after- school programs, chambers of commerce and other organizations to tour the MRF and learn about the importance of recycling. The education room also contains a time capsule filled with items individuals and businesses currently recycle.

IESI is a full service solid waste management company founded in Justin, Texas in 1995 with just two trucks, two drivers and one and a half routes. IESI now employees more than 2,700 associates and operates a fleet of more than 1,200 routed vehicles. IESI is a subsidiary of IESI-BFC Ltd., one of North America's largest full-service waste management companies, providing non-hazardous solid waste collection and landfill disposal services for commercial, industrial, municipal and residential customers in five provinces and ten U.S. states.


National Parks Watch Party an Fantastic Success

#########The Dallas Sierra Club had an incredible turn out - 300+ - for the Ken Burns documentary watch party at Studio Movie Grill. All ages were in attendance to view 'The National Parks: America's Best Idea.' Some even drove in from Fort Worth! The Club's watch party may have been the only opportunity to watch the documentary on a BIG screen.

The Dallas Sierra Club would like to thank everyone that came out and supported the group as well as the volunteers that helped out that evening. A very big thank you goes to Liz Wheelan for organizing the event. Thank you Liz!! Thanks also goes to Studio Movie Grill.

If you enjoyed the event and would like to see more events similar to the watch party, please feel free to send us an email. We always enjoy hearing from our members and supporters. Without you, the group would not exist.


Calendar

Here is our calendar through November. For complete listings, visit us at www.dallassierraclub.org.

#########NOV 11 (WED) BECOMING A SIERRA CLUB OUTINGS LEADER. Have you ever thought about becoming an outings leader for the Sierra Club? Come to this introductory seminar and we'll tell you how to get started. We'll go over the types of outings the Club does, what we expect from our leaders, what training is required, and what services the Club provides. We'll look at the schedule of additional training for those of you who want to start leading outings. The seminar will be held at REI (Cross Timbers Room), 4515 LBJ Freeway, Farmers Branch, TX 75244 (north side of LBJ between Midway and Welch) from 7:00 - 8:30 PM. Organizer: Arthur Kuehne 214-902-9260(H)

#########NOV 14 (SAT) DAY HIKE ON THE CAMPION TRAILS, IRVING Meet at 10:00 am at the Bird's Fort Trail Park parking lot, 5757 Riverside Drive, Irving. Hike about five miles on paved and unpaved trails. No reservation necessary. No dogs please. Optional lunch following hike. Leader: Laura Kimberly 972-307-8364(H)

#########NOV 14 (SAT) WHITE ROCK LAKE CLEANUP. Walk and talk while helping to pick up trash and recyclables at the Sierra Club's adopted section of White Rock Lake Park. Meet at 8:15 AM at the Love of the Lake office on the Northeast corner of Garland Rd. and Buckner Blvd. Look for a crowd of people drinking free juice and coffee. Gloves, trash bags, etc. provided. Our area includes one of the wonderful prairie restoration areas, so there are always birds and wildflowers to enjoy. The lake and your karma will thank you. Brunch afterwards. Leader: Carol Nash 214-824-0244(H)

#########NOV 18 (WED) OUTINGS COMMITTEE MEETING. Meet in the upstairs program room at REI (on north side of LBJ between Midway and Welch), at 6:30 PM. Bring your ideas for the Dallas Sierra Club Outings program. We will be planning local outings and bus trips. All outings leaders, future outings leaders, and interested Sierrans welcome. Ask Bill to be placed on the email list for an agenda. Contact: Bill Greer 972-247-0446(H)

#########NOV 18 (WED) YOUNG SIERRANS HH/DINNER - TBD - DALLAS AREA Please join us for a Happy Hour/Dinner at *to be determined* on Wednesday, November 18th! Arrive anytime after 6:00 pm for happy hour; dinner at 7:00 pm. Please RSVP by noon on 11/18 to the Pingg invitation or the youngsierrans@dallassierraclub.org email address so we have a rough estimate for seating. All 20s/30s welcome; you don’t have to be a Young Sierran or Sierra Club member to attend. Contact: Candace Weinberg  

#########NOV 21 (SAT) SUPER RECYCLING FALL ROUNDUP - 10:00 am to 4:00 pm Recycle your stuff at several locations. You can recycle electronic equipment, appliances, building materials, and a whole lot more. See this PDF for all of the details.

#########NOV 25-30 (WED-MON) 2009 BUS TRIP TO BIG BEND NATIONAL PARK IN TEXASS The Dallas Sierra Club Thanksgiving Holiday tradition continues with our annual bus trip to Big Bend. There will be a variety of hikes that will visit different parts of this very scenic National Park. If you've never been to Big Bend National Park, you owe it to yourself to discover this unique part of Texas. If you've been before, come on back and explore another area! Our chartered sleeper bus leaves Dallas around dinner time Wednesday and returns early morning on Monday. Some backpacking experience is required. Complete trip details are available now at www.dallassierraclub.org/outings. Contact: Arthur Kuehne 214-608-3210(C)

#########DEC 1 (TUE) INNER CITY OUTINGS MEETING Snacks and social starts at 6:45 pm, meeting starts at 7:00 pm. Inner City Outings (ICO) is an outreach program of the Sierra Club comprised of volunteers who provide wilderness experiences such as day hikes and camping for disadvantaged youth. ICO meets on the fourth Tuesdays at REI, 4515 LBJ Freeway, Farmers Branch, TX 75244 (north side of LBJ between Midway and Welch). All volunteers and those considering becoming an ICO volunteer are welcome. Contact the ICO Chair for more information. To receive future announcements and meeting information you may sign up for our email list.

#########DEC 2 (WED) DALLAS SIERRA CLUB EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE MEETING - 6:30 PM The Executive Committee (or Excom) is the elected governing body of the Dallas Sierra Club and meets at REI, 4515 LBJ Freeway, Farmers Branch, TX 75244 (north side of LBJ between Midway and Welch). Contact the Dallas Group Chair for more information.

#########DEC 5 (SAT) CHISHOLM CLEANUP CREW Get into the holiday spirit by donating a Saturday morning to helping clean up the Chisholm Trail, one of the Metroplex's most popular Hike and Bike Trails. We plan to lend a hand to Plano Parks and Recreation to help pick up trash and remove leaves and debris left behind on the 5.44 mile paved trail by autumn storms. No special skills required. Contact the leader (preferably by email) to get on the work crew list and to receive rendezvous information. This outing is for adults 18 years and older. Sierra Singles and Young Sierrans welcome to join in the fun. Coordinator: Teresa Wilkin 214-693-1503(H)

#########DEC 6 (SUN) SUNDAY LUNCHEON BUFFET Sustainable Sunday Lunch every first Sunday at Papaya Garden, 1201 W. Airport Frwy #100, 817 684-9378, Euless on the corner of Airport Fwy (Hwy 183) and Industrial (FM157). Thai, plant-based, and all-you-can-eat buffet is served from 11:30 am to 2:00 pm. Larger restaurant means more room for families and other groups. Ask for Sierra Club table at the door. Organizer: Terry Jensen 972 251-1532(W)

#########DEC 12 (SAT) DAY HIKE ON THE NORTH SHORE OF GRAPEVINE LAKE Hike five to six miles on a dirt trail along the north shore of Grapevine Lake. No reservations required, just show up. Please, no pets. Take water and snacks. Also, take spare shoes for after the hike in case the trail is muddy. Meet at 9:00am at Rockledge Park in Grapevine at the parking lot near the restrooms at the northern part of the park. Note that the City of Grapevine is now charging $5 per car to enter the park. After the hike, you may join us for lunch. Directions: From Hwy 121, exit at Bass Pro Road and go west. Turn left (southwest) on Hwy 26 toward Grapevine. Drive about ¼ mile to Fairway Drive and turn right (north). Continue to drive across the dam and past the spillway. Turn left on the first driveway after the spillway to Rockledge Park. At the park, veer right to Park Rd. Three, and drive to the north parking lot. Leader: Marcos Jorge 972-394-2546(H)

#########DEC 12 (SAT) WHITE ROCK LAKE CLEANUP. Walk and talk while helping to pick up trash and recyclables at the Sierra Club's adopted section of White Rock Lake Park. Meet at 8:15 AM at the Love of the Lake office on the Northeast corner of Garland Rd. and Buckner Blvd. Look for a crowd of people drinking free juice and coffee. Gloves, trash bags, etc. provided. Our area includes one of the wonderful prairie restoration areas, so there are always birds and wildflowers to enjoy. The lake and your karma will thank you. Brunch afterwards. Leader: Carol Nash 214-824-0244(H)

#########DEC 12 (SAT) YOUNG SIERRANS 2009 HOLIDAY PARTY - NEAR DOWNTOWN DALLAS Please join us for our 2nd Annual Young Sierrans Holiday Party! We will have games, music and good times for all! SAVE THE DATE! Location: *TBD* Time: 6:30p-?? Details: BYOB and bring a dish to share - local/organic ingredients encouraged! More info to come! All 20s/30s welcome; you don’t have to be a Young Sierran or Sierra Club member to attend. Please RSVP by 12/11. Contact: Peter Wilson

The Dallas Sierra Club News e-newsletter, sent monthly, keeps you up-to-date on meetings, activities, issues and special events.

Subscribe to Dallas Sierra Club News

Unsubscribe from Dallas Sierra Club News

Join the Sierra Club