Dallas Sierra Club

Dallas Sierra Club News - August 2015

In This Issue. . .

General Meeting Program - August 11, 7:00 pm - Refreshments at 6:30_

Randy Johnson tending plantsPollinators and Natives: An Ancient Marriage

Randy Johnson will discuss the co-evolution of pollinators and native plants and the vital role each plays in ecosystems. The critical importance of diversity is explained and exceptional genera are emphasized. He offers a common-sense template for plant selection and landscape design that is easy to understand and implement.

Randy Johnson is from Mesquite, Texas, and earned a degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences from Texas A&M University. He is the past Director of Horticulture at Texas Discovery Gardens and currently serves as the Horticulture Manager at The Dallas Zoo. His personal business is Randy Johnson Organics; through this entity he offers consultations on organic horticulture, native plants, ecological restoration and pollinator gardens. Randy also propagates and sells native plants from seed he hand-collects from various ecotypes throughout north Texas. He is the current president of the Dallas Chapter of the Native Plant Society of Texas, serves as a lifetime appointee on the Board of Directors of Peckerwood Garden, and is a member of the Board of Directors at Lake Highlands community garden in Dallas.

Everyone is welcome. 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. Our meeting takes place at Brookhaven College, Building H, 3939 Valley View Ln in Farmers Branch. Click over to our General Meeting page of our website for more information and a map.

Our usual parking area at Brookhaven is under construction. Not to worry, instead of parking in front of building H where our meeting is you'll park a little farther east in front of building S. Enter from Valley View Lane. Where you used to come to a 4 way stop you can now only turn right. Turn left into "P3" parking as soon as you can. You'll be in front of building S and our building H will be to your left. You can shorten the walk by cutting through building S, then turn left/west and follow the sidewalk to building H which is next door. See you there! It's not as bad as it sounds. Check out the campus map on our General Meeting page.


Fun Backpacking 101 Class next Saturday, Aug 15!_

It's blazing hot outside so why not spend a fun afternoon inside learning about or brushing up on your backpacking skills. This is the "fall" offering of our acclaimed backpacking class taught by veteran Club leaders who offer great information to help get you comfortably and safely out on the backcountry trails. The class covers several topics, along with the kind of advice we wish someone had told us before our first trips. Handouts included. We encourage you to pay online by Aug. 14 (charge/PayPal) or you can pay at the door (cash or check). Click here for more details.

Labor Day Summer Blowout in Northern New Mexico_

You know you want it. You want the ecstasy of sunny days and cool nights as dry fall air nips at the end of summer at the headwaters of the Rio Grande or the Wheeler Peak Wilderness. Get on the bus. Squeeze in three days of hiking and two nights of camping (or sleeping in a yurt) with good companions in the most scenic parts of New Mexico. Trip options include walking up New Mexico's highest peak from its easiest approach via Red River, sleeping in or near the cozy yurt at Bull-of-the Woods Pasture, discovering Gold Hill's 360-degree vistas, discovering the treasures of NM's newest Wilderness—the Columbine-Hondo—on a downhill trek from Gold Hill, the long meadows of Sawmill Park or the ponderosa pine shade in the gorge of the rippling Rio Grande.

This whole trip fits neatly between a Friday, September 4, 7:30 pm departure from Dallas and a Tuesday, September 8, 6:00 am return to Dallas. We know you value your vacation days and we've chartered the sleeper bus to eliminate vacation days required for this Labor Day trip. We need your registrations by August 14 to make this trip a "go." Discounted price for transportation is $275 until August 14. For details and registration, click this link.

Fall outing at Beavers Bend State Park Oct 16 - 18. Reservations now open!_

Beavers Bend State ParkCelebrate fall and join us for this relaxing event in the beautiful mountainous region of southeast Oklahoma. The weekend is perfect for outdoor enthusiasts of all ages and stages. Families, couples, singles, all are welcome. We have the group compound all to ourselves, complete with your choice of rustic cabin or tent camping, dining hall with kitchen, optional catered dinner and (drum roll please)... yes, even a bathhouse with hot showers and flush toilets! On Saturday we'll offer various levels of hikes or you can be on your own to enjoy many fun activities offered by the park. Plan an active weekend or hang out on the porch, whichever you would enjoy. Cabin requests are on a first come basis so make your plans now! Click here for more information and required registration forms.

Shuffle, Shuffle, Shuffle. Shuffle Off to Buf-fa-lo . . ._

Okay, I learned this lyric's a tap dance number from a 1933 musical, 42nd Street, but it fits. Get your trail runners or boots ready for this October knock-your-socks-off trip to Buffalo National River, Arkansas—our first-ever bus trip EAST. It's a national park in the heart of Li'l Abner-land! That's right, the U.S. National Park Service developed and maintains a scenic river with far more miles of trails than you're going to walk in one weekend. Our moderately strenuous hike option (one of four itineraries) covers 30 miles of the flagship "Buffalo River Trail" that parallels the scenic river. Three shorter backpacking options of easy to moderate difficulty hike four days and camp three nights in other parts of the park, exploring the natural beauty and human history of this lovely valley. These hikes all visit historic cemeteries and cabins, hollows, falls and bluffs along the river. All trail elevations are below 2,200 feet, so there should be no high-altitude discomfort issues. (All right, the optional spur hike thrill on the infamous "Goat Trail" is a "Don't tell Mom" thrill, but thoroughly safe if you don't do something stupid.)

To maximize daylight time to enjoy the park and to eliminate the need to shuttle vehicles to trailheads, we've chartered a sleeper bus to transport us, leaving at 9:00 pm Wednesday, October 28. We'll return to Dallas by 9 pm on Sunday, November 1. The last weekend of October is usually the premier week of the year for fall color at Buffalo River, says Arkansas trails guidebooks author Tim Ernst. The trip cost is discounted to $240 if received by October 10. For details and registration click this link.

Sierra Club Awards Event in Dallas Recognizes 2013 and 2014 Award Winners_

Four Dallas Sierrans Receive Awards for their service.

On July 18, the Lone Star Chapter of the Sierra Club held its annual environmental award ceremony at a special banquet at Blue Mesa in Addison. The awards recognize and reward efforts of volunteers, organizations, staff, and others that reflect Sierra Club's mission. This year's banquet honored awardees from both 2013 and 2014.

The Chapter's highest honor, the Orrin Bonney Award, was awarded to Conservation Director Cyrus Reed. It is given to an individual who, over a number of years, has exemplified the spirit and commitment of the Sierra Club by contributing their time and effort in one or several positions of authority for the Chapter. Cyrus was given the award for his more than 10 years of dedicated work on behalf of the Lone Star Chapter, with emphasis on his efforts in lobbying on energy and energy efficiency both at the Texas Legislature and regions around the state.

Many volunteers were recognized from the Dallas Sierra Club including:

Liz Wheelan, who won the 2014 Virginia Murray Brewer Award, given to those who have contributed to the Chapter and/or a Regional Group via the Outings Program. Liz has led the Dallas Group's Inspiring Connections Outdoors (formerly Inner City Outings) program for 14 years. She was also the National Sierra Club's ICO chair for a number of years and has been a vital component of the Dallas outings program as a volunteer, helping organize and lead bus trips for the group for many years.

Arthur Kuehne received the 2013 Virginia Murray Brewer Award for more than thirty years of dedication to outings in the club both as a backpack and navigation class organizer, a bus trip leader, and a long-time backpack and outdoor activity leader. Arthur is also a national outings leader, and won a national award for his overall contribution to outings in 2014.

Molly Rooke won the 2013 Conservation Award. Molly has dedicated more than twenty years to conservation efforts including recycling, air, energy, and trade issues. Most recently, Molly has worked on fracking and bag ban issues involving the City of Dallas. She has also lobbied the State Legislature and also Congress on environmental issues for years.

Rita Beving won the 2014 Special Service Award. Rita was recognized with Dallas Sierra volunteers for helping organize the 2014 "Earth, Wind, & Fire Energy Conference," the first statewide energy conference ever held in Chapter history. The two-day event was a sell out event with attendees coming from as far away as Kansas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma.

Award Winners"We are very proud of the work the Dallas volunteers have contributed both locally and statewide to the Chapter," commented Wendel Withrow, Dallas group chair and former Lone Star Chapter chair. "The Dallas group continues to prove that we have dedicated individuals to the Sierra Club for the betterment of the environment and enjoying the outdoors. It is also great to see that the other groups and Sierrans from around the state recognize their contributions."

(Photo: Liz Wheelan, Molly Rooke and Rita Beving - Arthur Kuehne - missing - was on a backpack trip)

The Awards banquet in Dallas had record-setting attendance and was a wonderful evening for all who attended from across the state. Participants traveled as far away as Houston, San Antonio, Austin, and the Rio Grande Valley to attend. Below is a complete list of award winners:

2014 Award Winners
- Cyrus Reed: Orrin Bonney Award
- John MacFarlane: Chapter Conservation Award
- Scott Nichol: Chapter Conservation Award
- Diane Lancaster: Chapter Service Award
- T.E.J.A.S: Environmental Justice Award
- Wally James: Environmental Reporting Award
- Jim Chapman & Stefanie Herweck: Hermann Rudenberg Award for Coastal Conservation
- Rita Beving: Special Service Award
- Liz Wheelan: Virginia Brewer Award (Outings)
- Niles Seldon: Virginia Brewer Award (Outings)
- Nick Anderson: Art in Service to the Environment

2013 Award Winners
- Molly Rooke: Chapter Conservation Award
- Peter Bella: Special Service Award
- Zac Trahan: Special Service Award
- County Attorney's Office, Harris County: Environmental Justice Award
- Brantley Hargrove: Environmental Reporting Award
- Arthur Kuehne: Virginia Brewer Award (Outings)
- Women & Their Work — Chris Cowden, Executive Director: Art in Service to the Environment
- Mary E. Kelly, Ken Kramer Living Waters Award

Sierra Club Influential in Dallas City Council Elections_

The Dallas Group Political Committee and Lone Star Chapter PAC (TurnTexasGreen.org) were active in supporting candidates again this spring in the Dallas City Council elections. The PAC made contributions to several candidates which provided much-needed support in some of the hard-fought contests.

In a crucial election which was touted as a referendum on the future of several local environmental issues, namely the fate of the Trinity Toll Road, the plastic bag ban, and other matters related to Dallas' fracking ordinance, the Sierra Club made endorsements in 12 of Dallas' 15 city council districts. The goal was to elect a majority of at least eight environmentally leaning council members to advocate for those causes. Five of the Club's stalwart supporters won re-election, and three additional endorsed candidates were elected as new members of the Council, bringing the potential of an eight vote majority on some of these important issues.

In Districts 4 and 9, Sierra Club-endorsed candidates Carolyn Arnold and Mark Clayton were elected in the May 9th election without a runoff by surprise majorities in multiple-candidate races. In the District 10 runoff on June 13, environmental advocates picked up an additional victory with Adam McGough win in a close race decided by only 35 votes. Sierra Club volunteers mailed out endorsement cards and made phone calls to approximately 250 Sierra Club members in District 10 whose votes no doubt helped Adam score his narrow, but extremely significant, win.

Sierra Club volunteers worked closely with the newly formed Dallas Green Alliance and other allied groups in achieving an environmental coalition success. TurnTexasGreen.org thanks all who supported those efforts.

David Griggs
Political Chair


Here is our calendar for the next two months. For complete listings, visit us at www.dallassierraclub.org.

Service Outing IconAug 8 (Sat) White Rock Lake Clean-up
Walk and talk while picking up trash and recyclables at the Sierra Club's adopted section of White Rock Lake Park. Meet at 8:15 AM this second Saturday of the month at the Love of the Lake office, northeast corner of Garland Road and Buckner Boulevard. Look for the crowd drinking free juice and coffee. Gloves, trash bags, etc. will be provided. Our area includes one of the wonderful prairie restoration areas, so there are always birds and wildflowers to enjoy. Brunch afterwards. Leader: Carol Nash Send Email 214-824-0244

Dallas Sierra Club Meeting IconAug 11 (Tue) Dallas Sierra Club General Meeting
Randy Johnson will discuss pollinators and native plants, and offer a common-sense template for plant selection and landscape design that is easy to understand and implement. Everyone is invited to the Dallas Sierra Club's General Meeting. Full details are on our home page now.

Class IconAug 15 (Sat) Backpacking 101 Class - Escape the Heat and Prepare for Backcountry Exploring!
Want to be more adventurous and explore some of our amazing backcountry areas? Join us for this popular interactive class designed for those wanting to begin backpacking or brush up on backpacking knowledge and skills. Dallas Sierra Club trip leaders with decades of backpacking experiences will present a comprehensive and unbiased overview of a variety of important backpacking topics including packs, boots, tents, gear, food and cooking, clothes, wilderness ethics and even an end of the afternoon breakout session to discuss men's and women's "issues". We'll include many personal tips - those "wish someone had told me that before" keys to a more comfortable, less expensive, lighter weight and safer trip. Handout included. NEW online pre-registration is encouraged for those wanting to pay by credit card or Paypal account (click here). Cash or check payment preferred if registering in person. The class is from 1:00 to 5:00 pm. Please arrive at 12:45 pm to sign in and get settled. We'll meet in the upstairs classroom at Whole Foods Market, southeast quadrant of Preston Road at Forest Lane in Dallas. Class price is $35 for Sierra Club members, $40 for non-members. Feel free to bring snacks and/or a drink or buy them at the store and bring them in the classroom with you. Coordinator: Liz Wheelan Send Email 214-368-2306

Service Outing IconAug 15 (Sat) Trail Enhancement at Cedar Ridge Preserve
Hello everyone. We look forward to seeing new smiling faces and workers to help out on the trails and enhance the flora and fauna. We meet at 8 AM at the Preserve and will work and walk until about 11 AM. It's fun and beautiful and we have ordered excellent weather. The address is 7171 Mountain Creek Pkwy, Dallas, TX 75249. The Cedar Ridge phone is 972-709-7784. It's a great morning workout, and the scenery is exceptional. No tools are required, and we have gloves, so just show up and be ready to lend a hand or two. Bring some water, for sure. Please see the Cedar Ridge Preserve website for directions and info. It's near Duncanville in southwest Dallas. If you want to carpool there, just text me or email me. Organizer: Ginger Bradley Send Email 469-223-7902

Meeting IconAug 19 (Wed) Outings Committee Meeting
The Outings Committee meets tonight at 6:30, upstairs at Whole Foods Market, SE quadrant of Preston Road and Forest Lane, Dallas Anyone interested in outings is invited. Contact Mark to be added to the advance agenda email list. Organizer: Mark Stein Send Email 214-526-3733

Dallas Sierra Club Meeting IconSep 2 (Wed) Dallas Sierra Club Executive Committee Meeting
The Executive Committee (or Excom) is the elected governing body of the Dallas Sierra Club and meets at Brookhaven College, Building H at 6:30 pm. Contact the Dallas Group Chair for more information.

Bus Trip IconSep 4-8 (Fri-Tue) Labor Day Weekend in New Mexico
Carson National ForestBackpack in Carson National Forest or hike in the Wild Rivers unit of Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. We've chartered a sleeper bus so you can enjoy three days of hiking without using a day of vacation! Five itinerary options include hiking and camping by the rapids of the Rio Grande, backpacking to the meadows of Sawmill Park in the Wheeler Peak Wilderness, hiking to the summit of Wheeler Peak (New Mexico's highest) from the forks of the Red River, trekking from Taos Ski Valley to awesome Gold Hill (sleeping in a yurt at Bull-of-the-Woods Pasture, no tent needed) and backpacking from Taos Ski Valley to the yurt, then over Hondo Ridge to exit downhill via the green Columbine Basin. This trip departs Dallas on a Friday at 7:30 PM and returns by 6:00 AM Tuesday. Prices are discounted for registration received on or before August 14. For complete trip details, please read this PDF file. Contact: Steve Fleischman Send Email 972-689-7317

Dallas Sierra Club Meeting IconSep 8 (Tue) Dallas Sierra Club General Meeting
Topic is to be determined. Everyone is invited to the Dallas Sierra Club's General Meeting. Full details will be on our home page a couple of months before the meeting.

Day Hike IconSep 12 (Sat) Day Hike at Breckenridge Park, Richardson
Breckenridge Park photoSave the morning for a hike on a winding trail through a surprisingly scenic suburban park. Details will be posted later in August. Leader: Robin Sowton Send Email

Service Outing IconSep 12 (Sat) White Rock Lake Clean-up
Walk and talk while picking up trash and recyclables at the Sierra Club's adopted section of White Rock Lake Park. Meet at 8:15 AM this second Saturday of the month at the Love of the Lake office, northeast corner of Garland Road and Buckner Boulevard. Look for the crowd drinking free juice and coffee. Gloves, trash bags, etc. will be provided. Our area includes one of the wonderful prairie restoration areas, so there are always birds and wildflowers to enjoy. Brunch afterwards. Leader: Carol Nash Send Email 214-824-0244

Service Outing IconSep 19 (Sat) Day Hike and Trail Upgrading at Cedar Ridge Preserve
This month's third Saturday service outing at Cedar Ridge will be different because our Dallas Sierra Club Chair Wendel Withrow will be at the parking lot, by the trail entrance point, to lead a day hike to the Possum Haw Trail that the Sierra Club maintains. We look forward to seeing new smiling faces and workers to help out on the trails and enhance the flora and fauna. Be there by 9:30 AM, ready to walk and work until optional lunch afterward. It's fun and beautiful and we have ordered excellent weather to enjoy and upgrade these beautiful trails on the soutwest edge of Dallas. The address is 7171 Mountain Creek Pkwy, Dallas, TX 75249. The Cedar Ridge phone is 972-709-7784. Search "Cedar Ridge Preserve Dallas" for directions and more info. If you want to carpool, call or email me. Contact: Ginger Bradley Send Email 469-223-7902

Class IconSep 23 (Wed) Wilderness Navigation Class--Part 1
This is a comprehensive and fun two-night class in navigation with map and compass. Part 1 is Wednesday night at 6:30 and part 2 is Thursday night, Sept. 24 at 6:30. Both sessions are upstairs at the Whole Foods Market, SE quadrant of Preston Road and Forest Lane. The fee for the two-night class is $40, $35 for Sierra Club members. An optional field lab for class participants will be set on a subsequent Saturday or Sunday at no additional charge. This is a great value compared to navigation courses offered by outfitter stores. Bring cash or a check. 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. Both sessions will run until approximately 8:45. Coordinator: Liz Wheelan Send Email 214-368-2306

Class IconSep 24 (Thu) Wilderness Navigation Class--Part 2
Join us for this second night of a two-part class that begins Wednesday, Sept. 23. Both sessions are at Whole Foods Market, Preston Road at Forest Lane. Coordinator: Liz Wheelan Send Email 214-368-2306

The Dallas Sierra Club News e-newsletter, sent monthly (and occasional for late-breaking news or events), keeps you up-to-date on meetings, activities, issues and special events. Visit us at www.DallasSierraClub.org.
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