Dallas Sierra Club
#########Dallas Sierra Club News

January, 2011: In This Issue. . .


Notes From the Chair

The Move is On for February
After several years of meeting at the Center for Spiritual Living, the general meetings are MOVING to the recently renovated Guadalupe Peak Room at REI on LBJ Freeway (between Midway and Welch) in North Dallas.  The first meeting in our new location will be on February 8.

We Are MovingAlready the location for our Executive Committee meetings and many of our clinics, this move will have the following benefits:

1) A central and well-known location.

2) A meeting room where our information boards can remain up during the entire time we are there.

3) A meeting room with increased space for our drinks and snacks to be accessible before, during, and after the meetings. Also, we will begin bringing ‘pot luck’ snacks to increase the variety of available food.

4) We will have the room beginning at 6:00 p.m. to accommodate more time for socializing and discussion of current Sierra Club issues.

5) Our new location will encourage even better cooperation and support from REI.

Finally, we all want to thank the Center for Spiritual Living for their great support of the Dallas Sierra Club and their own ‘green’ efforts.

The FUTURE of our Club is better than ever and the needs for environmental protection have not diminished, so we look forward to seeing every member at our new home the second Tuesday of every month.

Your Dallas Chair,
Wendel Withrow


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

We're starting 2011 off with a BANG with one of our most popular speakers ever. Don't miss it!

Master Naturalist
Are you fascinated with the outdoors?  When you see a strange insect, do you:  A)  jump on a chair and immediately look for a rolled up newspaper or B) run for your field guide (or Google) to identify it... and then tell everyone about the experience?  If you answered B, then you might be an aspiring Texas Master Naturalist!  Through the Texas Master Naturalist program, you will learn all about our amazing bio-region and have access to a wide variety of exciting volunteer opportunities.  And you will meet many interesting people along the way.  As applications are now being accepted for the program, Robin Sowton, our Conservation Chair, will provide a short but timely talk on how you can get involved.  Robin joined the Texas Master Naturalist program in 2009.

The Dirt Doctor
Howard Garrett - The Dirt DoctorHoward Garrett, the Dirt Doctor, will talk about the organic approach at our January meeting. Come and hear Howard's advice on soil, lawns, gardens, pests, etc., and let him answer your questions.

Howard Garrett is a landscape architect by training, with extensive experience in landscape contracting, greenhouse growing, golf course planning and maintenance, and organic product development. Howard has devoted his life to establishing a leadership role in the natural organic marketplace. He provides advice on natural organic gardening, landscaping, pet health, pest control, and natural living.

He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Park Administration and Landscape Architecture from Texas Tech University in 1969. After a stint in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, Howard started his business career at Club Corporation of America where he was a laborer and assistant golf course superintendent.

In 1985, the birth of Howard's daughter Logan was the turning point in his education into organic gardening, landscaping, farming and ranching. By 1988 he had committed his entire career to the research, education and promotion of organic products and practices. In addition to teaching organics to homeowners, he began the conversion of numerous commercial projects such as the Frito-Lay National Headquarters in Plano. His work also includes research on natural organic planting techniques, use of native and well adapted introductions, and water saving solutions. Organic projects in the studies have realized 40-50% cost savings in water use.

Consulting clients include Carrington Labs and their aloe vera growing operation in Costa Rica; Muenster Milling Company, a producer of natural pet food; Greenway Parks - an exclusive residential development; Radio Shack National Headquarters; Tierra Verde Golf Club; Texas Instruments, Iscar Metals, and Sabre Corporation. Product consulting clients include Alpha Bio Systems and others. 

Click on over to our General Meeting page of our website for full details about our program. We also have directions to the meeting, including a map.


Sierra Club Calendars

Get your new 2011 Sierra Club calendars at the January General Meeting.  Support the Dallas Sierra Club - buy your calendars from us  (cash or check only please).


Conservation Corner

JAN 8 (SAT) Net Metering - Making Renewable Investment Profitable
This SATURDAY, Jan. 8th at 1:00 PM, you all are invited to attend the joint meeting of the Texas Solar Energy Society and the North Texas Renewable Energy Group for:

Net Metering - Making Renewable Investment Profitable by David Powers, Public Citizen Deputy Director Saturday, Jan. 8, 1:00 pm at the Trinity River Audubon Center, 6500 South Loop 12 in Dallas.

Net metering is an important incentive in consumer investment in wind and solar generation for your homes or business. Yet Texas is 1 of only 6 states that doesn't have a statewide policy on net metering so consumers are not adequately compensated or credited for the excess energy their systems produce. Find out more about net metering and what consumers can do in Texas to make an investment on renewables profitable.

Free - Open to the public. Door prizes and desserts.

JAN 12 (WED) Dallas City Council Will Hear Public Comments on Gas Drilling
On Wednesday, January 12th the City of Dallas will convene a city council meeting that should be of interest to everyone who lives in Dallas. Beginning a 1 p.m. that afternoon, a decision will be made as to approve or not approve an application for the first of many gas wells proposed within the city limits of Dallas on city owned land. Even though this pad site is for as many as 14 gas wells, hints have been slowly leaking out over the past few months that there are other sites on the same land parcel that XTO would like to explore.

Comments should be ready to be delivered in a 3 minute format. If you want to bring friends to speak or to warm seats, by all means please do so. The city council has not heard from the public before so please do not hold anything back. Please talk in facts, if you have handouts, have enough for all (16). It does not matter if you do not live in the affected neighborhood. The more citizens we have from all over Dallas, the better. This is about the Dallas environment, and not Oak Cliff or
Southwest Dallas.

You can read the application here:

Location: City Hall Council Chambers in Dallas City Hall
Time: 1 pm

If you have a Facebook and/or Twitter account, please start posting today about the meeting next week. If you want to create an "event" on Facebook, please do. The Dallas Observer is following this story very close. If you happen to see a posting about this matter on the UNFAIR PARK page, please make comments and refer to the meeting.

If you would like to email the individual council members, mayor, and city manager, please do it before the weekend so that they have time to read it.

JAN 14 (FRI) Important EPA Hearing 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
On Friday, January 14, there is an EPA hearing by which to comment on the proposed State Implementation Plan ("SIP") call and Federal Implementation Plan ("FIP") rule which EPA has called for to ensure that Texas takes greenhouse gases/CO2 into account into industry permitting.

As you may have heard, Gov. Rick Perry and other Texas state officials have been grandstanding against the EPA's authority on everything from regulating greenhouse gases to the taking of TCEQ's air authority on its lax permitting on coal plants. The state is resisting the regulation of carbon dioxide, a big polluting factor with coal-fired power plants, cement kilns, and other large polluting facilities. New facilities, and facilities conducting major modification and construction projects, are now required to use the "best available control technology" to limit their emissions, and to obtain permits containing these limitations before they begin construction. These industry preconstruction permits must contain greenhouse gas limits beginning January 2, 2011, which Gov. Perry and Texas regulators are resisting.

Come show your support for the EPA rule, voice your support for clean air and tell the Governor not to play politics with your community's health. Email/or call the EPA now for this hearing to reserve your spot:

Friday, Jan 14 from 10 am to 7 pm (or until last speaker finishes)
The Crowne Plaza Hotel Dallas Downtown, 1015 Elm Street

Email Pam Long now at EPA to sign up to speak: long.pam@epa.gov or call Pam Long at 919-541-0641 or fax 919-541-5509 a request to speak. We will provide talking points which we are developing now.


Outings Highlight

Taos Bus Trip - February 17-21
HURRY, THERE ARE ONLY A FEW SEATS LEFT
HavHave a memorable President's Day weekend and come play in the snow! Mark your calendars now so you can join us for this very popular annual trip to enjoy the winter beauty of northern New Mexico. We'll leave Dallas on our sleeper bus around dinner time on Thur. Feb. 17 and return early morning on Mon. Feb. 21. The trip is very economical and offers choice of great hotel in Taos with hot tub or backpacking/yurt accommodations. Tentative activity options include alpine snowshoeing, downhill skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing, a visit to a local area of interest (such as a cultural attraction) or you can just relax and enjoy the galleries, museums, shops, food and beauty of this scenic and historical town. Activity ratings range from easy to moderately strenuous. Trip includes transportation to/from Taos, Taos Ski Valley, trailheads and destinations to activities included in the trip. Complete details, cost and reservation information will be posted on our website soon. To be sure to get a seat, send an email message to the trip leader or sign up for our Outings News email list so you'll receive notification when the trip write up is online and reservations open. Bus trip leader: Liz Wheelan 214-368-2306(H)

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


Recycling Round-Up
by Rita Raccoon

Recent Recycling News - January 2011

Top Four Items to Recycle This Season

1. Live Christmas Trees
TreTrees are biodegradable! Most municipalities offer free tree recycling at drop-off sites. Cities include Dallas, Lewisville, Farmers Branch and Grand Prairie.

Dallas tells you to bring your Christmas Tree to one of the Christmas Tree recycling locations from until January 11, 2008 between the hours of 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. (Remove all tinsel, ornaments, lights, nails and tree stands before dropping off the tree for recycling)

Dallas Christmas Tree Recycling Locations
Northwest (Bachman) Transfer Station
9500 Harry Hines Blvd. (Monday – Sunday)

Southwest (Oak Cliff)Transfer Station
4610 S. Westmoreland Road (Monday – Sunday)

McCommas Bluff Landfill
5100 Youngblood Rd. (Monday – Saturday)

Fair Oaks Transfer Station
7677 Fair Oaks Ave. (Monday – Sunday)

Flag Pole Hill
Buckner Blvd. at Northwest Hwy. (Monday – Sunday)

Lewisville offers free tree recycling through Jan. 15. Trees can be dropped off at Lake Park and North Mill Street near the soccer fields. Free mulch will be available starting Dec. 30. 972-538-5949.

Farmers Branch residents may recycle Christmas trees through Jan. 8 at the parking lot of Oran Good Park, Tom Field Road and Valley View Lane. Residents who want their trees turned into mulch can take them there from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday or 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 8. 972-919-2597.

Grand Prairie - Christmas tree recycling will start today and run through Jan. 14. Trees can be dropped off at The Home Depot parking lots at 3850 S. Carrier Parkway or 5280 State Highway 360; or the Grand Prairie Landfill, 1102 MacArthur Blvd. Trees also may be left curbside on normal garbage collection day. 972-237-8061.

Check Earth911.com for other recyclers near you.

2. Used Electronics
Got new electronic goodies for Christmas? Don’t throw away those old model phones, gaming systems, or hardware. Recycle or donate them. Options include trade-in websites, office supply or electronics stores, and Goodwill collection centers.

3. Packing Materials
DonDon’t forget the cardboard gift boxes, shipping boxes and other packing materials! Recycle along with other paper goods. Got Styrofoam peanuts? Take back to shipping stores to be reused.

4. Holiday Light
There’s a movement afoot to replace old incandescent holiday lights with LEDs. Some retailers are offering a trade-in program to upgrade to LED lights. HolidayLEDS.com will accept your broken or nonworking lights and give you credit toward your next purchase of LED lights.

What Not To Recycle!
ThrThree items create big problems at the recycling sorting center: Styrofoam, plastic bags (they get caught up in the whirling blades) and wire coat hangers. As a previous edition of Recycling Round-Up pointed out, the cost of wire hangers has gone up tremendously in the pasty 18 months. Many dry cleaners/laundries will take back wire hangers and provide a container to collect them.


Calendar

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

JAN 8 (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)

JAN 8 (SAT) NET METERING - MAKING RENEWABLE INVESTMENT PROFITABLE. See the Conservation Corner above for details.

JAN 11 (TUE) DALLAS SIERRA CLUB GENERAL MEETING Everyone is invited to the General Meeting of the Dallas Sierra Club. See above for details.

JAN 12 (WED) DALLAS CITY COUNCIL WILL HEAR PUBLIC COMMENTS on GAS DRILLING. See the Conservation Corner above for details.

JAN 14 (FRI) IMPORTANT EPA HEARING. See the Conservation Corner above for details.

JAN 15 (SAT) TRAIL CLEAN UP AT CEDAR RIDGE PRESERVE, 9:00 AM. It's fun and it's great to get out to the Cedar Ridge Preserve in Dallas to help "build" and upgrade some of the beautiful walking trails at Cedar Ridge Preserve, in south Dallas. The address is 7171 Mountain Creek Pkwy, Dallas, TX 75249. It's a great morning workout, and the scenery is exceptional. No tools are required (maybe gloves.) Just show up and be ready to lend a hand or two. We'll work from 9 AM to Noon and then walk around the preserve and admire the wildflowers and fauna! Please see their website http://audubondallas.org/cedarridge.html for directions and info. Their number is 972-709-7784. See you then! If you wish to carpool, call Ginger to arrange a meeting spot. Come on out and stay green, people! Its good for the soul. Organizer: Ginger Bradley 469-223-7902(C)

JAN 19 (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)

FEB 5 (SAT) 3RD ANNUAL SUPER WEEKEND 10K DAYHIKE Hike 10K (6 miles) on the Lake Ray Roberts Greenbelt Corridor. This is an easy trail running along side the Elm Fork of the Trinity River. No reservations required, just show up. Well behaved dogs on a leash will be allowed. Bring water and a snack. Meet at 9:00 AM at the Hwy 380 Trailhead Park. Admission to the park is $5.00 per person or free with a Texas State Parks Pass. There will be an optional lunch afterwards. The Park is on US Hwy 380 2.1 miles west of Hwy 377 or 2.8 miles east of Loop 288 in Denton. Hwy 380 can be reached from Central Expwy,Preston Rd., or the Tollway. Bring extra shoes in case the trail is muddy. The trip will be canceled if it is raining at the trailhead. Leader: Mark Adams 972-658-1281(C)

FEB 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)

FEB 16 (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)

FEB 17-21 (THU-MON) 2011 BUS TRIP TO TAOS, NM ONLY A FEW SEATS LEFT! Have a memorable President's Day weekend and come play in the snow! Mark your calendars now so you can join us for this very popular annual trip to enjoy the winter beauty of northern New Mexico. We'll leave Dallas on our sleeper bus around dinner time on Thur. Feb. 17 and return early morning on Mon. Feb. 21. The trip is very economical and offers choice of great hotel in Taos with hot tub or backpacking/yurt accommodations. activity options include alpine snowshoeing, downhill skiing, snowboarding, snowtubing, tour of the famous Taos Pueblo and even an "Ice Concert". Or you can just relax and enjoy the galleries, museums, shops, food and beauty of this scenic and historical town. Activity ratings range from easy to moderately strenuous. Trip includes transportation to/from Taos, Taos Ski Valley, trailheads and destinations to activities included in the trip. Complete details, cost and reservation information is now online - see the outings page announcement at this link for the complete trip write up. Bus trip leader: Liz Wheelan 214-368-2306(H)

FEB 26 (SAT) BEGINNER BACKPACKING CLASS. This class is an ideal way to learn about backpacking. Topics include: wilderness ethics, outdoor clothing, boots, backpacks, tents, sleeping bags, cookware, food, and preparing for a trip. Instructors are experienced Dallas Sierra Club leaders. There will be time for questions and a hands-on look at outdoor gear. Lunch of backpacking food is included. You will also have the opportunity to learn about, and sign up for, several beginner backpacking trips. The fee is $20 for Sierra Club members and $30 for non-members (cash or check) You can sign up to be a Sierra Club member at the class. No reservations are necessary, just show up. The class will be held at REI, 4515 LBJ Freeway, Dallas, TX 75244 (north side of LBJ between Welch and Midway). The class will start at 10:30 AM and end at about 5:00 PM. Leader: Bill Greer 972-964-1781(H)

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.
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