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

April, 2011: In This Issue. . .


Notes from the Chair

"Earth Day is Everyday" - April 2011

As some of you may have heard on the radio last Sunday morning, I had the pleasure to meet and speak with Ron and Mona Hall about the Dallas Sierra Club and the upcoming movie night showing “A Chemical Reaction.” Ron and Mona are the owners of Ron’s Organics in Mesquite, and they are sponsoring the public showing to our Club.

Of course, we appreciate that gesture, but what I really want to broadcast to our members is that these dedicated business owners and many others like them have taken a strong stand to operate a pesticide free and chemical fertilizer free business in the face of all the corporate polluters telling the American public in multi-million dollar advertising campaigns for the last 75 years that “chemicals are good... they won’t hurt you.”

So this column is a big thank you to Ron, Mona and all the other green businesses that not only talk about cleaning up the planet, but risk their own dollars to do so. When Ron says, “Everyday is Earth Day”, he means it, and we should all do our part to not only think “green,” but act “green” every chance we can.

It really is about having a cleaner, healthier planet, one radio listener at a time... one customer at a time... one environmental defender at a time.

Your Dallas Chair, Wendel Withrow


General Meeting Program - April 12, 7:00 pm - Refreshments at 6:30

Remember to go to our new General Meeting location at REI on LBJ/I-635 between Welch and Midway

Movie Night - A Chemical Reaction

Movie night! We will furnish popcorn and drinks. If you want, bring you own favorite snacks.
A Chemical Reaction is a movie about one of the most powerful community initiatives in North America. It tells how one committed woman changed the way that Canada views and uses chemicals on lawns. It's an inspiring story of overcoming great odds, and demonstrates the power of people coming together to effect great change in our society. View the movie trailer on YouTube.

Ron Hall (aka Lawn Dr Ron) and Mona, hosts of the Natural Living and Garden Show on 570 AM KLIF Sundays from 8-9 a.m., and owners of Ron's Organics, Inc., the largest totally organic garden center in the state of Texas, are proud to introduce the community screening of A Chemical Reaction to the Dallas Sierra Club. After converting their personal property to natural and organic products, they decided to take it a step further and converted their landscape management company to sustainable landscape practices. In doing so, Ron has formulated several natural one of a kind blends to help him and his quest to save the world one yard at a time. For additional information visit http://organicdynamics.com/ .

Everyone is welcome. You don't have to be a Sierra Club member.

Our General Meeting starts at 7:00 p.m. but come at 6:30 for snacks, information and fellowship. Click over to our General Meeting page for more information and a map.


Conservation Hightlights

Live Green Expo in Plano - April 16
Visit the FREE Live Green Expo in Plano.  This very popular expo features exhibits, children's activities, entertainment, demonstrations, and informative presentations.  And the Dallas Sierra Club will have a booth (if you would like to help, please contact Robin Sowton). The Expo takes place at Plano Centre, 2000 E. Spring Creek Pkwy., Plano TX 75074.  Visit www.livegreenexpo.net for more information.

Oak Cliff Earth Day - Celebrate the Planet - April 17
The 5th annual Oak Cliff Earth Day will take place on Sunday, April 17 from noon to 5:00 pm at Lake Cliff Park in historic Oak Cliff. You can donate blood, adopt a pet, buy plants, buy art from local artists, learn about bees, butterflies, organic gardening and hybrid vehicles. There will be entertainment all day. Food & drinks will be available for purchase. Free parking will be available at Methodist Hospital Lot # 10 and they are providing a shuttle from the parking lot to the park. If you can help with the Sierra Club's booth, contact Robin Sowton (link above).

Apr 22-23 (Fri-Sat) Earth Day Dallas 2011 in Downtown Dallas
Earth Day Dallas features two days of engaging exhibits, compelling speakers, music, entertainment, food and fun for everyone. It’s an exciting time for North Texans to come together to learn how we can all make a positive impact on our community and our world, and how we can grow a greener Dallas together. Join us April 22nd and 23rd downtown in the Arts District beginning at 10:00 a.m. each day to see how you can make a difference. More info at www.earthdaydallas.org.  If you can help with the Sierra Club's booth, contact Robin Sowton (link above).


Outings Corner

Our First Sierra Club Backpacking Trip
By Kira and Marissa Collins, age 15

We have always been Park people.  As far back as we can remember our family vacations almost exclusively involved a National Park. As we got older, we were able to go farther into the Parks. Some of the trips we’ve been on have been a little grueling (cross-country skiing in Yellowstone at eighteen below, for instance), but we really enjoy the beauty of the wilderness. Two years ago, we hiked “Six Trails in Six Days” at the Grand Canyon. It was the first time we had ever been to the Grand Canyon and we found out that hiking to the bottom on a day hike was strongly discouraged. On one of the last days Kira casually mentioned that she wished we could stay out and get to the bottom. Our dad informed us that such a practice is called “backpacking”.

A year and a half later we took the Sierra Club’s Introductory Backpacking class in September 2010. That Christmas, we forewent the traditional presents and instead got tents, cooking pots, sleeping bags, and sleeping pads. Many a Sunday night was spent cooking up different backpacking foods with the new little stove.  After practicing hiking on the streets in our neighborhood and a trail at Lake Texoma, we wanted an overnight trip to get a feel for what we could expect before an expedition into the Grand Canyon, and also what we did or didn’t want to pack, so we drove to Arkansas for the Sierra Club’s Caney Creek Beginner Backpacking trip in the Ouachita National Forest.

Kira and Marissa CollinsWe headed out with team leader Marcos in the lead and team leader Steve as the sweep. Despite numerous “dangerous stream crossings” (stepping in two inches of water or on a wobbly rock didn’t injure anyone) and extremely damp weather, we survived the first few miles. Marcos loudly announced that we had a long way to go and to keep up our stamina. Fifty feet later we were setting up camp. It was a beautiful spot, with the river just a little bit away and tall trees filtering the now abundant sunshine down to the flat, leafy ground. After pitching our tents and unrolling our sleeping bags, we geared up for a day hike.

First, we went to Caney Creek Falls, and then we headed up the hills. Climbing several hundred feet in elevation, we eventually reached our destination, a rocky outcropping perched atop the saddle between two hills. Relaxing in the sunshine for a while, our group sat on the rocks and watched the different little lizards skitter across the warm stone. When we headed back down the hill, the warm sunshine began to rapidly disappear. Evening drew close, and by the time we got back into camp, it was really starting to get cold and windy. Shrouded in every vest and jacket we had brought, we cooked dinner. As daylight dwindled, the team leaders told us stories about encounters with bears and how Steve came by his bright aqua Antarctic tent; thoughtfully loaned him by Marcos. As darkness closed in, Mommy and Kira quickly sought the warmth of their sleeping bags. Daddy and Marissa stayed out, huddled around three candles (only two of which would stay lit) and listened to the conversation and the night sounds. One backpacker even played a harmonica, although not very loudly so as not to disturb the sleepers. When what was finally deemed a respectable time was reached, we turned in.

The next morning we got up bright and early to dine on oatmeal before setting out. Marcos coerced Marissa into leading the group, and thanks to her “slave driving” we made it back to the trailhead in record time, well before noon.  Although she definitely did not volunteer for the position, Marissa was glad she got to be up front and to lead.  Kira played Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” in the car on the way to lunch in town, where we once more met up with our group before driving home.

We are so glad that we were able to go with the Sierra Club for our first backpacking trip! The family has learned in the past that going with a group always adds to the quality of the trip. Giving us a good feel for what we could expect, it was a great way to try out everything needed for backpacking, and to prepare for longer trips. It was a wonderful trail in beautiful country with experienced leaders. We plan to head back to the Grand Canyon this spring, backpacking this time, and we know that our trip with the Sierra Club has prepared us to enjoy this vacation, and other trips into the American wilderness, even more.


Outings Highlight

Apr 9 (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

Apr 16 (Sat) Cedar Ridge Preserve Trail Clean Up
Its fun and its helpful to get out to the Cedar Ridge Preserve, to help upgrade some of the beautiful walking trails, just south of Dallas. The address is 7171 Mountain Creek Pkwy, Dallas, TX 75249. Its 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 11, and then walk around the preserve and admire the wildflowers and fauna! Bring some water for sure. Its on Saturday the 16th of April, please see their website www.audubondallas.org/cedarridge.html for directions and info. Their number is 972-709-7784 See you then! If you wish to carpool, then let me know, and we'll arrange a meeting spot. Come on out and stay green with us! Leader: Ginger Bradley 469-223-7902(c)

May 27-31 (Fri-Tue) Memorial Day Bus Trip to the White Mountains Wilderness Area
The White Mountains Wilderness Area contains about 48,000 acres located in the Sierra Blanca Mountains north of Ruidoso, New Mexico, near the Ruidoso ski area. The area contains a roughly "C" shaped ridge and the canyons on either side of it. The main trail runs along the top of this ridge and is known as the Crest Trail. The Crest features some of the best views and sunsets to be found anywhere. Many other trails are found in the forested canyons on the gently sloping east side of the ridge. The west side of the crest is steeper and offers great views of the snow like White Sands National Monument and the black Malpais lava flows. Five different hikes from moderate to strenuous will give you time for pictures or to stretch your legs. Ride in luxury bus seats that convert to bunk beds at night. We depart early evening on the 27th and return early morning on the 31st. Some backpacking experience is required. Trip details, cost and reservation information is available here. Bus trip leader: Mike Rawlins 972-783-0962

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


Calendar

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

Service Outing IconApr 9 (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

Dallas Sierra Club Meeting IconApr 12 (Tue) Dallas Sierra Club General Meeting
It's move night at our April General Meeting.  Come and see A Chemical Reaction.  We will furnish the popcorn and drinks.  The meeting starts at 7:00 pm, but come early for snacks, fellowship and information about what's going on in the Dallas Sierra Club.   Click over to our home page for details.

Conservation IconApr 16 (Sat) Live Green Expo in Plano
Visit the FREE Live Green Expo in Plano.  This very popular expo features exhibits, children's activities, entertainment, demonstrations, and informative presentations.  And the Dallas Sierra Club will have a booth (if you would like to help, please contact Robin Sowton). The Expo takes place at Plano Centre, 2000 E. Spring Creek Pkwy., Plano TX 75074.  Visit www.livegreenexpo.net for more information.

Service Outing IconApr 16 (Sat) Cedar Ridge Preserve Trail Clean Up
Its fun and its helpful to get out to the Cedar Ridge Preserve, to help upgrade some of the beautiful walking trails, just south of Dallas. The address is 7171 Mountain Creek Pkwy, Dallas, TX 75249. Its 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 11, and then walk around the preserve and admire the wildflowers and fauna! Bring some water for sure. Its on Saturday the 16th of April, please see their website www.audubondallas.org/cedarridge.html for directions and info. Their number is 972-709-7784 See you then! If you wish to carpool, then let me know, and we'll arrange a meeting spot. Come on out and stay green with us! Leader: Ginger Bradley 469-223-7902(c)

Day Hike IconApr 16 (Sat) White Rock Creek Trail Dayhike
Come join us as we day hike 7 miles on the northern reaches of White Rock Creek. This is a very urban, paved trail but is actually very nice as it follows the creek under all the main thoroughfares of north Dallas. No pets, please. Bring water and a snack as we will be walking all morning. We will leave the trail head promptly at 9 AM. To reach the trailhead from the intersection of I-635 and Hillcrest Rd., go north on Hillcrest a short distance turn right on Valley View and turn right into the second parking lot. Remember it's the second parking lot on the right. I'll be near the restrooms and playground. Optional lunch afterwards. Leader: Mark Adams 972-658-1281(c)

Backpack IconApr 16-17 (Sat-Sun) Beginner Backpack Trip to the Caney Creek Wilderness
Join us for one of the Dallas Sierra Club’s favorite local backpacking trips. We’ll backpack in about 4 1/2 miles along Caney Creek, cross it a few times, and climb some small hills. After setting up camp near a waterfall, we’ll do a short day hike as time permits. Leader: Bill Greer 972-247-0446(h)

Backpack IconApr 16-17 (Sat-Sun) Beginner Backpack Trip at Beech Creek in Oklahoma
Join us for a springtime backpack trip in a beautiful area of southeastern Oklahoma. We’ll hike about 9 miles (round trip) in the basin area of this 8,000 acre Oak-Hickory-Pine-Beech forest. We'll meet Saturday morning, have lunch on the trail, make camp near a stream and enjoy a lovely spring afternoon. Leaders: Faith Mauk and Thai Le 469-644-9820(h)

Conservation IconApr 17 (Sun) Oak Cliff Earth Day - Celebrate the Planet
The 5th annual Oak Cliff Earth Day will take place on Sunday, April 17 from noon to 5:00 pm at Lake Cliff Park in historic Oak Cliff. You can donate blood, adopt a pet, buy plants, buy art from local artists, learn about bees, butterflies, organic gardening and hybrid vehicles. There will be entertainment all day. Food & drinks will be available for purchase. Free parking will be available at Methodist Hospital Lot # 10 and they are providing a shuttle from the parking lot to the park.

Dallas Sierra Club Meeting IconApr 20 (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

Conservation IconApr 22-23 (Fri-Sat) Earth Day Dallas 2011 in Downtown Dallas
Earth Day Dallas features two days of engaging exhibits, compelling speakers, music, entertainment, food and fun for everyone. It’s an exciting time for North Texans to come together to learn how we can all make a positive impact on our community and our world, and how we can grow a greener Dallas together. Join us April 22nd and 23rd downtown in the Arts District beginning at 10:00 a.m. each day to see how you can make a difference. More info at www.earthdaydallas.org.

Backpack IconApr 23-24 (Sat-Sun) Backpack the Ouachita Trail in Oklahoma
Meet Saturday morning at Winding Stair Campground on Hwy. 1. Backpack 4.6 miles to camp overnight at Red Spring. Sunday morning hike 6 miles to Pashubbe Trail Head. Eat at mexican restaurant in Broken Bow afterwards. Suitable for beginners in good shape. Leader: Greg Holman 214-398-8061(h)

Dallas Sierra Club Meeting IconApr 26 (Tue) Monthly Inner City Outings Meeting
Come at 6:30 for New Volunteer Orientation. The 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. To receive future announcements and meeting information you may sign up for our email list. For more information: Liz Wheelan

Day Hike IconApr 30 (Sat) Dayhike the East Side of White Rock Lake
Meet at 9:00AM at the Stone Tables at White Rock Lake on Lake Highlands Drive and Buckner Blvd. From the intersection of Lake Highlands and Buckner, turn Southwest on E. Lake Highlands. Take an immediate left (South) on Tiffany Way, then an immediate right on E. Lawther. There is a sign here but it now says "one Tables." We’ll walk 6 miles on a paved path. Bring water. No reservations, just show up. Optional lunch afterwards. Leader: Judy Cato 972-238-5738(h)

Dallas Sierra Club Meeting IconMay 4 (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 REI, 4515 LBJ Freeway, Farmers Branch, TX 75244 (north side of LBJ between Midway and Welch). Contact the Dallas Group Chair for more information.

Day Hike IconMay 7 (Sat) Dayhike on the Chisholm Trail in Plano
Meet at 9:00 AM in front of the Starbucks/Barnes Noble (north side of 15th just west of US 75). We will walk 5-6 miles on a paved path. Bring water. No reservations, just show up. Optional lunch afterwards. Leader: Judy Cato 972-238-5738(h)

Dallas Sierra Club Meeting IconMay 10 (Tue) Dallas Sierra Club General Meeting
Our May General Meeting features two great programs. First, it's city council election time.  Find out what you need to know to make an informed decision to protect our local environment. Next up is Wild Neighbors, humane solutions to common urban wildlife problems. The meeting starts at 7:00 pm, but come early for snacks, fellowship and information about what's going on in the Dallas Sierra Club.   Click over to our home page for details.

Service Outing IconMay 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

Dallas Sierra Club Meeting IconMay 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

Dallas Sierra Club Meeting IconMay 24 (Tue) Monthly Inner City Outings Meeting
Come at 6:30 for New Volunteer Orientation. The 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. To receive future announcements and meeting information you may sign up for our email list. For more information: Liz Wheelan

Bus Trip IconMay 27-31 (Fri-Tue) Memorial Day Bus Trip to the White Mountains Wilderness Area
The White Mountains Wilderness Area contains about 48,000 acres located in the Sierra Blanca Mountains north of Ruidoso, New Mexico, near the Ruidoso ski area. The area contains a roughly "C" shaped ridge and the canyons on either side of it. The main trail runs along the top of this ridge and is known as the Crest Trail. The Crest features some of the best views and sunsets to be found anywhere. Many other trails are found in the forested canyons on the gently sloping east side of the ridge. The west side of the crest is steeper and offers great views of the snow like White Sands National Monument and the black Malpais lava flows. Five different hikes from moderate to strenuous will give you time for pictures or to stretch your legs. Ride in luxury bus seats that convert to bunk beds at night. We depart early evening on the 27th and return early morning on the 31st. Some backpacking experience is required. Trip details, cost and reservation information is available here. Bus trip leader: Mike Rawlins 972-783-0962

 

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