Dallas Sierra Club
Dallas Sierra Club News

February, 2012: In This Issue. . .


Notes From Our Chair 

For the Love of Nature
It’s Valentine Day and all you nature lovers are in for a special and unique general meeting. After a banner year of political victories, incredible bus trips, and just plain fun, your Sierra Club leadership is putting on a program to not only highlight the year, but also some Valentine’s Day sentiments you won’t want to miss.

There will be special snacks starting at 6:30 p.m. along with the usual post-meeting trip to Fuzzy’s Taco Shop on Midway for cold refreshments, hot food, and lively discussion.

So be there, bring yourself and any friends you want to introduce to the Dallas Sierra Club. This meeting promises not only pretty pictures, but inspiration as to why “we do what we do” to protect the wilderness and all things wild and beautiful. For the Love of Nature is your night to experience Valentine’s Day with kindred spirits who would rather watch a beautiful sunset with true friends than stand in line at every restaurant in town.

See you there!
Wendel Withrow, Your Dallas Chair


General Meeting Program - February 14, 7:00 pm - Refreshments at 6:30 

For the Love of Nature
Love of natureOur Valentine's Day program will feature a number of mini presentations that highlight contributions of our Club for the Love of Nature.  Presentations will cover service outings, bus trips, conservation efforts, Inner City Outings and passing on love of nature to future generations, etc.  And there will be an "open mic" period for people to express their love of nature.  So join us for an entertaining evening and eat some special refreshments for the occasion.

Urgent - are you a "Sierra Club couple"?
Did the Sierra Club play a part in your meeting or getting engaged to your spouse/partner? If so, we'd like to include your picture with others we'll enjoy as part of our Valentine's Day general meeting program "Love of Nature". Please contact Liz Wheelan at Lizwico@aol.com or 214.368.2306. Hurry!

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 p.m. but come at 6:30 for snacks, information and fellowship.  We'll also have a quick Sierra Club orientation (Sierra Club 101) for new members and visitors. Click over to our General Meeting page of our website for more information and a map.


Outings Highlight 

Feb 11 (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

Feb 18 (Sat) Trail Maintenance at Cedar Ridge Preserve
Its fun and its helpful to get out to the Cedar Ridge Preserve in Dallas to help upgrade some of the beautiful walking trails. 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 12 or so, and then walk around the preserve and admire the wildflowers and fauna! Bring some water for sure. Its on Saturday the 18th of February, please see their website www.audubondallas.org/cedarridge.html  for directions and info. Their number is 972-709-7784.  If you wish to carpool, then let me know, and we'll arrange a meeting spot. Come on out and stay green, people!  Organizer: Ginger Bradley Coordinator: Ginger Bradley 469-223-7902

May 25-29 (Fri-Tue) Memorial Day Weekend in the WHITE MOUNTAIN WILDERNESS
Wa-hoo!  This destination, near Ruidoso, New Mexico, is perfect for beginner backpackers with at least one overnight backpacking experience who want to move up to a 3-day, 2-night trip at altitude.  Veteran backpackers will love it, too.  Ascend the eastern slopes of the Sierra Blanca Mountains to the Crest Trail for amazing views of White Sands National Monument and the black Malpais lava fields on the desert floor far below.  Choose from four consistently popular hikes and a route never before offered.  Hop on a sleeper bus Friday evening and return Tuesday morning before work. Full details are in this PDF document. Bus trip leader: Mark Stein 214-526-3733

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


Spring Classes 

Feb 25 (Sat) Beginner Backpacking Class
This class ideal for those who want to learn all about backpacking and for those who want to refresh your backpacking knowledge and skills. Topics include: wilderness ethics, outdoor clothing, boots, backpacks, tents, sleeping bags, cookware, food, preparing for a trip and even a short, late afternoon breakout session to discuss men's and women's outdoor 'issues'.  Instructors are experienced Dallas Sierra Club leaders. There will be time for questions and a hands-on look at outdoor gear. You will also have the opportunity to learn about, and sign up for, several beginner backpacking trips. Lunch of backpacking food is included. (Feel free to bring anything else you prefer to eat.) The fee is $20 for Sierra Club members and $30 for non-members (CASH or CHECK ONLY). No reservations are necessary, just show up. The class will be held at the Dallas REI store, 4515 LBJ Freeway, Dallas, TX 75244 (north side of LBJ between Welch and Midway). Please arrive by 10:15am to register and get settled. The class will begin promptly at 10:30 AM and end about 4:45pm PM. Handouts will be provided. PLEASE BRING a writing utensil and your water bottle.  Coordinator: Liz Wheelan 214-368-2306

Mar 14 (Wed) Wilderness Navigation Class - Part 1
Learn the fundamentals of finding your way in the wilderness in this two evening class. Among the subjects covered are: purchasing maps, how to read maps, how not to get lost, what to do if you do get lost, GPS, different kinds of compasses, and how to use your compass. If you have a compass, bring it to the class. If you don't have one, we will show you what to look for when you purchase one. The class will be held at the Dallas REI store (second floor program room). 4515 LBJ Freeway, north side, between Midway and Welch. This two-night class (second night March 15) will start promptly at 6:30 PM and will finish at about 8:45 PM. The fee for the class is $15 for Sierra Club members and $20 for non-members (CASH or CHECK ONLY). No reservations are necessary; just show up. Contact: Bill Greer 972-964-1781(h)

Mar 15 (Thu) Wilderness Navigation Class - Part 2
This is the second night a two part class.  See the class listing above (March 14) for details. Contact: Bill Greer 972-964-1781(h)

Mar 29 (Thu) Advanced Backpacking Class
You’ve got a few local weekend backpacks under your belt; now you want to do more: a fly-drive or multi-night outing, or even try a cold weather trip. This class will cover advanced backpacking tips and skills including winter camping, fly-drive planning and equipment, bear barrel packing, and week-long trekking. Location: upstairs clinic room at Dallas REI, 4515 LBJ Freeway, Farmers Branch, TX 75244 (north side of LBJ between Midway and Welch). This class will start promptly at 6:30 PM and finish about 8:45 PM. The fee for the class is $15 for Sierra Club members and $20 for non-members (CASH or CHECK ONLY - NO CHARGES). No reservations are necessary; just show up. Contact: Bill Greer 972-247-0446


Recycling Roundup - by Rita Raccoon 

Recent Recycling News - February 2012

UTA’s New College Park Center Wows Environmentally
ARLINGTON – UT Arlington’s College Park Center is more than an entertainment venue. It’s an example of what can happen when design intersects with a commitment to sustainability and innovation.

The $78 million special events center was designed by HKS Inc. to meet U.S. Green Building Council guidelines for LEED Gold certification and incorporates recycled construction materials and many energy-saving features.

Other sustainable features of College Park Center include:

  • 42 percent of the building material came from within 500 miles of campus.

  • More than 75 percent of construction waste has been recycled.

  • A 15-percent decrease in energy usage from traditional building methods through building design, high-efficiency window glazing, reduced interior lighting power density and high-efficiency HVAC systems.

  • Irrigation systems and landscape design that will reduce potable water use for those systems by 63.7 percent.

  • Low-flow restroom and shower facilities to further reduce water use.

What sets the building apart from an increasingly-crowded field of LEED-standard projects is the way the events center invites the natural environment in. The building makes maximum use of natural lighting in its sweeping, grand entrance atrium, throughout its concourses and in one, full-size practice court.

Perhaps most notable is the building’s interaction with The Green at College Park, the new, 2.6-acre park on the south side of College Park Center. Southern concourses open toward The Green, providing programmable space for events that might spill outside as weather permits.
The City of Arlington and the North Central Texas Council of Governments collaborated with UT Arlington to develop the $2.8 million park, which was designed by Arlington-based Schrickel, Rollins and Associates

Storm water from the events center and other paved areas surrounding the park is directed toward The Green through various ecological retention features full of native wetland vegetation. Specialized soil, plants and design concepts in the park will allow for a more than 25-percent decrease in the amount of storm water runoff that would have been expected from College Park Center. In addition, more than a third of the storm water runoff from the 468-acre campus will travel through the Green at College Park site during major storm events.

Landscape architects say at least 80 percent of the suspended solids in the water will be filtered out before the remaining water flows toward Johnson Creek, a flood-prone tributary of the Trinity River.

Still Have an Old Cell Phone? You’re Not Alone!
The industry estimates about 500 million cell phones are just sitting around, no longer being used. Ninety-percent of the phones sold in America, in the last 25 years, are still out there somewhere. That is half a billion unused phones, just in the United States and it’s also a lot of precious metal and plastic.

Don’t let them sit there! Find a reputable recycler or return to your cell phone company. Phones come into recyclers from the cell phone companies and collection sites. Workers refurbish and put back into service more than half of the phones. They are inspected, all the data is erased and the phone repackaged. They are mostly going to secondary phone markets — like those overseas. Some are the replacement phones sent to you when you lose or damage your current phone.

If they can’t reuse the phone it is torn apart for the metal and plastic. The metal is very valuable; there is more gold in a cell phone than the gold found in 10 times its weight of ore. We’re running low on the rare metals used in high tech devices. This problem would go away if every America recycled their old computers, TVs and cell phones.

There are more reasons to recycle than just environmental ones.


Calendar 

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

Service Outing IconFeb 11 (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 IconFeb 14 (Tue) Dallas Sierra Club General Meeting
Don't miss our Valentine's Day program, For the Love of Nature. Full details are on our Home Page.

Dallas Sierra Club Meeting IconFeb 15 (Wed) Outings Committee Meeting
This month our committee meeting will be a special meeting to provide training in use of our Outings extranet and other web resources. It will not be at our usual location.  Ask Bill for directions or to be placed on the email list for an agenda.  Unlike most committee meetings we'll need advance notice that you're coming. Contact: Bill Greer 972-247-0446

Bus Trip IconFeb 16-20 (Thu-Mon) Bus Trip to Taos, NM
The snow covered mountains are calling! It's time to sign up for our very popular annual trip to enjoy the winter beauty of northern New Mexico. We'll leave Dallas on our sleeper bus the evening of Thursday, February 16 and return early morning on Monday, February 20. The trip is very economical and offers your choice of accommodations including a great hotel in Taos with hot tub, backpacking to stay in a yurt or snow camping! We offer an array of options so you can design your own combination of activities including alpine snowshoeing (trips for beginners and those more experienced), downhill skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing (it's a blast!) and two new hikes (shorter and longer) in the Wild Rivers Recreation Area. You can also join the group to tour a few local historical sites or spend all or part of your trip being on your own to experience the galleries, museums, shops, food and beauty of this scenic and historical town. Saturday we will have a wine and cheese social for trip participants staying in Taos.  Activity ratings range from easy to strenuous. Rental snowshoes and ski equipment are available.  Trip includes transportation to/from Taos, Taos Ski Valley, trailheads and destinations to activities included in the trip. Complete details including all costs and reservation information are in this PDF document. This trip usually sells out so make your plans and send in your reservations now. Bus trip leader: Liz Wheelan 214-368-2306

Service Outing IconFeb 18 (Sat) Trail Maintenance at Cedar Ridge Preserve
Its fun and its helpful to get out to the Cedar Ridge Preserve in Dallas to help upgrade some of the beautiful walking trails. 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 12 or so, and then walk around the preserve and admire the wildflowers and fauna! Bring some water for sure. Its on Saturday the 18th of February, please see their website www.audubondallas.org/cedarridge.html  for directions and info. Their number is 972-709-7784.  If you wish to carpool, then let me know, and we'll arrange a meeting spot. Come on out and stay green, people!  Organizer: Ginger Bradley Coordinator: Ginger Bradley 469-223-7902

Class IconFeb 25 (Sat) Beginner Backpacking Class
This class ideal for those who want to learn all about backpacking and for those who want to refresh your backpacking knowledge and skills. Topics include: wilderness ethics, outdoor clothing, boots, backpacks, tents, sleeping bags, cookware, food, preparing for a trip and even a short, late afternoon breakout session to discuss men's and women's outdoor 'issues'.  Instructors are experienced Dallas Sierra Club leaders. There will be time for questions and a hands-on look at outdoor gear. You will also have the opportunity to learn about, and sign up for, several beginner backpacking trips. Lunch of backpacking food is included. (Feel free to bring anything else you prefer to eat.) The fee is $20 for Sierra Club members and $30 for non-members (CASH or CHECK ONLY). No reservations are necessary, just show up. The class will be held at the Dallas REI store, 4515 LBJ Freeway, Dallas, TX 75244 (north side of LBJ between Welch and Midway). Please arrive by 10:15am to register and get settled. The class will begin promptly at 10:30 AM and end about 4:45pm PM. Handouts will be provided. PLEASE BRING a writing utensil and your water bottle.  Coordinator: Liz Wheelan 214-368-2306

Dallas Sierra Club Meeting IconMar 7 (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.

Service Outing IconMar 10 (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

Backpack IconMar 10-11 (Sat-Sun) Beginner Backpack at Mcgee Creek, Oklahoma
This will be an easy hike in a pleasant, little used forest. The area is designated as a natural scenic recreation area and has thick woods, scenic bluffs, and interesting trails going down to the lake. Saturday morning we'll hike about 1.5 flat miles to camp, then leave our big pack for an optional dayhike. Sunday will feature another dayhike to a nice overlook, then we'll take a different route back to our cars. McGee is close enough to leave Dallas for the trailhead Saturday morning. Leaders: Sue Greer 972-247-0446 and Bill Greer

Class IconMar 14 (Wed) Wilderness Navigation Class - Part 1
Learn the fundamentals of finding your way in the wilderness in this two evening class. Among the subjects covered are: purchasing maps, how to read maps, how not to get lost, what to do if you do get lost, GPS, different kinds of compasses, and how to use your compass. If you have a compass, bring it to the class. If you don't have one, we will show you what to look for when you purchase one. The class will be held at the Dallas REI store (second floor program room). 4515 LBJ Freeway, north side, between Midway and Welch. This two-night class (second night March 15) will start promptly at 6:30 PM and will finish at about 8:45 PM. The fee for the class is $15 for Sierra Club members and $20 for non-members (CASH or CHECK ONLY). No reservations are necessary; just show up. Contact: Bill Greer 972-964-1781(h)

Class IconMar 15 (Thu) Wilderness Navigation Class - Part 2
This is the second night a two part class.  See the class listing above (March 14) for details. Contact: Bill Greer 972-964-1781(h)

Dallas Sierra Club Meeting IconMar 21 (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

Class IconMar 29 (Thu) Advanced Backpacking Class
You’ve got a few local weekend backpacks under your belt; now you want to do more: a fly-drive or multi-night outing, or even try a cold weather trip. This class will cover advanced backpacking tips and skills including winter camping, fly-drive planning and equipment, bear barrel packing, and week-long trekking. Location: upstairs clinic room at Dallas REI, 4515 LBJ Freeway, Farmers Branch, TX 75244 (north side of LBJ between Midway and Welch). This class will start promptly at 6:30 PM and finish about 8:45 PM. The fee for the class is $15 for Sierra Club members and $20 for non-members (CASH or CHECK ONLY - NO CHARGES). No reservations are necessary; just show up. Contact: Bill Greer 972-247-0446

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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