explore, enjoy and protect the planet


The Metro Atlanta Group comprises the largest Sierra Club membership within the Georgia Chapter and is dedicated to exploring, preserving and protecting the environment within Atlanta's environs. more info »
Regular meetings are held the 2nd Tuesday of each month. Below is information about the upcoming meeting. See also the Atlanta Group Announcements! below.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014 - 7:30 PM
Monadnocks, Rejuvenation, and Quartzite:
The Geology of Atlanta's Outdoor Recreation Spots
Ga geology
Bill Witherspoon works at Fernbank Science Center educating students K-12, and the public about geology.

NOTE: Gather at 6:30 PM at trolley shelter across the street from the church for a hike before the meeting. We will descend to the creek in Deepdene Park, easternmost of the Olmstead Linear Parks. We will see a variety of plants, maybe see or hear an owl or woodpecker, and see where trees are being undercut by the creek, which has surges of water larger than in the past due to the increase in impervious surfaces from more buildings and roads. Then we go to the church for refreshments and Bill's talk.

See the map of Georgia geology new window.

More Geology Events new window
Location: General membership meetings are held at the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany, 2089 Ponce de Leon Ave. at the East Lake Drive intersection; entrance to the church is off East Lake Dr. MARTA Bus #2 runs between North Ave. Station and Decatur Station along Ponce de Leon to East Lake Drive.  directions & map »
Note:  Refreshments at 7:00 PM. Program begins 7:30 PM.

Metro Atlanta Group Executive Committee Meetings

The Ex-Com meets the first Tuesday of every month at 7:30 pm, Athens Pizza House, 1341 Clairmont Rd., Decatur. Members are invited to attend and bring their ideas. Please contact an ExCom member for more information.
Upcoming Ex-Com Meetings: August 5, Sept. 2 at 7:30 PM

Sierra Club Legislative Issue Priorities – 2014 RESULTS »

Adopt-A-Stream Program - Medlock Park, Decatur


Upcoming Dates*:
    • Chemical monitoring is usually the Saturday after the regular meeting on Tuesday. For Chemical monitoring August, please call Larry at the number below.
    • Saturday, September 13 - Biological & Chemical monitoring

* Note: Because we have had to schedule these events so far in advance for the SIERRAN announcement, dates do need to be moved on occasion. Typically the Monitoring date is on the Saturday following the meeting. The Water Sentinels have suggested that some dates may change, Chemical more likely than Biological. So the dates above are tentative and please contact Larry before the Chemical events. Also, refer to this website for changes.

Description: Our activities involve Peachtree Creek in Medlock Park, 10-11 AM for chemical and 10 AM-noon for biological. For biologic monitoring, we need many eyes to find the macroinvertebrate critters found in the creek. [macro = large enough to be seen with naked eye; invertebrate = animal without backbone].

Location: Directions to Medlock Park »

Contact: For information about chemical monitoring and dates, call Larry Kloet at 404 636-7226. For more details about biological monitoring, call Nancy Wylie at 404-256-1172.

Adopt-A-Stream Report - March 2012  |  Biological Indicators of Watershed Health new window

NEWS: DeKalb County Adopt-A-Stream is "2011 Program of the Year" in We Are DeKalb Magazine (pages 30-32)
Also, four parks that inspire are on pages 18-23 and birds on pages 24-25.


Give a Sierra Club Membership

A Sierra C lub membership makes a good gift for Christmas, birthday or graduation. For a limited time, memberships are just $15 and include a free backpack. How can you beat that offer? They make great book-bags for students.

JOIN ONLINE! new window



Sierra Club now has a podcast website, so you can stay informed without reading: Sierra Club Radio new window

Woodlands Garden, Decatur


Woodlands Garden Events Calendar new window
932 Scott Blvd.
Decatur, GA

Put on your walking shoes and explore Decatur's seven-acre garden and Georgia Piedmont native plant habitat. Grape ferns and cranefly orchids are up, plus many other wild plants.

Sundays in the Garden 2014:

• Sunday, July 27, 2 - 4pm / Danny Feig-Sandoval & Friends
• Sunday, August 24, 2 - 4pm / Blackfoot Daisy
• Sunday, Sept. 21, 2 - 4 pm / The Wilderness Act Performance Series. New music, art and poetry created just for Woodlands. Special tribute to the Wilderness Act after 50 years

John Muir


John Muir's 175th birthday is April 21st. Read more »

John Muir's birthplace museum, Dunbar, Scotland was created after Americans asked about it. John Muir's Birthplace

Connally Nature Park, East Point, GA

Location: Mulberry Court, East Point, GA [Google Map]

Description: The trail going through this 27-acre forest, preserved in part by Sierra Club members, includes good views of state champion white oak. Bring cameras, plus plant and animal guide books – the pink ladyslippers were good in April. For more information: Gordon Draves, 404-766-3456 or nonsmoke4ga@hotmail.com

View Photos

Constitution Lakes Nature Preserve

Gordon Draves went on the bird walk with Audubon on September 23 lead by Dave Butler who presented his program about green-spaces in DeKalb to our group on September 11 (see the entry about meetings). There is a very good article about the preserve on the front page of The Champion Free Press new window

On the way to the second part of the article on P. 15-A, check out the cartoon Shovel Ready Projects, and the article about the history of Mr. Bird's farm. Please note that there are herons not herrings in the park.

Mother Nature Network article: A walk through Atlanta's Doll's Head Trail

Hiking & biking on the way to Pickett's Mill Battlefield

Location: Near Dallas, GA

Pickett's Mill has good trails with flora and fauna besides the history that took place on May 27, 1864-149 years ago. Rated as among the Top 10 most endangered battlefields in 2010, it preserves some important sites.
Picketts Mill Virtual Tour
Picketts Mill Battlefield

If you are traveling from Marietta on GA 120 there are two other parks on the way to Pickett's Mill that you might finding interesting. Take East Pauling Highway, a few blocks west from Due West intersection, for it goes by Lost Mountain Park, which may be the site of the Lost Mountain engagement mentioned at Pickett's Mill--but nothing about that is on their nice website Lost Mountain Park

Mt. Tabor Park is just beyond the intersection of E. Pauling Highway with Mt. Tabor Church Road - here is a GREAT video of the hiking/biking trails there with outstanding action showing the trails and the forests that they go through: Watch Video

Local Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants


Ranger Jerry Hightower of Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area discussed local edible and medicinal plants at our meeting August 13, 2013. He told how to find them, how they were historically used, what they're good for today, and how to identify them. He leads many of the nature walks at CRNRA.

These plants can be found throughout the CRNRA, as well as sometimes in your own neighborhood or back yard.

Here are some of the plants he brought:

  • Cattails: Typha is a genus of about eleven species of monocotyledonous flowering plants in the family Typhaceae. The genus has a largely Northern Hemisphere distribution, but is essentially cosmopolitan, being found in a variety of wetland habitats. In Russia, it is known as Cossack asparagus.
  • Pokeweed: The greens were used by Poke Salad Annie in Elvis' song, soldiers in several wars used the berries for ink to write home. Recipe, New use is photovoltaic.
  • A plant he warned about: poison ivy due to global warming is moving northward, and the toxin is increasing. He believes some trails in CRNRA may be closed because they won't be able to keep it whacked back for people's safety.
  • A plant to soothe poison ivy rash and stinging nettle: jewelweed or spotted touch-me-not
    [view youtube video]

John Patrick Walsh - Obituary

John Patrick Walsh

John Walsh has passed away at age 52. He was a long-time Sierra Club member. A few years ago, he was on the Metro Atlanta Group Ex-Com until he got an evening job, so couldn't attend Ex-Com or regular meetings, but this Fall he was going to be a candidate for our Ex-Com again. When you get your ballot in the coming issue of SIERRAN, I encourage you to vote, for that is what John would have done.

When I saw, "John Walsh" in my E-mail box from Sierra Club–GA Chapter office, the worst I could think was that he had sent his candidate bio to Chapter instead of to me. Ho Boy–it was much worse. Chapter Chair Mark Woodall wrote: "I am sorry to report that long time Sierra Club volunteer, John Walsh, 52, of Decatur passed away August 31. I was very surprised to hear this as John looked fine recently when he was helping us set up the inflatable power plant at the showing of 'The Last Mountain' in Macon." He also looked good at the August 9 Metro Atlanta Group meeting.

His brother Chris said that his death was probably due to a fall several years ago. John had a rough time recovering, his brain kept deteriorating, he had seizures for awhile, but Nancy Wylie said that he was proud to get his driver's license again after 2 years seizure-free. However, he apparently died in his sleep, probably from a seizure. Bettye Harris, Ted and Lissa Jackson, and I attended his funeral at St. Thomas More Catholic Church in Decatur where John was a Lector and also volunteered much of his time, when he wasn't doing things for the Sierra Club. He was a good guy, faithful Sierra Club member, and the Sierra Club will be lessened by his leaving us. He even requested that in lieu of flowers that people should donate to the Sierra Club. We will miss him at our meetings.

--- D. Gordon Draves, Chair – Metro Atlanta Group, Georgia Chapter, Sierra Club


Ga Sierran Online new window

Ga Chapter Calendar new window
Chapter & Local Group events

more news »