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, February 10, 2015 - 7:30 PM
Georgia General Assembly Update
Ga Dome
Sierra Club lobbyist Neill Herring and Legislative Chair Mark Woodall will again circulate to our groups to tell about the the good, the bad and the ugly at the Georgia State Capitol. How many bills have been introduced that negatively affect the environment?

On January 12, 2015, the Georgia General Assembly began a 40-day session with bills flying back and forth between the two chambers. Water and solar energy were both important issues last year and probably will be again.
Note:  Refreshments at 7:00 PM. Program begins 7:30 PM.

more information on this and other meetings »

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 »

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: Feb. 3 and March 3, 2015 at 7:30 PM

Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade: Monday, Jan 19

MLK Day parade

FOR PARTICIPANTS meet at 1:15 PM: We will be gathering at either Margaret Mitchell Square at Peachtree Street and John Wesley Dobbs Street (between the downtown library and the GA Pacific building) or Peachtree Street and Ellis Street.

The Peachtree Center MARTA station is very close to either, so just exit at the south end. The Southwest exit comes up right at the library, which could be used as another landmark for people to find the meeting place. The Southeast exit is just north of the GA Pacific building right across Peachtree from the Margaret Mitchell Square.

The parade route will be going south on Peachtree St, turning left onto Auburn Avenue and will go to Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Site – it is exactly one mile from MM Sq to MLK NHS.

PLEASE take MARTA to Peachtree Center Station, march to MLK NHS and then take the Atlanta Streetcar back to MARTA's Peachtree Center Station (or ride the whole route back and around again). You can take CCT from Cobb County to Arts Station and those in Gwinnett County can take GT to Doraville Station and come down on MARTA to Peachtree Center Station. Parking is horrendous in downtown and expensive, so $5 round-trip on MARTA would be much better – please get a Breeze Card for it only costs $1 and is good for 10 years.

Join us for Sierra Club & Beer in Atlanta: Wednesday, Jan 21

Sierra Club and Beer

Location: Park Tavern, 500 10th St NE (at Monroe Dr), Atlanta, 7pm-9pm

Jan 21: We discuss 'Legislation under the Gold Dome'. Find out about our annual Capitol Conservation Day, enjoy great beer from the Red Hare Brewing Co., meet like-minded people, and learn new stuff!
RSVP &

Activist Training - Sign Up Today!: Wednesday, Jan 28

SC Activist Training

Youth and adults are invited to attend. Join us!

Sign up for our new activist training series! You'll train in leadership and advocacy skills, with tips on mobilizing communities and influencing decision makers on important causes.
RSVP to Brionte McCorkle

Adopt-A-Stream Program - Medlock Park, Decatur


Upcoming Dates*:
  • Chemical monitoring, Saturday, January 17
  • Chemical monitoring in February TBA -- call Larry
  • Saturday, March 14 - 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].

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.

Regular Meeting: Tuesday, March 10, 2015
The establishment of Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area


Join Roger Buerki who helped the process to create CRNRA, who will speak about that and other history.

For more information about CRNRA, see the item about Local Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants at the bottom of this page.

Join us beginning at 7 PM for refreshments. Program begins 7:30 PM.

Geology events Jan. 8 to May 2, 2015
Bill Witherspoon's programs

Bill Witherspoon has some more events coming up. More Geology Events new window

He worked at Fernbank Science Center for 17 years educating students K-12, and the public about geology, and has just retired.

See the map of Georgia geology new window.

This tells about the hike he lead before his presentation at our August 12 meeting: https://www.facebook.com/events/607376549370459/?ref=5

Sierra Club Legislative Issue Priorities – 2014 RESULTS »


Join, Give, or Donate a Sierra Club Membership

A Sierra Club membership makes a good gift for Christmas, birthday or graduation. For a limited time, memberships are as low as $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, 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


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