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Meetings Program Archive

Click year to view program descriptions.

2014 Programs

January 14, 2014 | 7:30 PM – The Wilderness Act at 50 Years

Larry Winslett presents about the Wilderness Act new window now after 50 years.

"A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain."

February 25, 2014 | 7:30 PM – News from under the Gold Dome

Date for this meeting changed due to inclement weather.

Neill Herring and Mark Woodall will again come to our February meeting to tell us about what the Georgia General Assembly is up to, since the session began on January 13.

March 11, 2014 | 7:30 PM – Fukushima and Other Nuclear Issues

Glenn Carroll, coordinator of Nuclear Watch South new window (formerly Georgians Against Nuclear Energy) will discuss nuclear issues local and far away--coinciding with the third anniversary of the triple nuclear meltdowns at Fukushima Daiichi, Japan.

REPEAL THE CWIP TAX FOR VOGTLE new window

For more information about a nuclear facility near Georgia: NukeWatch, Savannah River Site new window

April 8, 2014 | 7:30 PM – Global Warming Issue Discussion

Jeff Bragg attended a recent meeting about the results of the global warming conference and will present from those findings. Konrad Hayashi will present on how climate change will affect our health with information on movement of infectious diseases into new territories.

Refreshments at 7:00 PM. Program begins 7:30 PM.

May 13, 2014 | 7:30 PM – The Elections are coming, The Elections are coming...

The Primary elections will be on May 20 this year – much earlier than previous times. Eddie Ehlert, Group & Chapter Political Chair, will bring the latest news on the upcoming elections. He will tell us about the candidates that the Sierra Club is endorsing and may even bring some of them to speak to the group.

Refreshments at 7:00 PM. Program begins 7:30 PM.

June 10, 2014 | 6:30 PM – Annual Picnic at Candler Park

Come join us at the covered picnic tables across from the swimming pool at Candler Park in Atlanta for potluck picnic. Bring some food to share. There will be a fire for cooking, and our group will provide hamburgers, hot dogs, and veggie burgers. Please bring your own plate, cup, and tableware, but we will have extra if you forget.

Please consider bringing salad, side dishes, beverages, other meats for the grill, and/or desserts.

Note: Come at 6 PM for a short hike before dinner. Gather at 6:30 PM, eat at 7:00 PM and a longer hike after the picnic.

July 8, 2014 | 7:30 PM – Preparing for a Solar Spill!

Sol Haroon will discuss aspects of using solar energy. In the last few years Solar Power has become a lot more affordable and accessible.

Join Sol, Director of Energy at IP UtiliNET, in an exploration of sustainable architectural design and how to go solar the cost-effective way for your home and commercial space. We will explore sustainable design principles, solar energy systems design, electric vehicle systems, and finally go through a virtual tour of one sustainable Atlanta house incorporating these ideas.

Refreshments at 7:00 PM. Program begins 7:30 PM.

August 12, 2014 | 7:30 PM – Monadnocks, Rejuvenation, and Quartzite: The Geology of Atlanta's Outdoor Recreation Spots

Bill Witherspoon works at the 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.

Refreshments at 7:00 PM. Program begins 7:30 PM.

September 9, 2014 | 7:30 PM – Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area - history and other facts

Ranger Jerry Hightower will help us explore one of the national park units in the Atlanta area. We will learn about the history of CRNRA, and see, feel, smell and/or taste some of the plants from the river and woodlands.

Photo and information about cattails by Survival Gear Guide.

Refreshments at 7:00 PM. Program begins 7:30 PM.

October 14, 2014 | 7:30 PM – Our 100 miles of Georgia coast

Megan Desrosiers, Executive Director of One Hundred Miles will journey from Brunswick to tell us about our fragile coast. One Hundred Miles is a coastal advocacy organization dedicated to protecting, preserving and enhancing the 100-mile Georgia coast. We will explore how to keep our shores sustainable.

Refreshments at 7:00 PM. Program begins 7:30 PM.

November 11, 2014 | 7:30 PM – Bees and honey vs Neonicotinoids!

Dennis Krusac will describe the plead of the bees. Bee colony collapse threatens the bees, the honey industry but more importantly the one bite of food out of three that depend on bee pollination. Dennis is a Certified Wildlife Biologist, Endangered Species Specialist/Pollinator Conservation Coordinator with the US Forest Service.

"Pyrazoles And Neonicotinoids Linked To Reduced Honeybee Mitochondrial Activity", SCIENCE, August 6, 2014.

Refreshments at 7:00 PM. Program begins 7:30 PM.

Regular Meeting and annual dinner: Tuesday, December 9, 2014 | 6:30 PM – Hiking Atlanta's Hidden Forests: Intown and Out

Join Jonah McDonald for his talk about hiking in the Metro Atlanta forests.

For more information about Jonah and the book.

"Some say Atlanta is only about asphalt. This guidebook will change their minds." - Sally Sears, Executive Director, The South Fork Conservancy

This is our potluck meeting, so please bring something to share, and join us beginning at 6:30 PM. We will start eating at 7:00 PM. Program begins 7:30 PM.

2013 Programs

January 8, 2013 | 7:30 PM – The Finest Landscape Photographer You May Have Never Heard Of

Ren and Helen Davis (www.davisguides.com new window) introduce us to George Alexander Grant – through a twenty-five year career as the National Park Service's first Chief Photographer (1929 - 1954), he captured over 30,000 images in 140 National Park units.
Photo of George A. Grant, 1933 | More about this program

February 12, 2013 | 7:30 PM – News from under the Gold Dome

Two of our own chapter leaders are Neill Herring the chapter lobbyist and Mark Woodall our Legislative Committee Chair. They will discuss issues before the Georgia General Assembly, and why certain bills should be passed compared to others that don't do much for the environment or actually are bad for our state's land, water, air and wildlife.''

March 12, 2013 | 7:30 PM – Solar Energy in Georgia

Shane Owl-Greason will discuss his company's role in attempting to get solar energy implemented in Georgia on a larger scale. He is a Co-Founding Partner of Georgia Solar Utilities, Inc. new window (GaSU) and Entegrity Solar, LLC. The rapidly decreasing cost of solar panels is making solar power much more competitive to other sources of energy.

Blog Article: The development of solar power is beginning to take off in Georgia new window -- By Maria Saporta

April 9, 2013 | 7:30 PM – To The Sea

Don Bender will discuss the habits of dolphins and how they are under threat from man's activities. Come and learn more about these mammals of the seas. The Dolphin Project new window

May 14, 2013 | 7:30 PM – The Story of Southface

Mr. Trevor Donnelly, an EarthCraft Fellow at Southface, provides an overview of Southface's programs and activities. For more than 30 years, Southface has promoted comfortable, energy-, water-, and resource-efficient homes, workplaces and communities throughout the Southeast. Their Green Building Services included the EarthCraft construction certification program, working with both builders and consumers as a means of assuring energy and water conservation. This is integral to the construction of durable, healthy, efficient homes, and also can improve resale values.

June 11, 2013 | 6:30 PM – Annual Picnic at Candler Park

At 6:30 PM, we will meet at the Candler Park picnic area across the road from the pool, and begin eating at 7 PM. It is potluck style, please bring some food to share. The group will provide plates, dinnerware, and cups for those who don't want to bring their own, plus hot dogs and hamburgers. There will be a fire for cooking.

July 9, 2013 | 7:30 PM – Applying Root Cause Analysis to the Sustainability Problem

Jack Harich, a sustainability researcher with Thwink.org, will explain how Root Cause Analysis can be applied to the sustainability problem.

We start with the observation that popular solutions are not working. The climate change problem is spiraling out of control. Water shortages, food shortages, and pollution problems are growing worse. Species extinction rates are climbing. Why is this? Why are the world's environmentalists, including the Sierra Club, unable to solve the sustainability problem?

Because popular solutions do not resolve root causes. Instead they attempt in vain to resolve intermediate causes. This must be so because all problems arise from their root causes.

The good news is that by applying Root Cause Analysis the root causes can be found. This can lead to solutions that will work because at last they will be directed towards root causes instead of intermediate causes. This approach has long worked spectacularly well for business problems. It will therefore work equally well on the sustainability problem, once we start thinking in terms of root causes.

Using a discussion style presentation, Jack will explain all this using a few simple diagrams and examples. If you are frustrated and disappointed about progress on the sustainability problem, come to this talk. You will walk away with a new perspective on how to think about the sustainability problem.

August 13, 2013 | 7:30 PM – Local Edible and Medicinal Wild Plants

Ranger Jerry Hightower of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area will discuss local edible and medicinal plants: how to find them, how they were historically used, what they're good for today, and how to identify them.

Jerry, an extremely engaging speaker who gives hundreds of talks a year, will provide freshly picked samples of over a dozen plants for you to examine. These plants can be found throughout the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, as well as sometimes in your own neighborhood or back yard.

September 10, 2013 | 7:30 PM – Ed King and his permanent magnet electrical generator

Ed King will discuss his latest invention: a permanent magnet electrical generator. This is a completely new type of energy source. It's not nuclear, hydro, wind, natural gas, or coal based. Instead, the source of energy is the magnetic field in the rare earth magnets, which Ed estimates have a 400 year lifetime. The projected cost of this energy source is one cent per kilowatt hour. This compares extremely favorably to the current four cents for natural gas, five cents for coal, five and up for hydro, four to six for wind, and 3.5 cents for solar some years in the future.

The generator is nearing the pilot testing stage. It has been examined by outsiders, passed due diligence (including life cycle cost analysis), and has received funding. Ed has working models that run continuously.

The concept is based on the work of Howard Johnson, who was granted a US patent in 1979 for a "Permanent Magnet Motor." At first the patent office said "We don't grant patents on perpetual motion machines." "It won't work because it violates the law of Conservation of Energy," said one physicist after another. But Johnson proved them wrong. No laws of physics are violated. It's not a perpetual motion machine. It's a clever mechanism that turns the electromagnetic energy found in magnetic fields into motion, which may then be used for anything, such as electricity generation.

However, Howard Johnson's invention was never commercialized due to countless problems. Ed King, a veteran scientist from the optics industry and an R&D manager for NASA during the moon mission years, has resolutely overcome these problems one by one through hard work and ingenuity that harkens back to the days of Thomas Edison and his invention factory. Come hear Ed tell one of the most amazing invention tales you will ever hear and be a part of history.

October 8, 2013 | 7:30 PM – How GreenLaw protects the environment

Stephanie Stuckey Benfield will discuss how an environmental law group can balance the scales of justice in the favor of the ecosystems Sierra Club and other groups are fighting to save.   GreenLaw.org new window

November 12, 2013 | 7:30 PM – Climate Change is a Reality Now

Gail Gill of the Sierra Club Centennial Group will visit our group to present more information about global warming and those who deny it.

December 10, 2013 | 7:30 PM – Meeting, Potluck and 25 years of photos for National Geographic Magazine

Peter Essick is a noted National Geographic photographer with a new book "Our Beautiful, Fragile World: The Nature and Environmental Photographs of Peter Essick." The book is available for purchase from Amazon or Barnes & Noble, for signing after the meeting.

This is our annual potluck meeting, so please bring something tasty to share. Our group will provide turkey or other meat and beverages. You may bring your own place setting, but we will have dinnerware available.

Doors open at 6:30 PM, dinner at 7:00 PM. Program begins 7:30 PM.

2012 Programs

Tuesday, January 10, 2012 | 7:30 PM   West Atlanta Watershed Alliance (WAWA)
Darryl Haddock will speak about the West Atlanta Watershed Alliance (WAWA), a community-based non-profit organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life within the West Atlanta Watershed by protecting, preserving and restoring our community's natural resources. WAWA represents African American neighborhoods in Northwest and Southwest Atlanta that are most inundated with environmental stressors, but are least represented at environmental decision-making tables.

Since 1995, WAWA, in partnership with members of the West Atlanta community, has diligently worked to protect green space and water quality in West Atlanta while educating residents about important environmental issues that affect their communities. As an all-volunteer organization, WAWA was successful in preserving over 400 acres of green space from development in Southwest Atlanta and raised over $2 million dollars to do so (even before becoming a 501(c)(3) organization). As an organization that believes that a healthy environment equals a healthy community, and WAWA's overall efforts are focused on achieving a cleaner, greener, healthier, and more sustainable West Atlanta.

WAWA suggests that a comprehensive approach to conserving water, creating stormwater catchment systems and protecting urban watersheds should be lead through green space acquisition activities that both local businesses and residents can get behind. The focus of our presentation will be on the importance of innovative approaches to manage our most important natural resource--water!

February 14, 2012 | 7:30 PM – Legislative Action
Neil Herring (Georgia Chapter lobbyist) and Mark Woodall (Legislative Committee Chair and Chapter Chair) will again come to give a rundown of the legislative action under the Gold Dome.

Sierra Club Legislative Issue Priorities – RESULTS
Georgia Chapter Chair Mark Woodall sent this list of issues - some the Sierra Club opposes and others are favored. To see the bills on the official Georgia General Assembly website, go to: http://www.legis.ga.gov. You may also find the contact information for your state legislators there. Please contact them about how they voted on these issues - before the primary on July 31. Of all the bills below, only three were signed by Governor Deal to become law. But next year, we will have to be watchful about similar legislation.

ROLLBACKSSTATUS
OPPOSE Senate Bill 269 making EPD enforcement slower/weaker - Sponsor Jeffares FAILED
OPPOSE Senate Bill 159 Economic Development Secrecy - Sponsor Mullis FAILED
ECON DEVELOPMENTSTATUS
OPPOSE HB 131 exempting DOT contractors from erosion control - Sponsor Bubba Epps FAILED
OPPOSE SB 110 making it easier to put megafills over significant groundwater recharge efforts - Sponsor Murphy FAILED
OPPOSE SB 360 release the invasive fish tilapia into Georgia ponds leading to "kudzu" fish wiping out Georgia native bream - Sponsor John Wilkinson, Status: FAILED
OPPOSE SB 362 allowing deadhead (sunken) log mining - Sponsor Tommie Williams FAILED
SUPPORT bills making regulation of interbasin transfers mandatory NO POSITION YET
HB-400/SB-374/ SR-781 Tennessee River bill and resolution - Sponsors Neal in House, Mullis in Senate all three FAILED
ENERGYSTATUS
SUPPORT HB-316 EMC open meetings - Sponsor Willard FAILED
MONITOR SB-382 PSC redistricting bill due to new census figures, Make Lauren "Bubba" McDonald, Jr. or Stan Wise PSC Chair - Sponsor Shafer signed into law as Act 641
SUPPORT SB-401 Solar Energy Association bill for freedom for 3rd party provider contracts - Sponsor Buddy Carter FAILED
MONITOR repeal of state sales tax on energy for manufacturing
TRANSPORTATION STATUS
SUPPORT regional transit governance bill if board representation is based on population served and includes MARTA funding flexibility permanent fix
HB 1052 amended in the Senate Transportation Committee it gives MARTA three years without the oppressive 50-50 spending mandate for the capital versus operating expenditures FAILED
GOOD GOVERNMENT/STEALING STATUS
SUPPORT HB-811 ACCG bill on fees - Sponsor Jay Powell FAILED
SUPPORT SR-704 Senate Democrats' CA on fees - Sponsor Henson FAILED
SUPPORT HB-798 limit on gifts from lobbyists to legislators aka legalized bribery - Sponsor Tommie Smith FAILED
SUPPORT AG's open records/open meetings act if exclusion for litigants is removed
SUPPORT SB-391 senate version of limit on gifts from lobbyists to legislators - Sponsor McKoon FAILED
SUPPORT HB-397 AG's open records/open meetings act IF exclusion for litigants is removed -Sponsor Jay Powell signed into law as Act 605
OPPOSE HB 475 Dan McRae's development authority addition powers of funding to include public private partnerships - Sponsor Jay Powell FAILED
SUPPORT HB 822 GA Taxpayer Protection Act which rewards those who expose fraud - Sponsor Lindsey signed into law as Act 591
OPPOSE HB-887 Legalize bribes for DNR - Sponsor Nimmer FAILED
new HB-1050 amend last year's tourism stealing bill to allow tourist attractions to keep 1/2 their sales tax to include the new Falcons stadium - Sponsor Ron Stephens FAILED

March 13, 2012 | 7:30 PM – Georgia Water Coalition's "Dirty Dozen" List.
April Ingle, Executive Director of the Georgia River Network, will present the Georgia Water Coalition's "Dirty Dozen" list. It highlights the worst offenses to Georgia's water-offenses that are the consequences of an under-funded state environmental agency and a lack of political will to aggressively enforce laws that protect our water, land, air and people.

What unites each of the Dirty Dozen is that in practically every case our waters are being abused in ways that benefit a few, but harm many, including property owners, downstream communities, fish and wildlife, hunters and anglers, boaters and swimmers, and more. A broken system allows these problems to occur and continue without resolution, often with catastrophic consequences.

The Georgia Water Coalition publishes this list as a call to action for our state's leaders and its citizens to come together to correct the pollution problems and threats to our water detailed in the Dirty Dozen. Attend this informative presentation to learn what you can do.

Speaker: April has served as the Georgia River Network (GRN) Executive Director since June, 2003. She is responsible for working with the GRN Board of Directors and staff to meet the organization's mission to protect and restore Georgia's rivers. http://www.garivers.org

April 10, 2012 | 7:30 PM – Climate Reality -- perspectives on global warming/climate change. What is The Climate Reality Project?
Climate change is not your fault for the car you drive, the lights you turn on, or the food you eat. The climate crisis is our problem. Real solutions, systemic solutions, innovative solutions, can only come when we address it together. That's what The Climate Reality Project will do. Without doubt. Without delay. And with your help.

The Climate Reality Project is bringing the facts about the climate crisis into the mainstream and engaging the public in conversation about how to solve it. We help citizens around the world discover the truth and take meaningful steps to bring about change.

Founded and chaired by Al Gore, Nobel Laureate and former Vice President of the United States, The Climate Reality Project has more than 5 million members and supporters worldwide. It is guided by one simple truth: The climate crisis is real and we know how to solve it.

Speaker: Sam Collier was trained at The Climate Project in Nashville in January of 2007. He is a facilitator and strategic planning consultant at Collier, Branscomb & Associates, Inc.

Previously Collier was the founding Executive Director of Georgia Conservation Voters and Regional Staff at Sierra Club. Sam has a B.S. in Physics & Mathematics from East Carolina University and a J.D. from the University of Georgia School of Law. Sam has led the effort to green his church, Oakhurst Baptist in Decatur, and is actively investing in smart growth revitalization of existing urban communities.

May 8, 2012 | 7:30 PM – Double header: T-SPLOST Tax & Beyond Coal
David Emory will discuss the pros and cons of the TIA-Transportation Initiative Amendment, which will collect a one-cent sales tax for the transportation special purpose local option sales tax in our ten county Metro Atlanta district if voters approve of it at the July 31 election. How will it benefit your area?

Seth Gunning is the point person in the Georgia Chapter Office on coal issues. He will update us on the successes that we have had on stopping, delaying or getting power plants to convert to other energy producing resources.

June 12, 2012 | 6:30 PM – Annual Picnic. [Note the new month!]
We will meet at Candler Park new window beginning at 6:30 PM. The picnic is potluck style, please bring some food to share. There will be a propane cooker available for those who want to bring meat or other things to cook - grill or boil (bring your own pot). Dinnerware, plates, cups, napkins will be provided, but you may also bring your own. Ice for drinks and a cooler of ice will be available to keep ice cream firm or to chill bottles - BYOB. We will get down to serious eating between 7 and 7:30 PM.

July 10, 2012 | 7:30 PM – Double header - Sustainability & Candidate Endorsements.

Two of our own group leaders will do the program. Jack Harich will be discussing sustainability issues. Eddie Ehlert will inform us of the candidates running for Congress, Georgia General Assembly, Public Service Commission and other offices. He will detail their stands on issues and why certain ones should be elected compared to others who don't do much for the environment or actually are bad for our state's land, water, air and wildlife.

August 14, 2012 | 7:30 PM – The Global Population Explosion – Here We Grow Again
Rapid population growth is like the 600-pound moose in the room. Or maybe it's like high blood pressure – the silent killer. Or maybe it's like the proverbial frog in the jar of slowly heating water. Whatever analogy you compare population with, one thing is for certain – it is the number one issue facing our civilization and planet, yet it's the one issue that is rarely talked about.

In October 2011, world population hit a shocking 7 billion. At this growth rate we are adding nearly 80 million people to the planet each year, which is similar to adding the population of Germany to the earth annually.

If we are to achieve a more sustainable future, addressing the root causes of environmental degradation – including overconsumption of natural resources, poverty, and population growth – is paramount.

Join us for a presentation of the Sierra Club's Global Population & Environment Program, which has addressed population since the 1960s. We will explore the problem and offer positive solutions, which will help make our future sustainable.

Speaker: Todd Daniel has worked for the Sierra Club's Global Population & Environment since 1998. He has traveled to Washington several times to lobby and visited Ecuador to study population programs in the field. A director of a metal arts association by day, Todd has held various positions with the Sierra Club on the local, state, and national levels. Currently, he is secretary for the Georgia Chapter of the Sierra Club.

September 11, 2012 | 7:30 PM – DeKalb County Greenspaces
Dave Butler, a Professional Geologist and Certified Arborist, is Greenspace Environment Manager for DeKalb County involved in land acquisition for parks, natural resource management (including invasive plant control), historic preservation, and community volunteer coordination.

October 9, 2012 | 7:30 PM – The Spirituality of Green.
Chris Philpot from England is touring America to discuss his new book and the environmental crisis that inspired him. Green Spirituality is a book with a purpose; to alert the people of this planet to the perils that face us all, and to show that, if we are prepared to heed the teachings of ancient and modern spiritual wisdom, we can still face the future positively. http://greenspirituality.org new window

The main themes of the book are a combination of detailed information about global environmental problems and world poverty, along with solutions to those problems rooted in the spiritual teachings of different traditions. The book includes extracts from over one hundred interviews, with spiritual leaders throughout India, undertaken by Chris Philpott in 2002.

November 13, 2012 | 7:30 PM – Brian Carr is The Clean Air Campaign's communications director. He will be discussing air pollution issues.

December 11, 2012 | 6:30 PM – ANNUAL HOLIDAY PARTY, Potluck and Alaska presentation
Larry Kloet will present a program on his August trip to Kenai Fjords National Park and Wildlife Refuge in the Kenai Peninsula south of Anchorage, Alaska and Denali National Park in the interior of Alaska.

Annual Holiday Party begins at 6:30 PM, dinner at 7, program 7:30. Please bring a dish to share. Atlanta Group will provide drinks, a meat dish (turkey or ham), plus plates and utensils if you forget yours.

2011 Programs

January 11, 2011 – MEETING CANCELLED DUE TO WEATHER CONDITIONS.

February 8, 2011 | 7:30PM – Sierra Club lobbyist Neill Herring and Legislative Chair Mark Woodall will give the General Assembly update. In their annual report to the Atlanta Group members, Mark and Neill will detail the status of environmental bills in the legislature: who are the power players that will have an impact and what are the prospects for the bills we support. They will also recommend actions that each member can take. Big issues in this year's legislature promise to be transportation - especially mass transportation, and water related issues. One of the major concerns is the transfer of water from one river basin to another.

March 8, 2011 | 7:30PM – Can you transfer water from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean just by taking a shower? There is a looming court decision that could affect water availability throughout the metro Atlanta area as a result of Georgia's fight with neighboring Alabama and Florida. April Ingle will tell us about the Water Coalition's concern regarding water use in Georgia, what the Coalition is supporting in the legislature. April is the Director of the Georgia River Network new window so you can also ask her about Paddle Georgia.

April 12, 2011 | 7:30PM – The Case For – and against – Jekyll Island State Park. Jones Hooks, the Executive Director of the Jekyll Island State Park Authority new window, recently hinted that Jekyll Island is not really a state park. Earlier, Mr. Hooks claimed that Jekyll Island State Park should be managed as a small city. A grassroots group, the Initiative to Protect Jekyll Island new window, contends that Jekyll Island's planning and management are incrementally eroding the island's state park mission, including a typical state park's focus on environmental sustainability. In light of the recently-released Draft Jekyll Island State Park Conservation Plan, which provides scant environmental protection for the island, who is right? Babs McDonald, author of Remember Jekyll Island new window, challenges us to consider whether we, as Georgian citizens, should choose to protect Jekyll Island as a state park or relinquish it to development interests.

May 10, 2011 – Atlanta Prison Farm/Park. Scott Petersen hopes to debut a film about the long closed Atlanta Prison Farm – formerly a federal prison farm. It was used for growing produce for these prisons. He has been working for several years to get this as a public park. With green space an issue in various places, this area could be a recreation Mecca.

Scott is a Registered Nurse, a Park Pride board member, DeKalb County Green Space board member, Georgia State Parks and Historic Sites staff - organized Georgia Heritage Association as a 501c3, Save the South River Coalition and other urban environmental efforts.

June 14, 2011 – Community Gardening. Walt Kellar has been very active in the Decatur community and recently helped create a local community garden. He will be discussing various topics about establishing such gardens, reclaiming unused city land for productive and environmentally positive uses, organic gardening increases awareness of the environment and may include organic beekeeping. Walt, a project manager and amateur beekeeper, has led the Great Lakes/Clairemont neighborhood effort to get city permission to plant the garden. Kellar termed the year-long process "arduous and complicated." The Tanyard Creek Community Gardennew window is the first to be approved by the City of Decatur under new regulations covering gardens planted on city property. The garden gets its name for an old tanning facility located along a tributary of Peavine Creek. --Decatur-Avondale Estates Patch.

July 12, 2011 – Annual Picnic in Candler Park. We will meet at the usual picnic table area across from the swimming pool at 6:30 PM, and eat after 7 PM.
For more information stay tuned.

August 9, 2011 – Ranger Jerry Hightower works at Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area in Environmental Education. He has been to our group a couple of times in the past with very interesting stories, and participates with the Georgia Perimeter College Native Plant Garden plant talks. He can describe how to eat cattails – root, stalk and pollen are all edible – pollen pancakes anyone? He has been involved with some new programs at CRNRA. So come and find out what is new on the Chattahoochee.

September 13, 2011 – Building a Home 'Off The Grid'. Mike Rehg will be speaking regarding the building of his home in the north Georgia mountains 'off the grid'. In other words, he will be telling about the new ways to produce energy for his house and ways to save energy. His tips can save you money, too.

October 11, 2011 – Water Conservation is the topic of the October 11 meeting with Alicia Pennie of the DeKalb County Water Management Office. Come and learn some new ways to conserve one of the most precious natural resources that we too often take for granted.

November 8, 2011 – Issues concerning the BeltLine. The Beltline is one of the biggest projects in the Transportation Investment Act, which we will be voting on next summer, but to qualify as Regional Transportation, and therefore be eligible for the money, some modifications had to be made in the plans. The connection to the Street Car to be built in downtown will be of particular interest.

Speaker: Toni Millikan is a volunteer for the BeltLine with a background in polymer and fiber engineering with a BS and MS from Georgia Tech, and a MS from Columbia University in Real Estate Development with "the focus of my studies being real estate finance and the impact redevelopment will have on the identity of Atlanta."

December 13, 2011 – ANNUAL HOLIDAY PARTY potluck with Slide show – "From the snows of Kilimanjaro to the desert of Israel". Doors open at 6:30 PM, eating begins at 7 PM. Please bring a dish to share, Atlanta Group will provide drinks, a meat dish (turkey or ham or etc.), and plates and utensils if you forget yours.

Speaker: Julianne Troje (Sierran and adventure traveler) who has summited Mt. Rainer, Aconcagua, and Mt. Kilimanjaro (3x) will present a slide show and discussion of two recent trips she has led to Tanzania (2007, 2011). The trips included a seven-day hike up Mt. Kilimanjaro (19,340') via the Rongai Route and a six-day wildlife safari to Tarangire and Serengeti national parks and Ngorongoro (Crater) Conservation Area. In addition, she will also share her experience and several pictures of a trip she made to Israel in 2010 where Julianne lived for two weeks on an Eco Kibbutz in a desert on the border with Jordan (slept in a straw-bale geodesic dome, used compost toilets, baked with a solar oven, and worked during the day).

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2010 Programs

January 12, 2010 | 7:30PM – Find out how to live in the wilderness.  Tips and tricks to outdoor survival will help us appreciate the convenience of being inside on this winter night. Learn how previous generations survived by using primitive skills such as matchless fire making and tool creation. Chat with experienced instructors and watch demonstrations of these skills.

Biography: Vered Kleinberger is a native Atlanta and attended Emory University. Currently living in Jasper, Vered has worked with Earthskills Rendezvousnew window for 7 years coordinating environmentally responsible events. She is also the director of Educational Excursionsnew window, a non-profit educational organization which offers nature programs and craft activities for children.

February 9, 2010 | 7:30PM – Sierra Club lobbyist Neill Herring and Legislative Chair Mark Woodall will give the 2010 Georgia General Assemblynew window update.  In their annual report to the Atlanta Group members, Mark and Neill will detail the status of environmental bills in the legislature; who are the power players that will have an impact; and what are the prospects for the bills we support. They will also recommend actions that each member can take. Big issues in this year's legislature promise to be transportation - especially mass transportation, and water conservation. Related to water conservation is the fact that the single largest water use in Georgia is related to electric power generation.

Biography: Neill Herring has been the Sierra Club lobbyist for over 20 years - he KNOWS the legislature. Mark Woodall is the volunteer Legislative Chair for the Georgia Chapter, and the Chair of the Georgia Chapter of Sierra Club Executive Committee.

March 9, 2010 | 7:30PM – Transit plans.  In 2008, the leaders of ten counties and the city of Atlanta voted unanimously to make most projects on the Citizens for Progressive Transit map part of Concept 3, metro Atlanta's official regional transportation plan. Inclusion in the plan is a necessary requirement for obtaining federal transit matching funds.

Lee Biola is president of Citizens for Progressive Transitnew window. The organization was founded in 2003 its mission to promote the use and expansion of quality public transportation. Shortly after its founding, the group developed a regional transit map for metro Atlanta. The map includes commuter rail, heavy rail, light rail, express buses and streetcars. In his day job, Biola is an attorney with his own firm representing injured employees in workers compensation cases.

April 13, 2010 | 7:30PM – Water.  The April program brings water back to the forefront and provides some perspectives that are a bit outside our normal areas of expertise.

One will be Alex Laidlaw, Vice President of Operations for Westrec Marinas which include Holiday Marinanew window and Sunrise Cove Marinanew window at Lake Lanier. Alex is also President of the "1071 Coalition", an organization primarily composed of businesses on or associated with Lake Lanier and interested in keeping it at the full pool of 1071 ft. above sea level.

In addition, we will host a representative of the Lake Lanier Association new window. The LLA, founded in 1966, is the oldest volunteer group working to protect the high water quality as well as the Lake Lanier water levels.

As the "water wars" continue and the absence of leadership from the Governor and General Assembly it behooves us to understand as much about the realities of others in this dispute who may share our interests.

May 11, 2010 | 7:30PM – A Hidden Jewel in the Atlanta Area: Panola Park.  Did you know that close to the Atlanta metropolitan area is a state park designated as a National Natural Landmark? Join park ranger Jody Rice as he describes this beautiful location, its plans for future development and a short film that highlights the features of the mountain itself. He will also describe one the most exciting activities available to individuals: tree climbing and tree top excursions. Learn more about our local treasure.

June 8, 2010 | 7:30PM – Creating a Backyard Habitat with Native Plants.  Do you want a beautiful yard with real "native plants"? Do you want to limit invasive species? Listen to Karen Lindauer from the Georgia Native Plant Society discuss strategies to create a natural and beautiful backyard habitat. Learn more about native species and how to make them thrive. Finally have the yard you have been wishing for.

Karen Lindauer is a Georgia Native Plant Society Rescue Facilitator, a volunteer at the Georgia Perimeter College Botanical Gardens; a coordinator at the Fern Creek Habitat Restoration Project and a passionate gardener.

July 13, 2010 | 6:30PM – Annual Picnic at Candler Park, corner of McClendon and Candler Park Drive. Bring a food dish to share. The Atlanta Group will provide drinks, utensils, etc - OR be conscientious and bring your own plates and utensils. You may come as early as 6:30 pm. (NOTE LOCATION AND TIME CHANGE)

August 10, 2010 | 7:30PM – Understanding the BP Oil Spill and Potential Impacts to Georgia's Coast. On April 20, 2010, an explosion occurred on the Deepwater Horizon oil-drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico. When the drilling platform sank, it created a leak that has resulted in the largest release of oil into the marine environment in U.S. history. Thus far, efforts to stop the release of oil have been partly successful. Learn about what we know about the conditions leading up to the explosion and the efforts underway to deal with the released oil to the Gulf environment. Will Georgia's coastal environment be impacted and what can be done to mitigate any harm to the environment.

Speaker: Ted V. Jackson, Georgia Environmental Protection Division
Bio: Mr. Jackson is currently the Manager in charge of Environmental Emergency and Radiation Program for the Georgia Environmental Protection Division, a part of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. Part of his responsibilities include the oversight of emergency responders for chemical or radiological incidents that affect Georgia's environment. Additionally, Mr. Jackson oversees several functions, including radioactive material licensing, environmental radiation monitoring and emergency preparedness, and chemical risk management requirements. Mr. Jackson serves as the alternate commissioner to the Southeast Low-Level Radioactive Waste Compact Commission. Mr. Jackson has twenty-three years experience with the Georgia Environmental Protection Division. His prior positions included Quality Assurance Manager, Laboratory Director, and Data Processing Manager. Along with a Bachelors in Chemical Engineering from Georgia Tech and a Masters in Business Administration from Mercer University, Mr. Jackson has worked for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and in the chemical processing industry.

September 14, 2010 | 7:30PM – Melissa Walker, a Sierra Club member, will talk about her book A Place for Delta. The story is a gentle introduction to environmental issues and involves the North Georgia mountains, the Artic, and polar bears. The book won the 2010 International Book Award for Best Children's Fiction.
[About the Author]

October 12, 2010 | 7:30PMThe Trust for Public Land (TPL)new window is a national non-profit that has been saving land for people – from cities to wilderness – since 1972. In Georgia TPL has secured 21,000 acres for current and future generations, including important habitat, special historic sites, water sources, and land for parks and trails. Come learn about how some of the places we love are protected by TPL.

Speaker: Helen Tapp, AICP, is director of TPL's Georgia office. A land and transportation planner, Helen has worked for government, non-profits and the private sector. A native Georgian, she is pleased to be working with a group that delivers tangible results in communities statewide.

November 9, 2010 | 7:30PM – Colleen Kiernan, Chapter Director, will give an overview of electricity in Georgia which will cover, who the players are, how they generate electricity, what laws they must abide by, what resources have been built or changed in the last 10 years, and what the barriers are to renewables and efficiency and what you can do about it!

Speaker: Colleen Kiernan worked for the Sierra Club in Georgia on air pollution and energy issues from 2001-2006 and then got her Masters in City & Regional Planning at Georgia Tech. She worked at a local architecture firm doing LEED and sustainability consulting and also Chaired the Chapter Smart Energy Committee in a volunteer capacity. She became the Georgia Chapter Director in August.

December 14, 2010 | 7:30PM – Annual Holiday Party. Pot luck - bring a dish to share, Atlanta Group will provide drinks, a meat dish (turkey or ham, etc), and plates and utensils if you forget yours. The traditional program of "outings" will continue.

Speaker: Jerome Walker, a retired physician, has lived in Atlanta for most of his life, is a life member of the Sierra Club, and an avid photographer. Those interested in his photographs can view them at www.jeromewalkerphotography.comnew window He will talk about a 10 day backpack trip in Gates of the Arctic National Park with a slide show. There will be time for questions about backpacking in the Arctic, and about Alaska in general, where he has spent a good bit of time.

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2009 Programs

January 13, 2009Adopt-A-Streamnew window: What Is It and Why Is It Important to You? Learn about the issues regarding our water quality and how Atlanta Group members are taking action to monitor water quality. Join us as we listen to Sharon Smith of Fulton County Public Works Water Services Division describes how the cooperative program between county and Sierra Club makes an impact on our water supply. Get trained yourself, or join those already trained to monitor an Atlanta area stream.

Biography: Sharon Smith is originally from Knoxville, TN, where she obtained a B.S. in Zoology from the University of Tennessee. She currently serves as an Environmental Education Coordinator in Fulton County, a position she has held since 1998. Sharon coordinates the Adopt-A-Stream and other educational programs.

February 10, 2009 – Sierra Club lobbyist Neill Herring and Legislative Chair Mark Woodall will give the 2009 Georgia General Assemblynew window update. In their annual report to the Atlanta Group members, Mark and Neill will detail the status of environmental bills in the legislature; who are the power players that will have an impact; and what are the prospects for the bills we support. They will also recommend actions that each member can take. Big issues in this year's legislature promise to be transportation - especially mass transportation, and water conservation.

Biography: Neill Herring has been the Sierra Club lobbyist for over 20 years - he KNOWS the legislature. Mark Woodall is the volunteer Legislative Chair for the Georgia Chapter, and the Vice Chair of the Georgia Sierra Club Executive Committee.

March 10, 2009 – Grow the 10 Most Popular Vegetables in Your Yard. How do you get the freshest vegetables? Start (or expand) your own vegetable garden! Learn from an expert - Stephanie Van Parys - Director of the Oakhurst Community Gardennew window - the steps in planting 10 of the most popular vegetables in your own yard. Be a part of the local, sustainable food movement and never leave your house!

April 14, 2009Note: This meeting cancelled due to a power outage. Biking and Walking Plans for Decatur.

May 12, 2009 – Clayton County's Wetlands: The Ultimate Recycling for Water: You've heard about it on National Public Radio, read about it in national publications, now come see for yourself what all the fuss is about. Clayton County uses wetlands to treat municipal waste water, and through nature's ultimate recycling, eventually recharges their water supply reservoir. As a result, Clayton County has had few water supply problems throughout the drought than has the rest of Metro Atlanta. Mike Thomas is the Manager of this fantastic system and has worked for Clayton County Water Authoritynew window for 10 years, and worked in water resources management for 24 years. He also served as President of Georgia Association of Water Professionals in 2005 and is a Graduate of Class V of the Institute for Georgia Environmental Leadership (IGEL).

June 9, 2009 – Your Backyard Habitat: This informative talk will educate you in the basic principles for creating a backyard habitat of your own. You will learn about what not to do and what you must do in your yard to first attract and then support wildlife here in Decatur. Come and be inspired to do more for our birds and wildlife - it is easy and very rewarding. Jacqueline McRae, an Atlanta resident for over twenty years just loves to be outdoors! Jacqueline grew up in rural England with very keen bird watching parents but now lives here in the city. She is in charge of the Backyard Wildlife Sanctuary Certification Programnew window, volunteers in the Native Botanical Garden at Georgia Perimeter College and helps at the Georgia Native Plant Society. Through the backyard wildlife program Jacqueline has seen the creation of many simple and successful wildlife sanctuaries in the Decatur area created by people just like you and would love to answer any questions you might have.

July 2009 Annual Picnic at Candler Park, corner of McClendon and Candler Park Drive. Bring a food dish to share. The Atlanta Group will provide drinks, utensils, etc - OR be conscientious and bring your own plates and utensils. You may come as early as 6:30 pm. (NOTE LOCATION AND TIME CHANGE)

August 11, 2009 – Building Trails in National Parks. Gary Monk and Dave Thomas will discuss the National Park Service trail building process and plans for trails along the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Areanew window. These trails, while in a suburban area, offer Atlantans the opportunity to enjoy a natural environment that is easily accessible. The Chattahoochee River NRA is truly a gem for the Greater Atlanta area offering miles of trails as well as access to the River itself.

Gary Monk is President of the Georgia Appalachian Trail Clubnew window; Certified NPS Crew Leader; certified sawyer; 4000+ hours of trail work in the last five years. Dave Thomas is a ranger with the National Park Service.

September 8, 2009 – Will Atlanta have a Beltline? - Beltline Environmental Study Team. If so, what will be the environmental impact? Find out the latest progress of the Beltlinenew window.

The Atlanta BeltLine is a $2.8 billion redevelopment project that will shape the way Atlanta grows over the next 25 years and beyond. The project provides a network of transit, multi-use trails and public parks along a historic 22-mile railroad corridor circling downtown and connecting many neighborhoods directly to each other. The BeltLine is the most comprehensive economic development effort ever undertaken in the City of Atlanta and among the largest, most wide-ranging urban redevelopment projects currently underway in the United States.

The BeltLine Corridor Environmental Study is the portion of the BeltLine that seeks to identify environmental impacts to human, cultural and environmental resources. Your input along with input from local, state and federal agencies will result in a defined transit alignment, location for stations and trail connections.

Come learn about the major components of the BeltLine and give us your comments. We will have display boards, handout materials, and the study team available to hear your opinions and to answer your questions.

October 13, 2009 – Let the Sun Pay Your Electric Bills. Have you ever thought about installing solar panels? What are the pros? The cons? Do they really work? What would they look like on your home? How much does it cost? What is the payback? Are you really helping the environment? Learn this and more and have all of your questions answered by our knowledgeable speaker.

Speaker: Rand Knight was a candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2008 with a very "green" platform. Currently, Rand is a Scientist for the National Ecological Observatory Networknew window. He is a long time volunteer for the Sierra Club and works with many organizations to direct their efforts in renewable energy, green jobs and sustainability. Rand states that a turning point in his life occurred in 1988 when he left Westminster for one semester to attend an environmental program (Maine Coast Semester at the Chewonki Foundation) - he said "it changed my life".

November 10, 2009 – Biking and Walking Plans for Decatur. Learn about the Decatur Transportation Plannew window and how it includes plans for making biking and walking more viable as modes of transportation. The plan, which was approved by the City of Decatur in the Fall of 2008, provides plans to make it easier to walk and bike. Don't miss Fred Boykin, Decatur City Councilman and owner of Bicycle Southnew window, who will discuss these exciting plans.

December 8, 2009 – "Why Did You Take That Photo?" and Winter Pot Luck Dinner. Have you ever really thought about what goes on in your head as you decide which "shot" to take? Listen to photography expert Larry Winslett explore "why" we take the photos we do, considering the effects of place, angle, time, and light. He'll talk about what elements go into the composition of a photograph, including technical issues and our emotional responses, and he'll show us some of his outstanding photography. Join us and become a better photographer. Larry Winslettnew window is a nature photographer, environmentalist, exhibitor, and along with his wife, Julie, co-authors the recently published book, Wildflowers of Stone Mountain. His work has been featured in Sierra, Wilderness, and Wild Mountain Times, and is currently on exhibit at Stone Mountain Park at the new Environmental Education Center.
PLUS Winter Pot Luck - bring a dish to share. We will provide a ham or turkey, drinks, plates, utensils, etc - or bring your own and save the landfill. Dinner at 7PM, doors open at 6:30.

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2008 Programs

January 8, 2008   WATER - with the drought and the water crisis, come and find out what's going on, what the governmental problems are, and what you can do about it. Rob Holland of the Corp of Engineers will talk about water supply in the North Georgia Area, and Jill Johnson, Georgia Water Coalitionnew window, will talk about the problems with the State Water Plan.

February 12, 2008   Sierra Club lobbyist Neill Herring and Legislative Chair Mark Woodall will give the 2008 Georgia General Assemblynew window update. In their annual report to the Atlanta Group members, Mark and Neill will detail the status of environmental bills in the legislature, who are the power players that will have an impact, and what are the prospects for the bills we support. They will also recommend actions that each member can take.

March 11, 2008   COAL, CARBON DIOXIDE, GLOBAL WARMING, AND your light switches. Rita Kilpatrick, Georgia Policy Director, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE)new window will talk about responsible energy choices that solve global warming problems and ensure clean, safe, and healthy communities throughout the Southeast. How about SOLAR? or WIND? or COMPACT FLUORESCENT BULBS?

April 8, 2008   Join us for an educational evening of learning about transit in the Atlanta region including commuter rail proposals, the BeltLinenew window and what the Georgia Chapter is doing to ensure transit is available to the Atlanta region and beyond. Jim Dexter, Chair of the Sierra Clubs RAIL Campaignnew window will update us on Commuter Rail. A new Commissioner of DOT, plus about $100 million in the bank, plus Republicans pushing to get trains from Atlanta to Athens may be the perfect storm.

May 13, 2008   "Who's Watching Your Forest?" Join Georgia ForestWatchnew window outreach director Lori Martell for an evening presentation, and learn about this important work advocating for your Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest. For 20 years, ForestWatch has worked diligently to protect, preserve and restore the native ecosystems on the 865,000 acres of national forests in Georgia, some of our state's most important and spectacular natural areas. Come and enjoy stunning nature photography and learn more about your own "backyard" in North Georgia. While we don't often think of it, our forests are critical to our environment: they help manage water supply and absorb carbon dioxide to reduce global warming.

June 10, 2008   The Atlanta BeltLine.new window K C Boyce, Senior Project Manager at Atlanta BeltLine Inc. will give us an update on the BeltLine. Would you believe constitutional issues with how tax money is used (Tax Allocation Districts), where the money comes from (PATH foundation has federal money; City of Atlanta has issues with storm water runoff that solved problems); how little dogs are afraid of big dogs; and swimming pools that require a lot of maintenance plus life guards are all issues that affect the Beltline? PLUS - transit has more funding opportunities than some of us thought - come and find out what they are, and how Atlanta and Atlanta BeltLine Inc are making the BeltLine a reality.

July 8, 2008   Annual Picnic - Candler Parknew window, at the corner of McClendon and Candler Park Drive. Bring a food dish to share. The Atlanta Group will provide drinks, utensils, etc - OR be conscientious and bring your own plates and utensils. You may come as early as 6:30 pm. (NOTE LOCATION AND TIME CHANGE)

August 12, 2008   How do those diesel trucks affect your health? What about the exhaust from school buses? Diesel exhaust from moving sources - school buses; construction equipment; big trucks; small, portable equipment, etc. are more hazardous to your health than exhaust from cars. Mothers and Othersnew window representative Rebecca Watts-Hull will talk about diesel exhaust, and probably focus on school buses and the threat to school children.

September 9, 2008   Emory is a Leader in Sustainability. Emory University has taken a lead in sustainability and working to improve the Atlanta environment. At the core of this program is its green building program using the US Green Building Council's LEEDnew window (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system. Join us as we listen to John Wegner describe how this program minimizes the impact of new construction.

Biography: John Wegner joined the faculty of Environmental Studies at Emory University in 1998 after teaching for 23 years at Carleton University (Canada). He is active in the University Senate Committee on the Environment, faculty advisor to the undergraduate environmental group, and Director of Undergraduate In the fall of 2001 he became the University's environmental consultant. In 2003, he became the Chief Environmental Officer for the university.

October 14, 2008   What's on the ballot? What are the constitutional issues you'll be voting on, and why should you vote for or against? Who are the candidates the Sierra Club endorses and what do they stand for? Learn more about the local political landscape as it relates to environmental issues and how you can make a difference.
[ DeKalb County Elections | Fulton County Elections |  Georgia Election Center 2008 ]

November 11, 2008   The 1500 Mile Trip to Your Plate. Did you know that the average food item travels 1500 miles before reaching your plate? At these gas prices and the impact to the environment, we know there are better choices. Join us as we discuss positive ways to contribute to the local, organic, sustainable food movement. Learn how we can make a difference in our community!

Biography: Suzanne Welander is communications and outreach director for Georgia Organicsnew window, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to integrate healthy, sustainable, and locally grown food into the lives of Georgians. The organization provides education and training to growers from family farms to backyard gardeners - and connecting growers with markets for their products. Suzanne also serves as an advocate of urban agriculture in her community by starting a co-op that contracts with Georgia farmers to deliver produce and meats into her neighborhood.

December 9, 2008   Tips on Photography in Nature – Get Two for the Price of One. Join us as master photographer, Larry Winslettnew window, shares his outstanding photography of some of the most beautiful scenes in nature AND gives us some tips on how he creates such magic. Enjoy the beauty of the slides. Learn the techniques that will let you create "magic" with your own camera the next time you head out to enjoy nature.

Biography: Larry Winslett has been photographing nature for 30 years. He has published "Stone Mountain: A walk in the park" and "Wildflowers of Stone Mountain". As an active conversationist, Larry has used photography to promote the protection of many areas throughout Georgia, the Southern Appalachians and other parts of the United States. He has specialized in the region's native wildflowers, rivers and streams, and granite outcrops such as Stone, Panola, and Arabia Mountains in Georgia. His photographs have been featured in a variety of publications, such as Sierra, Wilderness, and Wild Mountian Times. His work can be seen in four permanent exhibits at Stone Mountain Park. Larry is also an experienced photography workshop leader and Photoshop instructor.

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2007 Programs

January 9, 2007   We begin the new year with presentations by the leaders of the major campaigns of the Georgia Chapter. This is a great opportunity to learn what the Georgia Chapter is doing to protect the environment by the leaders of these efforts. The Committee leaders will present an overview of issues such as Transit, Wildlands, Outings, Water and Energy.

February 13, 2007   Senator Nan Orrock and Senator Vincent Fort will join Sierra Club lobbyist Neill Herring and Legislative Chair Mark Woodall with your 2007 Georgia General Assembly update. In their annual report to the Atlanta Group members, Mark and Neill will detail the status of environmental bills in the legislature, who are the power players that will have an impact, and what are the prospects for the bills we support. They will also recommend actions that each member can take.

March 13, 2007   Valerie Wilson, Executive Director of The Beltline Partnershipnew window, will discuss the progress in bringing to reality the 22 mile loop that will link 45 neighborhoods and increase greenspace, enhanced mobility, economic development and vibrant, live-work-play communities. Ms. Wilson will provide an update of the Beltline Partnership's efforts in funding and acquiring land for the project that will define Atlanta for the next century and beyond.

April 10, 2007   Join us for an educational evening looking at how Georgia can increase energy efficiency and attract renewable energy projects and investment. The Governor's Energy Strategy 2006 recognizes energy efficiency and renewable energy – such as solar, wind and bio-energy – as the highest priority energy resources for development in our state. This evening we will look at ways to make these priorities a reality for Georgians. Come hear Rita Kilpatrick of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energynew window talk about clean energy opportunities for Georgia including state policy opportunities and ways consumers can work together to influence the planning decisions of energy companies including Georgia Power.

May 8, 2007   NO NEW COALnew window – A Georgia Coalition led by Sierra Club. Speaker: Patty Durand, Chapter Director, Georgia Chapter of Sierra Club. LS Power, a New Jersey energy holding corporation, wants to build a new coal-fired electrical generating plant in Georgia. A coalition of environmental groups is opposing the construction in Early County because of toxic pollutants emitted (mercury, nitrogen oxide, sulfur), green-house gases like carbon dioxide that cause global warming, and it would compete with green alternative energy sources. Find out the WHOLE story - including what you can do.

June 12, 2007   IS THAT A DODO BIRD? – Common Birds of Georgia by Lisa Hunt, Atlanta Audubon Societynew window. Lisa is an At-Large AAS Board Member (in charge of setting up birding workshops), past Education Director for AAS, and also member of the education and membership committees. Is that a dodo bird on my feeder? Maybe an ostrich I hear singing? Come and hear, and see, and rationalize to figure it out (not likely to be either a dodo or an ostrich). Lisa will show slides of common birds of Georgia so you can see, play bird calls so you can hear, and talk about habitat, migration and other bird characteristics so you can figure out if it really IS a dodo bird at your feeder (or maybe it's an albatross).

July 10, 2007   Annual Picnic - Candler Parknew window, at the corner of McClendon and Candler Park Drive. Bring a food dish to share. The Atlanta Group will provide drinks, utensils, etc - OR be conscientious and bring your own plates and utensils. You may come as early as 6:30 pm. (NOTE LOCATION AND TIME CHANGE)

August 14, 2007   US Congressman Hank Johnson.new window Get to know this newly elected Congressman while Congress is in recess. Ask and learn about what's affecting the environment at the national level. Be sure to introduce yourself to the Congressman so when you contact him later to lobby about YOUR concern, he will know who you are.

September 11, 2007: Jerry Hightower, Chattahoochee River National Recreation Areanew window ranger. "Discover the Chattahoochee River NRA", the history, grass-roots days creating the park, and where we are now with an overview of the entire park.

October 9, 2007: Regional Action to Improve Liveability (RAIL Campaign)new window of the Georgia Chapter of the Sierra club. Focus is on the Macon - Atlanta - Athens commuter rail system.

November 13, 2007: Wild Utah: America's Redrock Wilderness is a multi-media slideshow documenting citizen efforts to designate public lands in southern Utah's spectacular canyon country as part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. This 20-minute journey through redrock splendor invigorates and motivates viewers to participate in the movement to protect these unique lands. Wild Utah was made possible through the generous donation of photos, music and words from concerned Utahns who wish to pass this heritage onto future generations, including narration by Robert Redford. [ View web slideshow ]

In conjunction with a presentation on the current status of the Utah wilderness movement by Bob Brister, Interregional Outreach Coordinator for the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliancenew window, this inspirational and informational event is a must see for people wishing to become personally involved to make the difference in this tremendous American public lands conservation effort.

December 11, 2007: What's going on with Jekyll Island? At the Sierra Club's annual retreat we enjoyed wonderful walks along the paths and beaches of Jekyll - the state-owned barrier island. Now that hideaway, established by law as a state park for all the people of Georgia, is threatened by developers. Come and see the beauty of Jekyll and the learn about the threat to it, and explore what we can do to protect this irreplaceable resource. Dory Ingram, Sierra Club member, and member of the Initiative to Protect Jekyll Island new window, will show some georgeous pictures shared by visitors to the island, and describe some frightening scenarios facing Georgia's Jewel.

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2006 Programs

January 10, 2006  Learn about the western Grizzly Bear and how it's endangered in the western United States. Natalie and Brian Killeen will show a short film and we will taken action after a brief discussion about the grizzly bear.

February 14, 2006  Legislative Issues Round-up with Mark Woodall (Legislative Chair) and Neill Herring (Sierra Club Lobbyist). Join us for an amusing and insightful look under the Gold Dome.

March 14, 2006  Learn how the dirt that leaves construction sites harms our streams and rivers. The Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper will demonstrate how we can get the dirt out. Find out about the laws, what best practices to look for in keeping erosion controlled, and how we can take action.

April 11, 2006  Jasen Johns, a project manager with Trees Atlanta, will give an introduction to urban forestry and how trees improve living in the Atlanta area.

May 9, 2006  The Beltline is a visionary transit proposal and parks expansion project which will reduce traffic congestion and air pollution and improve the quality of life for residents of Atlanta.

June 13, 2006  How Bicycles Save the World! Dennis Hoffart, executive director of the Atlanta Bicycle Campaign will explain how we can save the world merely by riding our bicycles. Come one, come all -- Spandex® clothing is optional.

July 11, 2006 [7:00 pm]  Annual Picnic. Summer Pot-Luck Picnic at Candler Park (across the street from Epworth UMC). Bring a dish, favorite beverage, your utensils, and a blanket for a more relaxed social meeting. We'll provide some basic drinks, napkins, and ice. There is a nice playground for the kids. All members and non-members throughout the Atlanta metro area (including Cobb and Gwinnett Counties) are invited.

August 8, 2006 City of Atlanta "Green Roof" program. One way the City of Atlanta is improving the environment is by planting a "green roof". The city has essentially built a park on top of a building. The green roof is not only beautiful, but reduces heating and cooling costs, helps reduce the "hot zone" of a city, and has plants to help remove carbon dioxide and reduce water runoff. Come and see how it was done.

September 12, 2006  TBD

October 10, 2006  TBD

November 14, 2006  TBD

December 12, 2006  Holiday Pot-luck Party with our annual Outings slide presentation.

2005 Programs

January 11, 2005  Laura Garrison, a trained facilitator, will lead a guided discussion on environmental topics at our meeting. Be ready to become energized talking about protecting our environment with other Sierrans.

February 8, 2005  Legislative Issues Round-up with Mark Woodall (Legislative Chair) and Neill Herring (Sierra Club Lobbyist). Join us for an amusing and insightful look under the Gold Dome.

March 8, 2005  Bill Gould, the Executive Director of the B-Complex (an art gallery on Murphy Avenue in Southwest Atlanta) will invite Sierrans to an art show opening. Artists are producing a show with the environmental theme, "You Can't Fool Mother Nature." Atlanta Group members will get a preview of this April 1st opening and has invited us to their opening and to have the Atlanta Group meet at the B-Complex gallery at our April meeting.

April 12, 2005  You are invited to a special art show at the B-Complex, located at 1272 Murphy Avenue, SW Atlanta. Bill Gould, Executive Director of the B-Complex, will show off a multi-media environmental art exhibit with an environmental theme, "You Can't Fool Mother Nature". Wine and cheese will be available, complements of the Atlanta Group of the Sierra Club.

May 10, 2005  Ryan Gravel with Friends of the Belt Line will present a vision of stringing together a emerald necklace of parks and greenspaces with transportation to improve the livability of the Atlanta area.

June 14, 2005  Bob Fletcher, from the Centennial Group, will give a talk about energy and global warming.

July 12, 2005  Summer Pot-Luck Picnic at Candler Park (across the street from our regular meeting place at Epworth UMC). Bring a dish, favorite beverage, your utensils, and a blanket for a more relaxed social meeting. We'll provide some basic drinks, napkins, and ice. There is a nice playground for the kids to play on. All members and non-members from throughout the Atlanta metro area (including Cobb and Gwinnett Counties) are invited. Picnic starts 30 minutes earlier, at 7:00 pm.

August 9, 2005 We will continue to dialogue on national and local directions that our Sierra Club should take in 2005 and beyond. This meeting focuses on directions and ideas that will be presented at the Sierra Summit 2005 in San Francisco in September.

September 13, 2005  Jim Jackson, President of Southern Environmental Consultants, will discuss landfill alternatives and waste-to-energy proposals for the City of Atlanta.

October 11, 2005  The Sierra Club will host a political election forum concerning the upcoming Atlanta City Council elections and the Atlanta Beltline.

November 8, 2005  Deron Burkepile, an ecology graduate student at Georgia Tech, will discuss his marine ecology research at Tech. This research revolves around studying the effects of fish diversity in controlling the health and function of coral reefs. If members are interested, Deron would speak about the state of coral reefs around the world, human impacts on reefs, what we are doing to save them, and what more we could be doing.

December 13, 2005  Holiday Pot-luck Party with our annual Outings slide presentation will be on the Copper Canyon area of northern Mexico by Mark Alexander.

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2004 Programs

January 13, 2004  Todd Daniel will present a population program for January. Todd will provide information about a study he did in Ecuador regarding family planning programs in the field. Todd will have many great pictures and information to share.

February 10, 2004  Legislative Issues Round-up with Mark Woodall (Legislative Chair) and Neill Herring (Sierra Club Lobbyist). Join us for an amusing and insightful look under the Gold Dome.

March 9, 2004  Herb Bastin will give you ways to save both money and energy at home. Find out practical tips to have a smaller environmental footprint.

April 13, 2004  Kara Cassels of the Florida Panther Society will give a presentation about this endangered species. FPS maintains a goal of reintroduction of the panther into appropriate portions of it historic range, as defined in the Florida Panther Recovery Plan. These endangered big cats, with no voice of their own, need all of us to speak on behalf of their needs.

May 11, 2004  Tom Tomaka will lead a group discussion on the book "Ishmael", written by Daniel Quinn. This book won the Turner Fellowship Award, awarded to a work of fiction, offering positive solutions to global problems. Ishmael is a half ton silverback gorilla. He is a student of ecology, life, freedom, and the human condition. He is also a teacher. He teaches that which all humans need to learn -- must learn -- if our species, and the rest of life on Earth as we know it, is to survive.

June 8, 2004  Jo Jones will present a discussion on the "Sustainability of Atlanta's Water".

July 13, 2004  Summer Pot-Luck Picnic at Candler Park (across the street from our regular meeting place at Epworth UMC). Bring a dish, favorite beverage, your utensils, and a blanket for a more relaxed social meeting. We'll provide some basic drinks, napkins, and ice. There is a nice playground for the kids to play on. All members and non-members from throughout the Atlanta metro area (including Cobb and Gwinnett Counties) are invited. Picnic starts 30 minutes earlier, at 7:00 pm.

August 10, 2004 Dan Friedman, Georgia Chapter transportation issues chair, will be on-hand to give a brief overview of Atlanta area transportation and land-use challenges.

September 14, 2004  Doug Abramson, president of Friends of Piedmont Park, discusses the future of Piedmont Park, in particular, a proposed parking deck championed by the Atlanta Botanical Gardens and Piedmont Park Conservancy. Doug and others have proposed an alternative that promotes accessibility, protects greenspace and utilizes existing parking around Piedmont Park.

October 12, 2004  Kate Smolski, Regional Conservation Organizer, has set up a slide show and will show a 10 minute video with discussion about the Southern Appalachian Forests and what we can do to preserve them. It's an election year and members need to be reminded of the importance of saving our national forests.

November 9, 2004  Reverend Woody Bartlett, a retired priest of the Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta, and his wife Carol brought Georgia Interfaith Power & Light (GIP&L) to Atlanta. GIP&L seeks to engage communities of faith as stewards of Creation by promoting energy conservation, energy efficiency, renewable energy, and related sustainable practices. Woody is an engaging conversationalist and experienced speaker and published author. His presentation is a personal illustration in grass-roots activism and in ways of reaching out to others to share a connection to the earth.

December 14, 2004  Holiday Pot-luck Party with good food, prizes and a environmental trivia game.

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2003 Programs

January 14, 2003  Alan Toney will present an overview of proposed changes to the State's Soil and Water Commission and then present a slide show called "Morgan Falls is 100 years old." In 1902 Georgia Power began construction of Georgia's first Hydroelectric Dam on the Chattahoochee River just below Roswell Georgia. Over the years the lake filled with sediment becoming an 800 acre wetland rich with wildlife. Come explore with us this surprising mixture native and introduced species that flourish in our own back yard.

February 11, 2003 Legislative Issues Round-up with Mark Woodall (Legislative Chair) and Neill Herring (Sierra Club Lobbyist). Join us for an amusing and insightful look under the Gold Dome.

March 11, 2003 Kate Smolski, Conservation Organizer, will discuss the Sierra Club's National Forest Protection campaign. "Appalachian Treasures at the Crossroads", a slideshow and narrative, highlights this special area at risk and points to one prerequisite for protecting and restoring these natural areas-an end to commercial logging on our National Forests. Through images from Alabama to Virginia along the Appalachian highlands, the slideshow demonstrates the beauty and unique nature of what is a natural heritage and habitat of national significance. The slideshow is followed by a short presentation on the economics of logging our public lands and a chance to take action on the national campaign to End Commercial Logging (ECL) on federal public lands.

April 8, 2003  Tuesday night at the movies - L' Ours (The Bear), 1988. The director of Quest for Fire creates yet another film in nature with almost no human dialogue in this picturesque story of an orphaned bear cub who is adopted by an adult male bear and must avoid hunters. Filmed in Canada.

May 13, 2003  Mary Terry, a Ranger at Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve and Park in DeKalb County will present a short video on Arabia Mountain and discuss the unique ecosystems found there.

June 10, 2003  The Eternal Reefs and Reef Ball Foundation will present a program for the Metro Atlanta Group at our June Meeting. Join us to learn how to help restore the world's ocean ecosystems using artificial reefs or "reef balls." A Reef Ball is a designed artificial reef used to restore ailing coral reefs and to create new fishing and scuba diving sites. The original reef ball concept originated with a group of avid divers from UGA who were troubled by the worsening condition of the seas' and oceans' natural reef formations. Reef Balls are the only artificial reef that can be floated and towed behind any size boat!
Eternal Reefs and the Reef Ball Foundation have been featured in recent segments on the Discovery Channel and National Geographic Explorer (MSNBC). The foundation is an international environmental nonprofit group that helps protect natural reef systems through preservation, technology, and innovative public education opportunities. Eternal Reefs was developed in partnership with the foundation to help individuals leave an environmentally positive living legacy after they passed away. Visit the Reef Ball Foundation at: www.reefball.org and Eternal Reefs at: www.eternalreefs.com

July 8, 2003  Summer Pot-Luck Picnic at Candler Park (across the street from our regular meeting place at Epworth UMC). Bring a dish, favorite beverage, your utensils, and a blanket for a more relaxed social meeting. We'll provide some basic drinks, napkins, and ice. There is a nice playground for the kids to play on. All members and non-members from throughout the Atlanta metro area (including Cobb and Gwinnett Counties) are invited. Picnic starts 30 minutes earlier, at 7:00 pm.

August 12, 2003 Atlanta's History: A Perspective from Water Level. Author/explorer Dave Kaufman will share his journey through Atlanta's urban evolution. Mr. Kaufman will draw from his recently completed book, "Peachtree Creek, a Natural and Unnatural History of Atlanta's Watershed" for the presentation. Beginning from the days when Indians and settlers were drawn to the area by its clean water and abundant natural resources, Kaufman profiles the transformation of the urban landscape and its effect on the watershed. He used multiple sources for his research, including a notorious set of canoe trips through the City on Peachtree, Nancy, Clear, and Tanyard Creeks, where he witnessed firsthand the impact of development on the watershed. Kaufman's methodical approach and sometimes humorous treatment of the subject matter create an entertaining opportunity to promote environmental awareness. "Peachtree Creek, a Natural and Unnatural History of Atlanta's Watershed" is available to Sierra Club members at a prepublication discount through August 1, 2003 at: www.hillstreetpress.com/sierra.html

September 9, 2003  Tom Wheatley of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance will show "Redrock Wilderness", a unique multi-media slideshow documenting citizen efforts to designate some public lands as Wilderness in southern Utah's spectacular canyon country and deserts. This 20 minute journey through redrock splendor invigorates and motivates viewers to participate in the movement to protect these unique lands. This inspirational and informational slideshow is a must see for citizens wishing to become personally involved in this tremendous American public lands conservation effort, a model for other efforts to save public lands in the United States.

October 14, 2003  Sharon Bagatel of the Atlanta Bicycle Campaign will show how bicycling can be an effective and enjoyable way to get around Atlanta. The Atlanta Group and the Atlanta Bicycle Campaign will hold an "Effective Cycling" class to allow Atlantans to go "car-free" or safely tour the Atlanta area from the seat of your bike. Learn the how-to's (like negotiating traffic), be safe, get exercise and have fun!

November 11, 2003  Mark Alexander, Wildlands and Wildlife Committee Chair will show his backpacking trip into the Big Ben National Park in southern Texas.

December 9, 2003  Holiday Pot-luck Party with our annual slide presentation. Monica and Joe Cook, from Rome, will do a slide show on their recent Etowah River trip (and may have a book published on their travels). This superb slide presentation will mix their interests in the Appalachian Trail, Chattahoochee River, wildflower and their love of photography.

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2002 Programs

January 8, 2002  Alan Toney will give a slide show tour of the Chattahoochee River and the impacts of development on Atlanta's primary source of drinking water and recreation.

February 12, 2002  Legislative Issues with Mark Woodall (Legislative Chair) and Neill Herring (Sierra Club Lobbyist)

March 12, 2002  Dan Curl, home inspector and design expert, will inform us on environmentally sound designs for homes and buildings. "My career as a home inspector has careened into other topics. Inspired in 1994, I've been studying home design and energy efficiency. The latest brouhaha about the national energy plan underscores, to me at least, the need to create an ethic of conservation in our own lives. Everyday I see homes where simple, low tech improvements can reduce consumption. Perhaps the folks at Sierra Club would like to walk the walk with their own homes. I would love to talk the talk to provide practical assistance to those willing to spend a little time and effort on their own home's efficiency (and comfort)! Interested?"

April 9, 2002  Learn about Inner City Outings with Mike Hammett, Atlanta ICO Volunteer Coordinator. ICO gives kids the opportunity to go hiking and camping and exploring nature that would not otherwise be available.

May 14, 2002  Film-maker Steve Baird will show a video about "Julia Butterfly". This film, "Julia Butterfly", inspired a grandmother in Arkansas to take on a developer. When a developer threatened to build a shopping mall on the site of a Civil War-era grove of oak trees in the booming university town of Fayetteville, grandmother Mary Lightheart, climbed one of the biggest oaks, and sat there. Inspired by former Fayetteville resident Julia "Butterfly" Hill's tree-sit in the great California redwood Luna, Lightheart's action set off a tide of resistance to growth-at-any-cost philosophy. After she was arrested and the developer felled the trees, the Sierra Club's Ozark Headwaters Group and the League of Women Voters sued the city and the developer for violations of the city's tree protection ordinance. In November pro-environment candidates swept the election. The new Council agreed to commit $450,000 toward trails and parks and to strengthen the tree protection ordinance. Fayetteville Arkansas is on a greener path.

June 11, 2002 Nuclear waste will be likely transported to Yucca Mountain in Nevada. Both houses in Congress are debating the final authorization to open the waste depository. Find out about Yucca Mountain with a series of videos.

July 9, 2002  Summer Pot-Luck Picnic at Candler Park (across the street from our regular meeting place at Epworth UMC). Bring a dish, favorite beverage, your utensils, and a blanket for a more relaxed social meeting. We'll provide some basic drinks, napkins, and ice. There is a nice playground for the kids to play on. All members and non-members from throughout the Atlanta metro area (including Cobb and Gwinnett Counties) are invited. Picnic starts 30 minutes earlier, at 7:00 pm.

August 13, 2002  Larry Winslett, Georgia Chapter Conservation Chair, will present a slide show on the special beauty and unique ecosystems found on Stone Mountain.

September 10, 2002  There is a push to build water supply reservoirs in Georgia so we have invited Mary Davis, Ph.D., Ecologist the principal author of the UGA River Basin Science and Policy Center white paper entitled "Reservoirs in Georgia: Meeting Water Supply Needs While Minimizing Impacts" (available at http://www.rivercenter.uga.edu/) Come join us for this discussion on water supply and the environment.

October 8, 2002  We will have a short political update, then Bob Woodall will present a sensible alternative solution to Atlanta's Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) problem. Do we really need tunnels? Are they cost effective? Do tunnels provide the fastest or best solution to the problem? Come find out some surprising answers!
Molly Ray and Jennifer Smith will come to make a brief announcement about Vote for Children, a non-partisan project funded in part by the Sierra Club. The goal of the program is to increase voter participation and give children new educational opportunities. Volunteers will be involved locally in Atlanta public elementary schools to teach kids about the democratic process and encourage more adults to vote, too.

November 12, 2002  Are old computers toxic waste? Did you know that discarded electronic equipment is the fastest growing solid waste stream in the US? In addition, we are exporting huge quantities of these toxics to poorer, less-industrialized countries where they are processed in operations that are extremely harmful to human health and the environment. Learn how you can make a difference by reducing your share of the problem, educating friends and coworkers about the issues, and by joining with others working to build international support towards finding real solutions to the massive tide of obsolete computer waste generated in the US daily.

December 10, 2002  Holiday Pot-luck Party with our annual Outings slide presentation of the Southeastern U.S. by Chris Adams.

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