Eastern Missouri Group E-Newsletter
August 25, 2011, Sierra Club General Meeting
7:30 pm to 9:00 pm at Litzsinger School, 10094 Litzsinger Road at Lindbergh Blvd., Ladue, MO 63124 (map)
Adventures in India with Cookstoves and Tigers presented by Ken Schechtman, PhD
Biomass stoves are used by about 3 billion people worldwide. The resulting indoor air pollution is associated with nearly 2 million deaths annually, mostly among women and children, and mostly due to respiratory diseases. The wood used in these stoves is the primary cause of deforestation in many countries and a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. In this talk, Ken will present data that illustrate the scope of using alternative stoves and the failure of non-scientific efforts to improve the situation. Join us for dinner before the meeting at around 6:00 pm at The Daily Bread Cafe, 11719 Manchester Road in Des Peres. (map)
EMG Conservation Discussion
Missouri River Issues and Actions Against Keystone XL Pipeline
Thursday, September 8, 2011 from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm
Location: Sierra Club Office, 7164 Manchester Ave., Maplewood, MO 63143 (map)
All interested members are encouraged to attend this open meeting.
Henry Robertson will lead a discussion on actions we can take against the Keystone XL Pipeline that would pump Alberta tar sands oil 1700 miles from Canada to Texas.
Caroline Pufalt will lead a discussion on future changes in river management in response to the 2011 Missouri River flooding. This flood did not impact the St Louis area much, but floods plagued many Missourians upstream from us -- Nebraska and the Dakotas were heavily flooded. The US Army Corps of Engineers has measured an increase to 230% of normal water volume for the Missouri River in 2011. This major event has opened up a debate on significant changes in river management. There are opportunities for changes that will help the environment and risks of major steps backward. We will look at this in more detail and see what role the Sierra Club could play in the months ahead.
Treasure and Trash Hunt:
Operation Clean Stream, August 27, 2011
Join us on Saturday, August 27 as we search for treasures and trash along the Meramec River. We will paddle about seven miles near Eureka. It is a fun day with a friendly competition to see who can find the most unusual trash. Appropriate for families. A picnic follows the event. There are a limited number of free rental canoes available for the day. For more information or to sign up, please contact Toni Armstrong at 314-434-2072. The Sierra Club has participated in this annual event for decades.
News from the Trail Maintenance Volunteers
Fall is just around the corner and cooler weather means trail work season. Mark your calender for these events:
The September 22 General Meeting program (more details next month) will be about hiking in Missouri. Our speaker, Marty Koch from the Alpine Shop, will give us a lot of great tips for exploring Missouri on foot.
October brings us two trail building opportunities. Join us at the Chapter Campout to help us re-route a half-mile of trail at Curivre River State Park. If you have not done trail maintenance outings in the past this is a perfect opportunity for you. During the last week of October we will be working on the Current River Trail in the Pioneer Forest. As always, you are more then welcome to come for one day, two days, or the week.
For more information, read next month's E-Newsletter or contact Bob Gestel at firstname.lastname@example.org or Paul Stupperich at email@example.com or 314-429-4352.
Join us for one or more of these events this fall.
Richmond Heights Is Getting Greener
By Jan Niehaus
The Friends of the City of Richmond Heights is a nonprofit organization established by the City. Friends' mission is to bring sustainability and cultural opportunities to the City and, hopefully, to bring funding for projects, too. I serve on the Board of Friends and also chair the Friends' Sustainability Team.
Friends became active in the spring of 2010. In little over a year, Friends and the City have accomplished quite a lot:
- A Greenhouse Gas Inventory for Richmond Heights is being conducted this summer, thanks to FOCUS St. Louis and their new Climate Action Internship program. Richmond Heights is the first municipality to receive an intern through the program.
- Richmond Heights joined ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability (originally named International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives) and their Cities for Climate Protection Campaign.
- The City Council passed a resolution in support of the Climate Action Internship program and joining ICLEI.
- Based on the results of the Greenhouse Gas Inventory, our Climate Action intern will work during the 2011-12 academic year to build a Climate Action Plan for the City.
- Richmond Heights joined the Deer Creek Watershed Alliance.
- Plans are underway to design three rain gardens to be constructed on City property, funded through a matching grant from the Deer Creek Watershed Alliance.
- Friends established a Saturday morning CSA (Community-Supported Agriculture).
- Friends hosted a yoga fundraiser and solicited donations from St. Mary's Health Center, allowing us to provide free CSA memberships for three families.
- The City has defined and published "Sustainability Policies" for City employees.
- Members of Friends and City employees attended the "Sustainable Communities Workshops" hosted by FOCUS St. Louis, Sustainable St. Louis, and the St. Louis Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council-Missouri Gateway Chapter.
Current issues involve:
- Raising backyard chickens. Friends and local experts are bringing information to the City Council to encourage the City to establish clarity around the current chicken permit process. Read the discussion on backyard chickens at the RH City Council meeting.
- Friends are stressing the importance of creating more green space, parks, and trails for walking and bicycling in Richmond Heights.
Richmond Heights residents who want to learn more about Friends and the important work we are doing are invited to contact me at 314-644-4135 or Jan@CommunicationByDesign.net. Membership is free!
Dangers of Coal Pollution
Many of you have already heard that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is donating $50 million to the Sierra Club to phase out existing coal plants.
Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune described the gift from Bloomberg Philanthropies, to be spread over four years, as "a game-changer, from our perspective." The group will devote the money to its Beyond Coal campaign, which has helped block the construction of 153 new coal-fired power plants across the country since 2002. The campaign will expand from 15 to 45 states, plus the District of Columbia.
We now have a strong beginning for this second phase of our coal campaign, whose goal is to close one-third of the nation's aging, dirty coal plants by 2020. Both Michael Brune and Mayor Bloomberg credited local communities with leading the fight against air pollution and water pollution as we close outdated, dirty coal plants and support clean forms of energy. In his announcement on July 21 Bloomberg asked all of us to support the Beyond Coal campaign: to pledge to decrease our energy use, to pledge our time, and to pledge money.
Our fight to increase clean energy and increase green jobs means healthier air and healthier lives for our families and neighbors. The hidden public health costs of using coal for our energy are enormous and the change to clean and efficient forms of energy is both life-saving and cost-effective: Every year coal pollution kills 13,000 people and costs $100 billion in health costs.
If you would like to work on our Clean Energy campaign, which is part of Beyond Coal in Missouri, contact Michael.Berg@Sierraclub.org.
24th ANNUAL MISSOURI CHAPTER CAMPOUT
Look for the registration form for the Campout in the upcoming SierraScape!
We have reserved the cabins in Camp Sherwood Forest at Cuivre River State Park and there will be plenty of space! There will be hikes, activities for the whole family, good food, a bonfire, a silent auction, and a chance to form new friendships and renew old ones.
Look around your home for interesting items or still serviceable items to bring for our Silent Auction on Saturday night.
How Will the 2011 Flood Change the Missouri River?
You can find out when you join the Missouri River Network on the Sierra Club Activist Network. It is a new Activist Team set up by members who represent states along the Missouri River who have been part of a regional listserv. Now you can participate in planning and advocacy for the Missouri River.
Missouri suffered from the 2011 flood, but not as much as upstream states. The volume of water involved eclipsed the big 1993 flood. As a result, there will be changes which will impact the entire basin.
The goal of the Missouri River Network is to promote a healthier Missouri River, including greater native species diversity and health, better water quality, a more natural floodplain regimen, and a more natural connectivity to the Mississippi River and Gulf of Mexico.
This Activist Team includes volunteers from the states up and down the Missouri River but our own Caroline Pufalt is the docent! Thank you, Caroline!
Somewhat like Facebook, once you've joined it is usually easy to click on the link and go to our team site.
St. Louis Premiere of Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for our Time
Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time is the first feature-length, high-definition documentary film ever made about famed conservationist Aldo Leopold. This event is the movie's St. Louis premiere. The film explains how Leopold shaped conservation in the twentieth century and still inspires people today. Although probably best known as the author of the conservation classic A Sand County Almanac, Leopold is also renowned for his work as an educator, philosopher, forester, ecologist, and wilderness advocate.
Dr. Susan Flader, a Leopold expert, contributor to the movie, and 48-year member of the Sierra Club will speak at the movie premiere
Friday, August 26, 2011 at Missouri Botanical Garden Shoenberg Theater, 4344 Shaw Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63110 (map)
Movie starts at 6:30 pm, cocktail reception following movie at 8:00 pm in Monsanto Hall
Cost: $20 per person. Purchase tickets online.
Hosted by The Audubon Center at Riverlands and the Missouri Botanical Garden.
Sierra Club members and non-members are welcome to join Club members on our outings.
Visit the Eastern Missouri Group website for more information about outings, activities, and issues.
Please consider making a donation to the Eastern Missouri Group today!