Sierra Club

Eastern Missouri Group E-Newsletter

March 2012

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March 22, 2012, Sierra Club General Meeting

7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., St Louis County Library's Mid-County Branch, 7821 Maryland Avenue in Clayton, at Central Avenue; 0.4 mile from the Clayton Metrolink station.

This year our annual joint program with St. Louis Audubon will focus on Restoring the Confluence. Quinn Kellner, Natural Resource Manager at Jones-Confluence Point State Park, and Dean Bossert, Deputy Manager of the Big Muddy National Wildlife Refuge, will deliver a joint program on the history of and habitat restoration plans for their respective public areas at the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers.

2011 awards Mike_Henry smaller
Mike and Henry

Congratulations to Our Outstanding Sierrans
At the February General Meeting, two of our longtime volunteers were presented with the Outstanding Sierran award.  Mike Knight earned the award for years of behind-the-scenes maintenance of the EMG computers, making continued improvements to the EMG website, assisting Del Johnson in mailing the SierraScape, and tabling at the Missouri Botanical Garden's Earth Day event.  Henry Robertson was honored for serving on the EMG ExCom for 8 years, serving as the Energy Chair for Missouri Chapter and EMG, writing the language for the Clean Energy Initiative (which passed into law in 2008), and making a continuing effort in progressing and promoting green energy and a clean environment in Missouri.

We thank Mike and Henry for their invaluable contributions and their continued involvement. 

Renewable Energy Ballot Initiative
Renewable energy holds great promise that other states are capitalizing on with smart public policies, but frustratingly, Missouri is falling behind. As empowered citizens, however, we can create a responsible energy future by putting a strong, effective Renewable Energy Standard (RES) on the ballot in November. We call it the Power to the People Initiative.

What would a strong RES mean for Missouri’s future?

  • 25% of our electricity from clean, renewable energy sources by 2025, instead of 81% from coal, the dirtiest source of power.
  • Lives saved thanks to less mercury, air pollution and harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
  • A true investment in Missouri's economy, instead spending $1.3 billion a year to purchase coal from out of state. 
  • Good permanent jobs that cannot be outsourced, in fast-growing sectors such as the solar and wind industries.
  • Protection for ratepayers from rate hikes, and lower energy costs through competition and choice.

Get trained to collect signatures to put the Power to the People initiative on the November ballot!  We need 160,000 signatures by early May, and with your help, we can do it. The next Volunteer Training in St. Louis will be:

             Tuesday, March 27th at 7pm
            at Missouri Coalition for the Environment, 6267 Delmar Blvd., Suite 2E, St. Louis, MO 63130 (map)

To ensure that we have adequate materials, please RSVP by Friday, March 23.  Call 314-359-4697 or send an email .

Backyard Chicken Seminar 
The Friends of the City of Richmond Heights is sponsoring a seminar on backyard chickens titled “The Scoop on the Coop: An Overview of Raising and Caring for Backyard Chickens” on Thursday, March 29 at 7:00 PM at the Richmond Heights Community Center, 8001 Dale Ave.  (map)

chicken Ben  

This seminar is FREE and open to the public. Everyone is welcome, not just Richmond Heights residents. 

The presenter is Bill Ruppert, a St. Louis urban chicken enthusiastic who gives talks on this topic to various groups each year.  The items covered in his talk include:

  • Understanding the “culture” of chickens
  • Nutrition and general health care
  • Sustainable shelter design
  • How and where to purchase chicks
  • Preparing for the arrival of chicks

A question-and-answer session will follow the talk.  For more information, email Linda Lieb or call: 314-646-8818.

The Richmond Heights City Council passed a new law that allows residents to raise backyard chickens. The law went into effect January 5, 2012.

“Because of the time and financial investment required to raise chickens, our Friends group wants to help residents learn about whether chicken raising is for them,” said Linda Lieb, board member of Friends of the City of Richmond Heights and coordinator of the effort to have the law passed. “For those considering this adventure, the seminar provides information on what to expect and how to prepare.”

Join Us for Trail Work on the Ozark Trail

Mark Schuerman trail work
 Clearing trail of blowdown.
Photo by Bob G

Blair Creek Section is one of the earliest sections of the OT and was completed by the Sierra Club and our friends about 1979. In November, 2011 President Obama’s America’s Great Outdoors initiative chose the completion of the Ozark Trail as 1 of 2 great conservation opportunities in Missouri. Conservation easements must be obtained and trail built in the northern 108 miles from downtown St. Louis and 125 miles in southern Missouri. Upon completion the Ozark trail will run 800 miles from St. Louis to the Ozark Highland Trail in Arkansas. Don’t worry, we will only be working on a few miles of this trail in the Roger Pryor Backcountry. 

Join us on March 24 and 25 (Saturday and Sunday) for maintenance work on the Blair Creek Section and enjoyment of a very special place in the Ozark Mountains.  Free camping at Himont.  Bring sturdy foot wear, work gloves, a tent and other camping gear. All meals and tools will be furnished.   Email Bob Gestel, (636) 296-8975, or Paul Stupperich, (314) 429-4352.

EMG's Stream Team Monitors Fox Creek
On Saturday March 31, come learn about water quality testing as we do our spring monitoring on Fox Creek west of Eureka.  We will do simple chemical tests, measure stream flow, and net and identify insect larva and other invertebrates which are indicators of water quality.  No experience necessary but water proof boots are advisable.  Get your feet wet! 
Contact either Leslie Lihou at 314-726-2140 or Jim Rhodes at 314-821-7758.

March 24, 2012 Saturday - Help with the Confluence Trash Bash!
For an event close to home support this annual event at the confluence of the mighty Missouri and Mississippi Rivers.  All are needed to pick up trash! Then, stay for a free lunch and a celebration complete with Trash Artists who will be turning trash into art after the morning’s work of cleaning up the trash.  To help, call Gloria Broderick,  314-741-4588.

Be Part of the Public Process of the St Louis Regional Plan for Sustainable Development

Citizens and business owners are needed for accurate planning and for building our area. 

On October 14, 2010 a grant of $4.7 million for the St Louis area was announced for planning “to build economic competitiveness by connecting housing with good jobs, quality schools and transportation.” Because there are 11 core partners as well as many hundreds supporting them, it is believed that another $3.5 million is being leveraged into this process. Please contribute your opinions by attending the community meeting that is closest to you.

The next community meetings on the Missouri side of the Mississippi River are March 15 and March 20:

The Mid-Metro 5 (Clayton, Shrewsbury, Brentwood, Maplewood and Richmond Heights):
March 15, 2012, 6:30 p.m.- 8:30 p.m.
Richmond Heights Community Center
8001 Dale Avenue
Richmond Heights, MO 63117

Northeast St. Louis County (Bellefontaine Neighbors, Riverview, Glasgow Village and Spanish Lake):
March 20, 2012, 6:30 p.m.- 8:30 p.m.
Trinity Catholic High School Gym
1720 Redman Road
Spanish Lake, MO 63138

Find the community closest to you and attend.  Click here more information about this Regional Sustainability


Eastern Missouri Group Outings Schedule

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!

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Focus on Labarque Creek Conservation Area


The LaBarque Creek Watershed is fortified! The Department of Conservation acquired 300-acre Franciscan tract, which along with the recently purchased Oberkramer tract, now connects the future Don Robinson State Park to the LaBarque Creek Conservation Area. This gem of sparkling streams, sandstone cliffs, waterfalls, seeps, springs, forests and glades harbors unique biodiversity.  Through the cooperation of government agencies, the landowner group, Friends of LaBarque Creek,  and environmental organizations the LaBarque Creek watershed has been researched, inventoried and preserved as a Conservation Opportunity Area which attracts additional support and funding.  An article in the February-March 2011 SierraScape describes LaBarque Creek watershed and conservation efforts.


In the path of St. Louis' westward urban expansion, the pristine ecosystem of LaBarque Creek Watershed deserves Sierra Club's attention.  A few years ago Ameren proposed several routes for a powerline, one of which slashed through the LaBarque Creek watershed.   Many people, including Sierrans, contacted Ameren requesting a route which would protect the watershed from this intrusion.  Unfortunately Ameren chose to cut a swath through a section of Hilda J. Young Conservation Area surrounding LaBarque Creek. This intrusion disturbs the ecosystem, strips the vegetation and contributes to the introduction of invasive species.


Sierran, Bob Coffing, leads a stream team which monitors water quality on LaBarque Creek and has been involved in a cedar removal project announced in the SierraScape last February.  Anyone interested in exploring this enchanting ecosystem may contact Toni Armstrong to join a hike on January 22.


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Sierra Club - Eastern Missouri Group
7164 Manchester Ave.
Maplewood, MO 63143 314-644-0890
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