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October 25, 2012, Sierra Club General Meeting

Artic wilderness

7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Litzsinger School, 10094 Litzsinger Road at Lindbergh Blvd., Ladue, MO 63124 (map)
Dr Ken Schechtman will speak on measuring the health effects of coal. 

November 15, 2012, Sierra Club General Meeting
7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Litzsinger School, 10094 Litzsinger Road at Lindbergh Blvd., Ladue, MO 63124 (map)
Annual Members' Photo Show -- Great nature photography from our local area to the Artic Wilderness!  If you'd like to share 5 minutes of your best photos, contact Richard Spener, 314-434-2072.  Limit 8 presenters.  Note that this meeting is one week earlier because of Thanksgiving.

Lemonade Party
Saturday, November 10, 6:30 PM
Jim and Phyllis Young's home
905 Lami St. in Soulard (map)
All Sierrans are welcome including past and present volunteers and wannabe's.

Trivia Night Fundraiser: Registration Now Open!
The Sierra Club is hosting a Trivia Night and Silent Auction from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, October 27, at The Heights community center in Richmond Heights. Make it a Halloween Party and come in costume (optional)!  Win prizes, have fun, and support The Sierra Club!  Visit the EMG website for details and registration information.

Special thanks to The Alpine Shop and Schlafly Brewery for sponsoring Trivia Night.  We welcome additional sponsors and donations in exchange for advertising opportunities. If you would like to be a Trivia Night sponsor, donate items for the Silent Auction, or volunteer at the event, please email Sarah Merida, or call 660-988-1412.


 tiny 2013 calendar

2013 Calendars Have Arrived
Brighten your year with a calendar filled with gorgeous nature photos.  A great choice for holiday gifts that support the environment.  The calendars are available at the Sierra Club office, The Alpine Shop in Kirkwood, Trivia Night on October 27,  the EMG holiday party on December 15 and at our EMG General Meetings.

If you would like to order your calendars by mail, send $13.95 for each Wilderness Wall Calendar, $12.95 for each Engagement Calendar, plus shipping:  $5 for the first three calendars and $1 for each additional.  Mail your check and order to: Sierra Club EMG, 7164 Manchester Avenue, St. Louis, MO  63143.  Include your email address if you'd like to be notified when your order is taken to the Post Office.


Remember to Vote November 6
The EMG Political Committee has been busy assessing and endorsing candidates in 2012, including several new endorsements within the past month.  For a complete and up-to-date list of candidates who will help us move toward a cleaner environment and sustainable energy future, be sure to view  and see if your candidate has made the list.  Also at that webpage is the Legislative Scorecard.  If your legislator was not endorsed, the scorecard may offer evidence regarding why.

 Sifton at 10 11 12 mailing party.jpg
mailing party on Oct 11 in support
of Scott Sifton for state senate

Election Phone Banks - October 23, Sierra Club Office
On Tuesday, October 23 at 1 pm and again at 6:30 pm the Sierra Club Missouri Chapter will hold phone banks in order to make calls in support of Sierra Club endorsed candidates for state senate and state house. If you are able to participate, please write to Michael Berg or call the office at 314-644-1011.

Help elect officials who will fight for your values.  Please RSVP today!

Green Votes Sunday - November 4
Are you ready to hit the doors to put environmental champions into the Missouri state Senate and House? Sign up here to part of Green Votes Sunday on November 4. We will meet at the Sierra Club Office (7164 Manchester Ave., St. Louis, MO 63143) (map)  at 1 pm and then go out and canvass for Sierra Club endorsed candidates for state senate and state house. RSVP today!

Promoting Vegetable Gardening in a “Food Desert”
by Ginger Harris

In May 2011 the EMG Urban Agriculture Committee (UAC) applied for a grant from United Way of Greater St. Louis to establish a Backyard Garden Market program in Pine Lawn, where one of our UAC members lives, an area she calls a "food desert.

Randy_April harvest sweetpotatoes 10-10-11.jpg
Garden manager and
neighbor harvest
sweet potatoes.

We received the grant in late September 2011.  In October 2011 the Chapter selected 2 local independent contractors to provide day-to-day management.  Both had helped with our Committee’s garden service project at Gateway Math, Science & Technology School.  Immediately these garden managers and Sierra Club volunteers walked streets in Pine Lawn and the neighboring municipality of Beverly Hills to invite residents to join our garden program. Fifteen households signed up.

To assess the suitability of sites they selected for their gardens, we took soil samples and had them tested for heavy metals and nutrients. The results, received in mid-November, indicated excessive lead levels and higher-than-average levels of another heavy metal in one-third of the samples.  We conveyed these results to participants in person, and put them in contact with St. Louis County’s Lead Abatement office, which abated the worst-offending property, plus homes of several other participants.

Beverly Hills Councilwoman Rita Ford was an early recruit for a backyard garden. We asked her if a municipal-owned vacant lot might also be converted to a community garden. This spring 2012, the city approved a community garden on that lot, and arranged to till the soil, partially fence the lot, install signage and deliver mounds of wood mulch. Participants and volunteers removed rocks and poison ivy; delivered and spread compost, cardboard and mulch; planted seeds and seedlings in 20 beds; and watered and weeded.  We held a Grand Opening event on August 4. Volunteers and neighborhood teens distributed flyers to publicize the event and 30 residents from both municipalities attended. Attendees were given specially printed canvas shopping bags with seed packets and handouts about gardening tips, and were invited to pick produce from the garden for free.

On September 15 one of our garden managers taught a workshop on preserving food.  It was held at Girls, Inc, only 3 blocks from our community garden.  Eleven people attended and made 15 jars of pickles and 15 of tomatoes. 

Last month we also
- recruited 10 new households for backyard gardening and 4 new sites for potential community gardens and sent soil samples from all of them to be tested;
- procured rain barrels for community and household gardens;
- purchased cedar planks to build raised beds for households where heavy metal issues have been abated.
- purchased take-one boxes to hold flyers about what’s growing in the community garden and recipes on how to prepare it.

Over the winter we hope to develop a network of participants to keep in contact with each other, so that next spring the gardeners in the neighborhood can support each others’ efforts.  The Sierra Club’s UAC members are also committed to continuing our relationship with the participants, many of whom seem to have more gardening know-how than some of us.  If you have questions or would like to join the Urban Agriculture Committee please contact Ginger Harris.

Service Outing at Hawn State Park
The Trail Crew wants to thank all the hardworking volunteers who showed up for our October 10th service outing at Hawn State Park. This was perhaps our most challenging service outing yet. The park staff asked us to remove an old barbed wire fence along the entrance road in the Wild Area. We met that challenge with over 7 Sierra Club members showing up for this weekday outing. We removed over a quarter mile of fence and also worked on removing some short-cuts on the Whispering Pines Trail. Thanks to the staff at Hawn State Park and to our volunteers Bob Gestel, Ed Kindley, Paul Ohlendorf, SueAnne Smith and Debra for helping to help make Hawn a better park for all of Missouri.

Green Time TV:  Can Technologies Threaten Our Survival?
Green Time has a new air time on KNLC: 5:30 p.m. Wednesdays.  It airs in four Missouri areas.  See links on Facebook and In the St. Louis area it appears at noon on Saturdays and 5:30 p.m. Wednesdays on Channel 24-1 and at 8 p.m. on Mondays on Channel 24-2:

November 3, 5, & 7: Water, Energy and Mining Earth’s supply of fresh water is being seriously compromised.  Dr. Bob Criss describes how water is used by extractive industries for the mining of coal, uranium, and lead.

November 10, 12 & 14: How Safe is Fracking? Dr. Bob Criss describes both advantages of hydraulic fracturing and its environmental dangers such as water and air pollution and earthquakes. 

November 17, 19, & 21: The Story of Electronics Ben West explains positive changes taking place in the electronic industry as well as problems with coltan mining, the gluttonous use of water, and mountains of toxins.

November 24, 26 & 28: Losing Our Cool Gavin Perry and Patricia Schuba discuss the pollution, health effects and wasted resources of burning coal for air conditioning along with alternatives.

November shows include portions of The Hidden Destruction of the Appalachian Mountains, Yellowcake, Unleaded, Fracking Hell, The Story of Electronics and a Stan Cox presentation.   For more information email Don Fitz or call him at 314-727-8554.


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.

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