Thanks to all 2011 attendees!
We had a great time!
Maryland Chapter Jamboree 2011
With Michael Brune coming all the way from California to update us on the club's priorities bringing us words of hope for our future, sweet music & sticky s'mores at the campfire, inspired presenters, a gungho crowd of bioblitzers (despite the cold rainy weather), great food, abundant auction items, and spirited dancing to the eclectic Pressing Strings, it was a lovely time.
We hope you had as much fun as we did and are looking forward to the next opportunity to interact with fellow Sierrans and friends. Here are some photos Chris Hill took and please send us any pictures you have to share.
Friday evening to Sunday afternoon
September 30th - October 2nd, 2011
Catoctin Mountain Park Thurmont, MD
This year's themes were: Clean Water and a Green Grid
PHOTOS: from Jamboree 2011
See Photos on Facebook!
JAMBOREE Bioblitz Lists
JAMBOREE Bird Bioblitz
JAMBOREE Herps Bioblitz
White Snake Root
Northern Cardinal (heard call)
Gray Catbird (heard call)
Red Back Salamander (1 baby, 4 adults - all separate finds)
Tree Cricket (light in color)
Jack in the Pulpit
SOME COMMENTS FROM JAMBOREE ATTENDEES:
I want to thank you both for allowing me to participate in your events over the past month and implement my art-in-nature research. It's interesting to see the varied reactions to nature, invasives removal, and eco-art-making. I'm looking forward to analyzing the feedback for my thesis. Marc, I especially appreciate your willingness to embrace artwork during the invasives removal and encouraging the exploration of creative ways to get people involved with the outdoors. I learned a great deal from you. Perhaps there will be more opportunities for me to participate in the future once I've tackled my thesis work. - Lisa Barry
Laurel, Claudia, Chris, and Jamboree Committee,
Thanks so much for staging a really wonderful jamboree. Fred and I came each day (didn't stay over--I'm an imsomniac and a disruptive bunkmate) and had a great time. We had one meal, Saturday lunch, with the group and enjoyed the good food and fellowship.
Each of the presentations I attended was informative and led to interesting discussions. Questions kept coming and no one was in a hurry to leave any of the sessions I attended (Jim Long's session on Smart Growth; Chris Bryan's session on the legislative agenda; Fred and Sam's discussion of agriculture and water quality; Edamarie's talk on rain gardens; Jen's talk on grassroots advocacy; and Dave O's talk on hydrofracking.) I appreciate the work that went into preparing and delivering the presentations, and of course I came home with ideas for things I want to do. It was helpful to me to spend a bit of time in person with some of the newsletter people and I was glad to meet some of the other Catoctin group members.
Fred asked that I specifically mention our newest staffer, Chris, who just plunged in and took on whatever was asked of her as if she'd been with us for years, always with a smile and the utmost attention. Way to go, Chris!
I talked with a couple committee members who wished everything had been perfect. In my former corporate life, I sometimes planned events for large groups. We had a sizable budget, and relied on hotel or conference center staff to do much of the logistics. And yet no amount of planning ever spared the planners the grief of mishaps. Self-identified vegetarians complained that they weren't offered fish. People who chatted through the announcements were dismayed when they showed up at the wrong workshop. Latecomers didn't like that they'd missed out on the favorite breaktime pastry. People who had scheduled themselves to do something for the conference didn't show up. Projection equipment didn't work. Executive speakers used inappropriate language that some found offensive. Perfect never happened.
You all deserve a round of applause for pulling off an enjoyable and energizing event. Thanks so much!
I attended the Maryland Sierra Club biannual Jamboree during the first weekend of October. I learned a lot and had a great time. I even ate vegetarian for the whole weekend! It’s now being considered…
I arrived a bit late, but folks were still enjoying each others’ company and getting their bearings. We had a delightful dinner: salad greens with cucumbers, tomatoes and other salad additions. The main course was a choice of two wonderful vegetable stews; one was vegan. I tried both and was not disappointed.
After dinner, Michael Brune, SC BOSS, gave a talk on the SC and what we are doing at a national level. He discussed the Club’s plans to phase out coal over the next 20-30 years as we phase in renewables. He also addressed the endorsement of ‘green’ products made by not-so-green corporations. The thought is that it encourages a company to move to green product manufacturing.
The workshops I attended were: Moving MD Beyond Coal, Hydrofracking, My $4 Electric Bill, Rain Gardens and Native Americans and Natural Laws. I was impressed with all the workshops. Beyond Coal provided a plan to retire Maryland’s three dirtiest coal plants over the next few (?) years and replacing them with renewables. Ironically, EmPower Maryland would allow us enough energy savings to retire the smaller two of the powerplants or the largest of the three!
Hydrofracking gave us an overview and some detail regarding hydraulic fracturing of deep shale to enable natural gas to be released. The problem is the depth to which more recent fracking occurs: thousands of feet; this is below our aquifers. Toxic chemicals have been known to damage those water supplies due to underground leaching. Landowners have been bowing to pressure and receiving the ‘princely’ sum of $10/acre for drilling rights. Per 5-year period – not per month!
$4 Electric Bill demonstrated the instructor’s use of energy provider rebate programs, combined with weatherizing and frugality, to cut an electric bill. The best I got from this: it’s actually ok to admit, within your household, that it’s ok to let the season into your home! Yes, it’s ok to keep your home a bit chillier in the winter or warmer in the summer. You actually will survive!
Rain Gardens and Managing Stormwater Runoff was presented by Edamarie Mattei of Backyard Bounty. “Rie” showed us how to design a rain garden based on impermeable surface and a property’s ground slope. We discussed native plants, grass and required garden depth. If you have uncontrolled stormwater runoff (who doesn’t?) a rain garden would be a great answer for you.
The afternoon rain put a damper on outdoor activities, but we still enjoyed the day learning about each others’ chapter issues, discussing MD SC goals, and shooting the breeze. A second wonderful dinner was followed by presentation of awards and announcement of the winners of the silent auction that had been going on since Friday.
WE moved on to the gymnasium for a couple of hours with Pressing Strings. The unusual thing about this band was that most of their music was actually their own, rather than cover tunes. Pressing Strings put on an excellent show. During their break, we participated in a live auction. The big items were a week in Rehoboth Beach and a weekend in Deep Creek Lake.
I started Sunday with Ron Henry’s Native Americans and Natural Laws. The bulk of the class was the video of astrophysicist David Suzuki’s “Suzuki Speaks,” which was awe inspiring. Suzuki discussed the damage we are doing to our planet; we must consider our impact in all we do. The entire group truly appreciated what Ron – and Suzuki – had to say.
These were not the only workshops given during the weekend – just the ones that immediately interested me. These represented about one-third of the total workshops. My biggest regret of the weekend was missing Mark Imlay’s bioblitz hikes, where he and others did an intensive field study over a short period of time.
One more lunch, cleanup, some farewells to our new friends, and we were on our way. Now that I know what I have missed, I am looking forward to the next Jamboree!