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by Edited by Mary C. Corddry | 2007

Sierrans tackle environmental projects and policies across the state

Following is a roundup of activities and issues of the nine Sierra Club Groups in Maryland: Anne Arundel County, Catoctin, Eastern Shore, Greater Baltimore, Howard County, Montgomery County, Prince George’s County, Southern Maryland, and Western Maryland.  There is a link to each Group’s website on the Maryland Chapter’s home page at www.maryland.sierraclub.org.  If you have information to contribute to future “Roundups” for Chesapeake,  please contact Mary Corddry at 410-248-0423 or at  XxDiTz4LyFxX@aol.com .

The local Groups of the Sierra Club are active with the Sierra Club’s “Cool Cities” initiative, encouraging local governments and citizens to take action for addressing global warming.  They are involved with local land use issues to encourage agricultural preservation, retain and expand the forest canopy, protect waterways and the Chesapeake Bay, and promote Smart Growth.  Now that the 2007 State legislative session is in full swing, the Groups are involved with promoting the Sierra Club’s legislative agenda and other environmental priorities of the local jurisdictions.

 

Anne Arundel Group

Chair: David Prosten, dprosten@yahoo.com

- The Group is seeking entries for a juried photography exhibit at Arundel Center in April.  Call Deede Miller for information at 410-268-2845.

- Nine of the 14 candidates endorsed by the Group for the General Assembly and County Council won in the November elections.  All four candidates won who were endorsed for the County Council.

- Cool Cities meetings are scheduled on an ongoing basis.

- The Anne Arundel Sierra Club Annual Birthday Celebration was held in January, with a potluck dinner and a speaker—Drew Koslow, Riverkeeper for the South River.

- A Remembrance Walk at Downs Park honoring the memory of Sierra Club activist Mike Rixham raised $1,250 for the Group and $2,200 for Hospice of the Chesapeake.

- The Group publishes a bimonthly newsletter, “The Sierra Log.”

- Check the Group’s web site for a schedule of outings and other events.

 

Catoctin Group (Carroll, Frederick, and Washington Counties)

Chair: Chris Hodge, 240-388-6446,chrishodge@adelphia.net

- The Group has a second Tuesday Social and Informal Meeting at Isabella’s Restaurant and Tapas Bar in Frederick.  Members are invited to come for drinks and/or dinner, as a way to meet fellow outdoor lovers and environmentalists.  In March, the event will be on the 13th at 6:30.  For information, contact mdhiker2@yahoo.com.

- Al Gore’s movie, “An Inconvenient Truth,” was shown at the Carroll Arts Center in January, followed by a discussion moderated by the Group.  The film was also shown at St. Paul’s Church of Christ in Westminster on February 11th, the day before the Catoctin Group and citizens presented to the Westminster City Council.

- The Catoctin Group Energy Film Fest ’07 has monthly screenings in Frederick and Mount Airy of movies about the impact of global warming and how to implement sustainable and clean energy solutions.  The movies begin at 6:30 p.m., following by a discussion.  The events are free to the public.  On March 15, the Group will show at the Mount Airy library the film “Rising Waters,” showing the physical and cultural impact of global warming on Pacific Islanders.  On March 21 at the Frederick library, the film offering will be “Earth to America!” - a hilarious special celebrating life on Earth by taking aim at the serious problem of global warming.  The film series began in January with a showing of “Rising Waters” in Frederick and a showing at Mount Airy library of “Kilowatt Ours,” “We’re All Smith Islanders,” and “The Vineyard Energy Project.”  In February, “Out of Balance: Exxon Mobil’s Impact on Global Warming” and “Who Killed the Electric Car?” were shown.  Contact Kim Stenley at kstenley@mcdaniel.edu or 410-756-6402 about the Frederick library film series, and Neal Spungen at nspungen@gmail.com or 240-235-6802 about the Mount Airy library film series.

- Check the Group’s web site for a schedule of outings and other events.

 

Eastern Shore (Cecil County and Eastern Shore counties)

Chair: Howard Bedlin, 410-643-3283, Howard.Bedlin@ncoa.org

Due to the large geographic area covered by the Group, the meetings are by conference call.  The Group needs participation by representatives from all areas.  The Group is looking for a Membership Chair, Outings Chair, and Outings leaders.

 

Greater Baltimore (Baltimore City and County, Harford County)

Chair: Ron Henry, 410-838-9119, RonLHenry@msn.com

- After its extensive involvement last year with Harford County’s comprehensive rezoning process in collaboration with Friends of Harford, the Group is gearing up for involvement with Baltimore County’s comprehensive zoning map process this year in collaboration with the North County Institute and other citizens’ organizations.  The Group will also be involved with planning activities related to the Base Realignment and Closure process that will have extensive impacts on the region, particularly in Harford County and the surrounding area.

- The Group is involved with the public opposition to a proposal for a liquid natural gas off-loading terminal and storage tanks at Sparrows Point in Baltimore County, a pipeline crossing Baltimore and Harford Counties into Pennsylvania, and dredging to accommodate the tankers.

- The Group has been quite involved with the Sierra Club’s “Cool Cities” campaign. Representatives met with Baltimore County staff to discuss the importance for the County to sign the U.S. Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement to fight global warming.  Since Baltimore City has signed the agreement, the Group wrote a letter to the new Mayor Dixon recommending steps for implementing the vision of the agreement.

- The Group publishes a quarterly newsletter, “The Sierra Baltimore Sierran,” which is mailed to members and also is available on its web site.

- Check the Group’s web site for a schedule of outings and other events.  Besides numerous hikes of varied lengths and difficulty levels, many of which are suitable for children and are dog-friendly, the Group has a TGIF happy hour on March 9, hayride on March 31, stream cleanup for Earth Day on April 22, and invasive plant removal and bike ride on May 19.

 

Howard County

Chair: Ken Clark, 301-725-3306, kenclark7@comcast.net

By Ken Clark—In January, five members of the Group’s Executive Committee had a very positive meeting with the newly elected County Executive Ken Ulman, whom the Group endorsed in the election last fall.  He was already off to a “green” start, purchasing a hybrid vehicle for his own use.

- On Saturday, April 14, 9:00 – noon, take part in the Project Clean Stream regional stream cleanup organized by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and funded by the Chesapeake Bay Trust.  Contact Sue Muller for details at 301-498-8462 or sonicsue@boo.net.

- The Group sponsors lectures and films, with accompanying discussion.  In February, there was a lecture at Centennial High School in Ellicott City.  Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods, talked about how today’s children suffer from “Nature Deficit Disorder,” with healthy development hampered by limited exposure to nature.

- In February, there was a TGIF Happy Hour at Nottingham’s in Columbia.

- The Group publishes a newsletter, which is mailed to members.

- The Howard County Group has a very active outings program, leading 92 outings in 2006, totaling 1,017 participants.  Hike leader Mike Juskelis led a remarkable 39 outings last year, including 14 backpacking trips!  Check the Group’s web site for a schedule of outings and other events.  You can ask to get on an email listing of outings and events by contacting Ken Clark.

 

Montgomery County

Chair: David Hauck, 301-270-5826, hauck_D@msn.com

By Anne Ambler—David Hauck of Takoma Park, longtime Sierra Club member, is our new chair.  The group awarded outgoing chair Anne Ambler a plaque and a tree in appreciation for her years of service.  David sees this as an exciting time as many more people realize that the “business as usual” approaches to housing, transportation, and energy will no longer work.  David brings environmental experience gained as VP of Green Seal, and volunteer-building experience gained as volunteer coordinator and trainer at two Takoma Park Schools. With several new faces on our County Council and a new County Executive, David plans to seize the opportunity to build our volunteer base and enable the Sierra Club to lead the way to a more sustainable future.   

-The Group continues to hold environmental monthly Saturday evening programs in members’ homes.  The events begin with socializing during a potluck lunch or supper, followed by a speaker or film with discussion.  For information, contact Anne Ambler on 301-946-5599.

- Organization meetings for the County’s Cool Cities Campaign were held in January and February at Brookside Gardens.  The towns of Chevy Chase, Kensington, Gaithersburg, and Rockville have signed onto the Mayors’ Climate Protection Agreement to reduce emissions to 7 percent below 1990 levels by 2012.  Montgomery County signed onto an earlier agreement, and is now reexamining the emissions inventory it produced for that agreement.  Sierra Club members are planning campaigns for each signing entity.

- Also in January, the Group held a program highlighting environmental bills that will come before the General Assembly in its 2007 session. In addition to the clean cars, land preservation, and energy efficiency issues pushed by The Citizens’ Campaign for the Environment, attendees heard about the global warming implications of the InterCounty Connector highway and a repeat proposal to permit public control of streetlights so that the county and municipalities can replace inefficient lighting.

- The Group testified at several public hearings before the County Council: on a proposed “time out” for development applications, on proposed changes to the county’s road code, and on what the county’s transportation priorities should be.

- The Group cosponsored an all-day symposium with the MNCPPC on the environmental value of trees.  The program continued the Brookside Gardens series Green Matters, now in its third year.

- On March 21, 7-9:30 p.m., the Group will sponsor its 4th Annual Environmental Career Evening at Brookside Gardens Visitors’ Center Auditorium, 1800 Glenallan Ave., Wheaton.  This year, participants will be able to talk one-on-one with representatives of environmental, educational, and government institutions to learn about career and volunteer activities, but may also choose to see a selection of environmental films in another room. This program appeals to home-schoolers, teachers, college students, and adults looking for a career change.

 

Prince George’s County

Chair: Chip Reilly, 301-218-3920, chip.reilly@maryland.sierraclub.org

Group’s office: 301-277-0600 or 301-277-7111

By Chip Reilly—Prince George’s Group members actively supported environmentally friendly candidates in the 2006 elections, including newly elected County Councilman Eric Olson of District 3.

- The Group supports rail on the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and transit-oriented redevelopment, as opposed to new or expanded roads that induce sprawl and traffic such as the undesirable InterCounty Connector in the north and the CrossCounty Connector in the south. We spoke out at hearings before the County Council’s Transportation, Housing and Environment Committee. We are on record against the proposed “Melford” development in Bowie at Rte. 50 & 301, which proposes a high density mega-development close to the Patuxent River. 

- The Group contributes to Sprawled Out Accokeek’s string of lawsuits against the County Council to stop the misuse of text amendments, essentially “spot zoning” bills that allow developers to bypass master plans and public participation.  Support is needed to sustain this watchdog activity. For more information, visit    www.geocities.com/ sprawled_out_accokeek/

- Members, such as Janis Oppelt in College Park and Mary McKinley-Ward in Mt. Rainier, have promoted Cool Cities efforts to help their towns reduce global warming gas emissions.  There are invasive plant warriors working all over the county (and waiting for your help), such as Maureen Fine working in Beltwoods in Bowie and Tom Crone in Greenbelt National Park. With the Peace & Justice Coalition and CCAN, the group co-sponsored a well-attended “Greenbelt Town Meeting on Clean Energy and the Maryland Clean Car Bill” on January 9th.

- There are many ways to get involved to protect the environment and the quality of life in our county. The Prince George’s Group needs you to help with writing articles, producing newsletters, and doing legislative and issues work. To join us for a SierraClub101 gathering, check http://www.sierraclub.org/dc/sprawl/ or call Chris.Carney@SierraClub.org 202-237-0754. Sign up for occasional news about activities of the Prince George’s group by sending a message to
<LISTSERV@LISTS.SIERRACLUB.ORG>  In the message body put SUBSCRIBE MD-PG-FORUM your name.  

 

Southern Maryland (Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s Counties)

Chair: Frank Fox, 301-884-8027, ff725@yahoo.com

- If you would like to help reduce global warming gas emissions in Charles County or your town, call Alice Imlay 301-283-0808 to join the Cool Cities campaign.

- On the first Sunday and the following Saturday of each month, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., there is an invasive species removal at an 800-acre portion of  Chapman Forest (Sunday) and the 200-acre Ruth Swann Park (Saturday).  Check out www.chapmanforest.org or contact Marc Imlay at 301-699-6204 or 301-283-0808.  For more information about workdays at Hellen Creek Preserve and Myrtle Point Park, contact Bob Boxwell at bobboxwell@hotmail.com  or 410-394-1300.  To join the Holly Arboretum Volunteer Crew at Warrior’s Rest, contact the American Chestnut Land Trust at 410-586-1570.

- There was a workshop in February with the Mattawoman Watershed Society, an alliance of concerned citizens dedicated to preserving Mattawoman Creek’s health.  For more information, visit www.mattawomanwatershedsociety.org.  A four-lane highway, the Charles County Cross-County Connector Extension, is proposed to cross the Creek.

- The Group arranged to donate money for environmentally themed books for adults and children at public libraries in Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary’s Counties.

- The Group publishes a bimonthly newsletter, “News from Southern Maryland.”

- Check the Group’s web site for a schedule of outings and other events. 

 

Western Maryland (Allegany and Garrett Counties)

Chair: Sam White, 301-264-4162, sam.white@maryland.sierraclub.org or cedarrockcsa@yahoo.com

By Sherri Loomis—Western Maryland Group Offering Free Climate Change Training: Sam White was selected to attend climate change training led by Al Gore on January 8-10.  He is offering local climate change seminars to any interested group west of Hagerstown, MD. Anyone interested in hosting a session is encouraged to contact Sam directly by calling 301-264-4162 or e-mailing cedarrockcsa@yahoo.com.  For additional information on The Climate Project, please visit www.theclimateproject.org.

- On March 13, there will be a public program on Energy at the HRDC Senior Citizen Center at the corner of Liberty and Frederick Streets in Cumberland, MD.  The film “Kilowatt Ours” will be shown and discussion will ensue on lowering your electric bill.  The program will begin at 7:30 pm.

- The Group is donating DVDs of “An Inconvenient Truth” to any high school science teacher willing to show the film in class.

- During May, there will be an invasive species eradication at Green Ridge State Forest, led by Sam White.

- In January, there was a Sierra Club N’Beer at the Draft Zone in Frostburg, for casual discussions about the environment over beer.

- The Group has an email discussion group/Listserv for its members at MD-WMD-FORUM@lists.sierraclub.org.  To join, go to http://lists.sierraclub.org/archives/MD-WMD-FORUM.html.  The Listserv is used to discuss conservation issues pertaining to Western Maryland and to announce Group meetings, outings, and other events.

- In the winter 2007, the Group resumed publication of a quarterly newsletter, “Nature’s Advocate of Western MD.” 

Get more information about the Western Maryland group in the Winter 2007 newsletter at http://maryland.sierraclub.org/Western-MD.      

 

> 2007 Table of Contents

   
   

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