August Hike

Sunday, August 8 – Moses Cone Memorial Park – Blue Ridge Parkway near Blowing Rock.  (Previously scheduled for June, but postponed until August.)

This is a moderate 5.6 mile roundtrip hike to the top of Flat Top Mountain where a fire tower offers great views of surrounding peaks, including Grandfather Mountain. We’ll meet in Charlotte at 7:45 AM and should be back by about 3:00 PM. Limit 15. Contact Steve Copulsky at or 704-543-7493. (That’s me on the fire tower in the attached photo.)

Upcoming Events

January Club Meeting

Plan to join us on Wednesday, January 27, at 7:00 PM at the Mahlon Adams Pavilion in Freedom Park 2435 Cumberland Avenue, Charlotte, NC 28209 for the first Sierra Club meeting of this new decade. Our program will include a look at some of our 2009 Sierra Club accomplishments, our 2010 issues and opportunities as well as an update on our new Conservation Committee.

Our main program will feature City Council person Edwin Peacock lll, Chair of the City Environment Committee, presenting “Our City, Our Environment – An Area of Focus for 2010”. A question and answer period will follow the presentation.

 As a special treat to celebrate our accomplishments, we’ll also have pizza and drinks at the meeting. Please RSVP to Erica Geppi at to help us estimate quantities.

Make plans to join us and bring a friend or two for this great program. See you there!

December hike

We had to reschedule the hike from last month due to rain, but we didn’t forget about it! Here are the details.

Sierra Club Hike

Sunday, December 13th – Anne Springs Close Greenway in Fort Mill.

Start: 9:00 AM. End: About 12 Noon.

This moderate hike is a nice 6 mile loop through the woods of this 2,300 acre nature preserve in nearby Fort Mill. We’ll cross 3 swinging bridges and see two 19th century log cabins, including one that belonged to Billy Graham’s grandfather. The land is fairly level, but it’s a trail through the woods, not a flat paved greenway such as those in Mecklenburg County. Hiking boots are recommended. If you’d like to sign up, contact Steve Copulsky at 704-543-7493 or

November Club Events

We’ve got two new events on our November calendar.

1.  November Monthly Meeting – National Parks

Wednesday night, Nov. 18th at 7PM in the Mahlon Adams Pavilion in Freedom Park. (We are meeting a week early in November due to Thanksgiving.) As a follow-up to the Ken Burns PBS presentation on our National Parks, our November meeting will give members a chance to share their personal stories about their visits to national parks. Members will screen digital photos and talk about their favorite hikes and experiences.

We still have time to add a few presenters. If you’d like to show your digital photos from national parks at the meeting, all you need to do is put your photos on a flash drive for a 5-10 minute “show and tell.” Please contact Steve Copulsky in advance if you have photos to show at 704-543-7493 or

2.  Sign-Up for a Local Sierra Club Hike

Sunday, November 22 – Anne Springs Close Greenway in Fort Mill.

Start: 9:00 AM. End: About 12 Noon.

This moderate hike is a nice 6 mile loop through the woods of this 2,300 acre nature preserve in nearby Fort Mill. We’ll cross 3 swinging bridges and see two 19th century log cabins, including one that belonged to Billy Graham’s grandfather. The land is fairly level, but it’s a trail through the woods, not a flat paved greenway such as those in Mecklenburg County. Hiking boots are recommended. If you’d like to sign up, contact Steve Copulsky at 704-543-7493 or


Don’t Forget to Vote November 3!

Foxxbanner_logoTuesday’s election is critical to the future of Charlotte!  The race for Mayor is a dead heat and may be decided by a handful of votes.  We need your vote.  Please vote and please forward this e-mail to your friends.  Polls are open from 6:30 AM to 7:30 PM.

Here are the Sierra Club endorsements:

Mayor – Anthony Foxx (D)

Anthony Foxx offers the leadership that Charlotte needs for progressive sustainable growth in the 21st Century.  A strong environmental supporter in his two terms on City Council, Anthony supports cleaner air through the reduction of carbon emissions, green building policies, energy efficiency and

protection of our tree canopy.  He understands the need for a strong mass transit system, recognizes the importance of connectivity in land use policies and will work to attract clean energy jobs to our city.

City Council At-Large (Vote for these 4 candidates for the 4 At-Large positions.)

  • Susan Burgess (D) – Our current Mayor Pro Tem, Susan is a Sierra Club member and life-long environmentalist.
  • Patrick Cannon (D) — A steady environmental supporter in his 12 years on City Council.
  • David Howard (D) — The former Chair of the Planning Commission recognizes the importance of environmental planning on a regional basis.
  • Edwin Peacock (R) — Has shown strong leadership on City Council in his role as Chair of the Environmental Committee.

We need your vote on Tuesday!

Watershed Sculpture Presentation with Daniel McCormick

for blogSaturday November 7  •  Freedom Park, then McColl Center for Visual Art.

Daniel McCormick, an artist in residence at McColl Center, has a grant for a unique and exciting environmental project, Watershed Sculpture, on the Little Sugar Creek Greenway (part of Carolina Thread Trail) near the Nature Museum in Freedom Park.

Watershed Sculpturean Ecological Installation. Sculpted forms are constructed from local riparian material and shaped to conform to the contours of eroded stream banks and gullies. Willow (and other) components take root and reinforce the recovery action.

Daniel will do a presentation at his Freedom Park worksite followed by an optional visit to his studio at McColl Center (721 N Tryon St. 704 332-553), an opportunity to learn about other projects.

Come when you can—for any part(s) of the day:

9-10 am: Volunteer to help Daniel with the project on Greenway Trail.

10-10:40 am: Presentation at Freedom Park worksite.

11:30-12 n: Presentation at Daniel’s studio at McColl Center.


* For anyone interested:

• Ride Lynx Light Rail from East-West Blvd Station to last stop uptown near McColl Center   • Have lunch at Reid’s at Lynx stop or somewhere else uptown.


• For more information, call Mary Lou Buck 704 525-2293

Anthony Foxx Issue Statement: Environment and Sustainability

Foxxbanner_logoWhile the growth of Charlotte has been positive in many ways it has put new pressure on our local natural resources – our land, our water, and our air – that together influence our quality of life, as well as our economy. In light of this, smarter growth has become an imperative. Going forward, we need a mayor who will consider the long-term social, environmental and economic impacts of how we grow. As past chair of the Charlotte City Council Environment Committee, Foxx has demonstrated his leadership on sustainability issues as well as his understanding that a strong economy and vibrant future depend on a healthy environment.

The Record: Foxx has a strong record of working effectively to create a more environmentally sustainable and healthy Charlotte.

  • Works for innovative solutions to environmental challenges in Charlotte: Foxx championed the addition of a city environmental manager position that would have paid for itself in energy savings for the city and led to better water quality, among other benefits.
  • Pushes for smart growth: Foxx was the lone city council member who called for the new NASCAR Hall of Fame to be a certified green building. He stood up to development that threatened to overcrowd our schools, overwhelm our roads or negatively impact our natural resources.
  • Works to create jobs in crucial emerging industries: Foxx has pushed for city-led environmental improvements that grow demand for green jobs in Charlotte.
  • Advocates for science-based solutions to Charlotte air, water, and land challenges: Foxx led the charge to join other cities by setting targets for reducing city greenhouse gas emissions and our impact on climate change. He has demonstrated leadership in stream mitigation to keep pollution from new developments out of our streams and drinking water supply. He also championed the protection of our city’s shrinking tree canopy.
  • Champions low-pollution forms of transportation: Foxx led the development of a comprehensive bicycle plan that called for bike lanes, access to greenways and several other items that would make Charlotte a bike-friendly city. Foxx is a strong supporter of public transit.

The Vision: Through Foxx’s leadership, Charlotte will join other cities across our region and our nation by implementing the principles of sustainable cities and addressing our environmental challenges with innovative and collaborative solutions:

  • Improving our air quality: Safe, clean air is critical to our health and quality of life. Yet an increase in pollution resulting from an explosion in cars, buildings and use of fossil fuels for electricity generation has fouled our air to the point where we exceed the federal limit for ozone and have higher-than-average respiratory problems. Foxx will meet this challenge by increasing transportation options and transitioning our dependence on fossil fuels to clean energy sources.
  • Ensuring an adequate and safe drinking water supply: Our larger population means more people are relying upon our finite water supply. While we cannot increase this resource, we can take steps to make it go further by harnessing new technologies that help us use it more efficiently, and making needed investments to improve our aging water infrastructure. Foxx will also do more to ensure that we do not contaminate our creeks, rivers and lakes with chemical runoff from our roads, lawns and factories.
  • Greening our economy by promoting green jobs: Cities that will thrive in the 21st century are cities that embrace the energy challenges we face by greening their local economies. Foxx will work to promote Charlotte as an attractive place for green companies and small businesses that offer innovative products and services to meet these challenges. He will encourage green educational opportunities at our local colleges and universities to train our young people in fields that will make them competitive in the green economy.
  • Increasing our transportation options: Our number of vehicle miles traveled per day has tripled in the past twenty years. Turning this trend around by driving less can dramatically reduce both our poor local air quality and heavy carbon footprint. Foxx will continue to champion more shared transit options throughout the Charlotte region to make them as accessible and affordable as driving.
  • Increasing energy efficiency through green building: One of the greatest opportunities for reducing our energy use is by following green building standards such as LEED. Foxx will ensure all new public buildings are built green certified and existing public buildings will be retrofitted to lower our energy use, which will translate into lower utility bills throughout the life of these buildings. He will provide incentives for private builders and homeowners to do the same.
  • Reducing “waste” going to the landfill: Rather than a waste management system we need a resource management system. Many of the things we throw away can be recycled into new products, which not only reduce our need for landfill space and our impact on our environment but also save the city money. For every ton of “waste” that is diverted from the landfill to recyclers, we avoid landfill-tipping fees and earn revenue by selling these materials to the recycling market. Like all well-designed green initiatives, Foxx will advocate for increased recycling because it is good for our environment and our economy.
  • Maintaining our tree canopy and increase green space: Due to our rapid growth and inadequate smart-growth planning, we have lost more than 25 percent of our tree cover since 1986. Trees and green space both improve the quality of our lives with their aesthetic value, and provide a number of services that save our city money in storm water retention and removal of air pollutants such as ozone. Without our trees the infrastructure we would need to build to provide these services would cost us nearly $2 billion. Every tree we lose compromises our quality of life and costs us money. Foxx will champion more greenways and city parks – essential elements of maintaining our position as an attractive and healthy place to live.
  • Reducing our carbon footprint: We have one of the largest carbon footprints of any comparable metro area in the country. Today more than 900 mayors across the country and 39 in North Carolina have pledged to reduce the carbon footprint of their city in an effort to lessen their impacts on the climate. Foxx has pushed for the city to join this effort as a council member and as mayor will ensure this vital commitment to our future is made. We will then honor this commitment in many of the same ways in which we address our air quality challenges: by increasing low-carbon transportation options, transitioning from fossil fuels to clean energy and constructing greener buildings.