Three Decades Of North Carolina Wilderness

Thanks to WUNC radio and Meghan Modafferi & Frank Stasio  for this great interview! Take a listen!

A conversation with professor Robert Cox about N. C. Wilderness

Thirty years ago today, President Ronald Reagan signed the North Carolina Wilderness Act which protected nearly 100,000 acres of wilderness in the state. Robert Cox, former president of the Sierra club, was instrumental in the law’s passage.

He toured the state showing the following slideshow on the importance of wilderness. It was digitized by the North Carolina Sierra Club as part of the project, Our Wild North Carolina.

Of course, the North Carolina Wilderness Act was controversial at the time, just as many environmental issues are today. Human industry has historically locked horns with the rest of nature.

Today, Cox is a professor of communication studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he studies the rhetoric of environmentalism and social change.

 

Host Frank Stasio talks with Cox about the politics of wilderness then and now.

NC Sierra Club Footnotes Online – June 2014

North Carolina Chapter Sierra Club

Dear Friends,

We know it’s hot all across the state, and things are certainly heating up in Raleigh right now as the legislature settles in for its final weeks of short session.  As expected, one of the last bills the legislature will consider is going to be one that looks for a solution to our coal ash crisis. We have a real opportunity to get meaningful legislation passed on coal ash, but we are going to need you to be a part of this.  You can read more about the latest coal ash developments below.

Also below, you’ll find a recap of our recent wilderness celebration, a write-up of this month’s featured wilderness area, and plenty more! We hope you enjoy this month’s edition of Footnotes online, and as always, thanks for your constant support for our state’s air, water, and natural places.

Cheers,

Your staff at the NC Sierra Club

Take Action: Speak Up on Coal Ash

As you know, legislative leaders vowed to find a solution to our state’s coal ash crisis after 40,000 tons of coal ash and millions of gallons of contaminated waste water spilled into the Dan River in February.  This week, Senate leaders offered some significant improvements to the initial plan offered by the Governor, but we need you to encourage legislators to strengthen the bill even more.

There are several areas of the bill where legislators could increase protections for North Carolinians and our state’s waterways.  Click here to find out what needs to be strengthened and how you can take action today!

 

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Breaking News on Billboards!

Please thank Rep. Becky Carney (D-Mecklenburg) for just this morning successfully amending a regulatory reform bill that is moving at the speed of light through the House. Her successhul amendment rebukes a newly proposed set of giveaways to the billboard industry.

The provisions in S 493, which has morphed into the 2014 Regulatory Reform Act, would have given the billboard industry new concessions for tree-removals on exit ramps.  It would also have required any city or county to allow a billboard to be rebuilt, even if it no longer conforms with current requirements.  Please take a moment to thank Rep. Carney for efforts to block another giveaway to the billboard industry.

 

Thirty Years of Wilderness Celebrated in One Evening

On June 12, people traveled from all across the state and gathered in Raleigh to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the NC Wilderness Act.  The law protected 68,700 acres of wilderness areas in North Carolina and an additional 25,816 acres of wilderness study areas.

Awards were given to two Sierrans who played pivotal roles in passing the landmark legislation, Dr. Robbie Cox and Anne Taylor.  

Robbie is a three time national club President who recently stepped down from the national Board last year after nearly two decades of services.  Anne was once a leader of the LeConte Chapter (North and South Carolina) Chair and later Hunt administration official. 

Without the work of Robbie, Anne, and many other volunteers, North Carolinians would have fewer places to connect with nature and experience wilderness.

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Click here to view photos from the celebration in Raleigh! (Big thanks to David R. Keith the photos!)

Breaking news!  Dr. Robbie Cox will the guest on WUNC’s The State of Thing’s on Thursday, June 19 at noon!  June 19 is the actual anniversary of the day that the NC Wilderness Act became law.  Click here to visit the WUNC webpage where you will be able to stream the program live this Thursday!

 

Write-In Success in the Mountains

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Thanks to local Sierra Club volunteers, voters in Buncombe County will have a choice when they go to the polls to vote for the County Board of Commissioners in November.  The photo to right shows Rich Wasch and Karen Ziff, just two of the many volunteers who worked to gather signatures throughout Buncombe County.

Volunteers gathered more than enough signatures to qualify Nancy Waldrop, an unaffiliated candidate, to appear on the ballot.  The reason this is a big deal is because the only other candidate on the ballot is committed to rolling back key environmental protections, including Buncombe County’s goal, adopted in 2013, to reduce the county’s carbon footprint by 80%. 

Thanks to Wenoca group chair Judy Mattox, 95 Sierrans gathered over 4,000 signatures (far more than the 2,222 needed) to get Waldrop on the ballot. But with the November election just around the corner, it’s doubtful that this is the last volunteer effort we will see in this race.

 

NC Volunteers Get a Well Deserved Recognition

At the NC Sierra Club’s Executive Committee on May 31, three volunteers were recognized for their contributions to the organization.  Chapter Chair Robert Scull awarded the following volunteers with a certificate and small gift:

  • Nancy Card was recognized for her role in reorganizing the Cape Fear Group three years ago, helping reinvigorate the chapter outings program, and taking a leadership role on the Wilderness Committee.  Nancy was rightfully praised for her leadership and communications skills.  We are thankful her continuing contributions to the NC Sierra Club.
  • Kelly Mieszkalski was recognized for her significant contributions to the chapter outings program.  Kelly has attended national conferences to make contacts and bring back ideas, been part of organizing two outings leader trainings, helped to get new hike leaders started, and initiated tools and processes to make the outings more prominent and well-attended.  Her contributions to the state chapter and the revived Headwaters group are highly valued.
  • Maribeth Weinman was presented an award for her remarkable prowess as the Treasurer for the North Carolina Chapter.  As Chapter Treasurer, Maribeth’s work is essential for maintaining the fiscal integrity of the organization. It is very fitting that Maribeth was praised for her high standards of accuracy, timeliness and completeness.
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From left to right: Robert Scull, Maribeth Weinman, Nancy Card, and Kelly Mieszkalski.  Photo credit: Harvey Richmond.

 

Wilderness Spotlight: Shining Rock Wilderness

This month, we take a look at the Shining Rock Wilderness. This protected area was created by the 1964 Wilderness Act which celebrates its 50th anniversary this September.

North Carolina was one of only two states east of the Mississippi where wilderness areas were protected by the 1964 Wilderness Act; New Hampshire was the other. And Shining Rock Wilderness was one of two wilderness areas in North Carolina protected by the first ever wilderness law, which signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson. Linville Gorge was the other North Carolina area protected in 1964.

Today Shining Rock Wilderness contains 18,483 acres. Without knowing it, popular culture exposed many to the area through the Charles Frazier novel and subsequent film adaptation titled Cold Mountain.  Cold Mountain provides Shining Rock’s highest peak at 6,030 feet.

Those wishing to venture to this wilderness area may want to read an account of camping in the area written by Bill Gowan of Raleigh. His writing can be found on the OurWildNC.org blog page, and is certainly worth a read!

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Upcoming Outings

June 21, 10:00 a.m. – Moses Cone Memorial Park – Blowing Rock

Join outings leader Steve Copulski for a 5 mile hike on the first day of summer  in the Moses Cone Memorial Park off the Blue Ridge Parkway near Blowing Rock.  Enjoy the cooler mountain weather and great views from the top of the Flat Top Tower.  The group will be hiking on fairly smooth carriage trails that gradually ascend to the top of Flat Top Mountain.  We’ll meet at Moses Cone at 10 AM. 

Contact Steve Copulsky to sign-up at scopulsky@mindspring.com or 704-543-7493.  Limited to 15 hikers.

June 21, 4:30 – 8:00 p.m. – Quarry Hike and Eat/Play at Sharky’s! – Durham

Join the Headwaters group for 3.2 mile moderate hike along the relatively new section of the Mountains To Sea/Laurel Ridge Trail, up and around the beautiful Durham Quarry, and back.  Wear closed-toe hiking or walking shoes and bring a water bottle for the hike.  For those who dare–swimmers and dippers–wear your bathing suit, bring your river shoes and a towel if you want to take a dip in the quarry or the river!  The quarry is DEEP water and appropriate for strong swimmers ONLY.  There are also spots along the river right beside quarry to get wet/dip your feet in.

There is likely to be a good bit of party-trash around the quarry so bring a bag if you are willing to help clean up a bit (leader will have extras, too).

For more information, contact Kelly Mieszkalski (kellymieszkalski@yahoo.com, 919.624.2225). You may also sign up via the group’s Meetup: http://www.meetup.com/NC-Sierra-Club-Headwaters-Group/events/189497522/

June 28,  8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – NC Zoo Endangered Species Walk – Asheboro, NC

Join the Sierra Club Foothills Group and Nicole Petersen, a zoologist, marine scientist, and the NC Zoo’s Visitor Educator for our first NC Zoo Endangered Species Walk.  The zoo is about much more than showing off cute animals to the public—it has a serious environmental and conservation mission to protect, preserve, and rehabilitate threatened and endangered animal and plant species both in the U.S. and around the globe.

All participants will be required to purchase a zoo admission ticket.  There will be an additional $7/person fee for the Endangered Species Walk.  Our group will be limited to 20 participants. Your cell phone number will be required to register (this is for trip communication only–we do not give out telephone numbers to third parties.) 

Please contact Vance Parker to register by Wednesday, June 25th via e-mail at vance@vparkerlaw.com or by telephone before 10:00 p.m. at (336) 768-0481.  This is a family-friendly outing suitable for all ages.

August 22 – 24 – Outings Leader Training Weekend at Hanging Rock State Park

Outings Leader Training weekend for experienced and/or aspring new outings leaders at Hanging Rock State Park.  Cabin camping will be provided. You may also reserve campsites on your own.

More information coming soon!

Contact NC Chapter Outings Chair, Kelly Mieszkalski (kellymieszkalski@yahoo.com, 919.624.2225) with any questions.

Want to know the latest? Join us on Facebook or Twitter!

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Did you know you can make a monthly gift to the NC Sierra Club? Find out how you can make a sustaining gift by visiting our website, or contacting the Chapter office at 919-833-8467.

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Sierra Club Hike – Sat, June 21 – Moses Cone

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We’ll celebrate the first day of summer with a moderate 5 mile hike in the Moses Cone Memorial Park off the Blue Ridge Parkway near Blowing Rock.  Enjoy the cooler mountain weather and great views from the top of the Flat Top Tower.  We’ll be hiking on fairly smooth carriage trails that gradually ascend to the top of Flat Top Mountain.  We’ll meet at Moses Cone at 10 AM.  Contact Steve Copulsky to sign-up at scopulsky@mindspring.com or 704-543-7493.  Limited to 15 hikers.

Liability Waiver: All participants on Sierra Club outings are required to sign a standard liability waiver. If you would like to read the liability waiver before you choose to participate in an outing, download a copy at NC Sierra Club Sign In Waiver.

June 8th Linville Gorge – 7.5 Mile Hike (Strenuous)

Note: This outing is part of the North Carolina Sierra Club Our Wild NC celebration and qualifies for the Explore Our Wild NC Challenge. Sign up today to explore all the NC wilderness areas!

Linville Gorge Wilderness 7 ½ mile hike on the Conley Cove and Linville Gorge Trails

We will explore the scenic Conley Cove and Linville Gorge trails and the Linville River. The rhododendrons are likely to be in bloom which should make the natural beauty of the gorge even more spectacular. The trails are rugged and are unblazed, so the group will need to stay together. This hike is strenuous and is for fit, experienced hikers with sturdy comfortable closed toe footwear. Hiking boots or closed toe hiking sandals are recommended. We will stop periodically to admire the scenery. Please bring a minimum of ½ gallon of water and any food necessary to maintain energy for this hike. We will take a break for lunch and/or a snack at the half-way point. After the hike, we plan to stop at Wiseman’s View which is one of the more dramatic viewing points in the wilderness. Total hike time 4 hours plus breaks and a half hour at Wiseman’s View total approximately 6 hours. If we start at 10 AM, we should be finished around 4 – 5 PM depending on pace and length of breaks.

For RSVP (required) and questions , contact Outings Chair David Underwood at 704-675-2390 davidmunderwood@mail.com

IMPORTANT: Group Size is limited to 10 people (Forest Service Rule for Wilderness Areas) We currently have 8 signed up. When we reach the 10 person limit I will note it below.

When: Sunday, June 8th, 10:00 AM

Where:  Linville Gorge Conley Cove Trailhead, State Road 1238 Linville Gorge, NC, Linville, NC (Call or email hike leader for directions)

Liability Waiver: All participants on Sierra Club outings are required to sign a standard liability waiver. If you would like to read the liability waiver before you choose to participate in an outing, download a copy at NC Sierra Club Sign In Waiver.

Linville Gorge Wilderness Area

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Pres Obama Declares June as Great Outdoors Month – What You Can Do About It!

If you love getting out and about and enjoying yourself, Great Outdoors Month is the perfect month for you! It’s a great opportunity to encourage children in the importance of outside play and how getting out and about can be part of a healthy lifestyle. Getting out and about is often a free or cheap day out for families, and can be a lot of fun. It’s a great way to learn about nature and the environment and can form the basis of school projects.

Great Outdoors Week started in 1998 and expanded to Great Outdoors Month in 2004. It aims to encourage more people to get out and enjoy the world around them, whether that be simply by exercising or taking part in volunteer programs. There is so much the great outdoors has to offer so, this Great Outdoors Month, why not get out there and enjoy it!

Obama Great Outdoors Month June 2014

So what can I do about the 2014 Great Outdoors Month?

JUNE 2014 – GET ACTIVE!

Top 5 Ways to Celebrate Great Outdoors Month!

1. Take a hike! Whether you stroll through a familiar trail or explore new territory, taking a walk through the woods is great for your physical and mental health.

2. Try a new outdoor activity! What activity will spark your interest? Kayaking? Fishing? Ziplining? No matter what you choose, your mind and body will thank you for getting up, active, and outdoors.

3. Have a picnic lunch in the park! June 11 is Fee Waiver Day for National Forests and June 21 is Fee-Free Day for National Parks. Take advantage of these days by packing your favorite foods and going on a picnic. There’s nothing quite like dining al fresco, surrounded by nature.

4. Have a campout in your backyard! June 25th is the 7th annual Great American Backyard Campout. Enjoy the pleasures of camping without even leaving the neighborhood. Pitch a tent, build a fire, share scary stories. This simple staycation will make you feel miles from home.

5. Explore! This month, take some time to explore the outdoor amenities in your area. We often let ourselves get consumed with day-to-day chores and don’t take time to appreciate the beauty around us. Even taking a stroll after dinner will help you slow down, relax, and take in all your neighborhood has to offer.

Source: https://www.presidentschallenge.org/newsletter/articles/06-2014-get-active.html

 

Even more ideas and resources

Recreation.gov
National Boating and Fishing Week

National Fishing and Boating Week NFBW is from June 1 to 8 highlights the importance of recreational boating and fishing in enhancing peoples’  quality of life and preserving our country’s natural beauty.  Actively supported by state fisheries and boating agencies and the fishing and boating industries, the week had hundreds of events including kids fishing derbies and free fishing days.

National Trails Day

National Trails Day ® NTD is a celebration of America’s Trail System which takes place on June 7 at over 2,000 locations nationwide attracting hundreds of thousands of diverse trail enthusiasts.  The day also features designations of new National Recreational Trails.

Great American Backyard Campout

Great American Backyard Campout On the fourth Saturday in June, hundreds of thousands of people will gather in their backyards and community parks to share an experience sleeping out under the stars.

National Marina Day

National Marina Day Marinas across the nation welcome the public each second Saturday of June to help non-boaters get out on the water and learn about the boating lifestyle.  Each event is unique, and celebrates boating as a fun-filled, affordable activity anyone can enjoy.

National Getoutdoors Day

National Get Outdoors Day GO Day takes place on the second Saturday of June 14. Over 100,000 people, mostly from urban communities, will learn about fun in the Great Outdoors at over 150 sites nationwide. The events will highlight next steps, including ECO-events in national forests, and the expanding fun at ski areas in non-snow periods.

Join in the Wilderness Celebration on June 12!

I really hope you’ll join us in Raleigh on June 12 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the NC Wilderness Act!
Tickets are $25 ($40 per couple) and once inside food and drinks are free thanks to our generous sponsors.  The event is a fundraiser for the Triangle and Charlotte Inner City Outings programs.
Get your tickets here: http://www.ourwildnc.org/events/
Thank you for your help spreading the word!
Nancy Card
Our Wild North Carolina Chair
June 12 OWMC Invite 2

NC Sierra Club Footnotes Online – May 2014

North Carolina Chapter Sierra Club

Dear Friends,

The North Carolina General Assembly reconvened last week for its 2014 legislative short session.  And though it may be ‘short’, this session is already substantive and fast moving.

The best way to stay up to date on what’s happening at the legislature is to sign up for Cassie Gavin’s weekly updates.  As our lobbyist, Cassie is on the front lines helping protect our air, water, and natural places as various pieces of legislation are considered.  Send Cassie (cassie.gavin@sierraclub.org) a note to request her updates.

You will find more information on advocacy actions you can take, as well as outing opportunities to get outdoors and explore and enjoy our beautiful state.

Thanks for all that you do,

Your staff at the NC Sierra Club

 

Breaking News: Fracking Bill Speeds Through the Senate

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Yesterday, S 786 (this year’s fracking bill) was pushed through two committees and sent to the Senate floor.  Today, the full Senate gave tentative approval to the measure. We expect it to be heard in the House next week.

S 786 contains a provision that breaks the promise made by the 2012 legislature when it put a ban on the issuance of fracking permits until a regulatory framework is in place.  The legislature committed that the ban would not be lifted until the General Assembly reviewed and voted on the Mining and Energy Commission’s rulemaking recommendations.  And, the legislature promised that North Carolina would have the strongest rules in the nation.

Instead, S 786 lifts the ban on issuing fracking permits effective in July of 2015.

Click here to take action now and tell your legislators that you want them to keep their fracking promises.

 

Let Your Voice Be Heard: Coal Ash Lobby Day on June 4

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As you know, in February a stormwater pipe burst beneath a coal ash impoundment spilling 40,000 tons of coal ash – laced with arsenic, mercury, and lead – into the Dan River. Coal ash now coats the bottom of the Dan River for more than 70 miles, and is inches thick in some locations.

Along with Dan River, North Carolina has 13 other coal plants and 33 coal ash pits across that state that are threatening the health of communities and polluting precious groundwater.

That’s right.  All across North Carolina, Duke Energy is storing coal ash in unlined pits directly adjacent to our rivers and lakes. Hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians rely on drinking water downstream of these coal ash ponds.

Join us for our Coal Ash Lobby Day in Raleigh on June 4 to make sure your community has a voice in how this toxic coal ash is cleaned up!

You may not be surprised to learn that some lawmakers want to pick and choose which coal ash sites are cleaned up. Join community members from across the state to tell your lawmakers that your community matters!

Click here to make sure your community is represented during the Coal Ash Lobby Day on June 4!

 

 

Take Action Now! Online Action on Coal Ash

Whether or not you can attend the Coal Ash Lobby Day in Raleigh, there is something that you can do right now to help protect our communities from toxic coal ash.

Click here to tell NC Senate President Pro-Tempore Berger and NC House Speaker Tillis that we need leadership on coal ash now!

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Join the Team: the Volunteer Lobby Corps

Our volunteer lobbyists are instrumental in making sure that legislators have the information they need when taking up serious issues.  From fracking to clean energy, and issues local and statewide, our success depends on Sierrans like you stepping up.

You are the leader that you’ve been waiting for.  Sign up to learn more about the Lobby Corps today!

 

Party Like It’s 1984: NC Wilderness Celebration

What do Bill Murray, Mary Lou Retton, and the NC Sierra Club have in common?  Monumental achievements in 1984.

Thirty years ago the NC Wilderness Act was signed into law and 68,700 acres of wilderness in North Carolina were protected. The acreage total gets higher when you include the 25,000+ acres of study areas that were part of the law.  And Sierrans played a large role in getting the Wilderness Act passed.

And now, only a few tickets are still available for the 30th Anniversary Wilderness Celebration in Raleigh on June 12!

The program includes presentations from:

●     Dr. Robbie Cox, past NC Chapter Chair and former Sierra Club President;

●     Dan Chu, Senior Campaign Director for the Sierra Club’s Our Wild America program; and,

●     Amanda Damweber, Triangle Inner City Outings Chair.

Join us for an evening of great food and drink and even better company.  Help celebrate wild North Carolina and Sierra Club’s outings programs.  Get your tickets today!

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Wilderness Spotlight: Areas of the Croatan

To celebrate the 30th anniversary of the North Carolina Wilderness Act, each month we will highlight a wilderness area or a piece of history about how these areas became protected.  This month, we celebrate the four wilderness areas within the Croatan National Forest.

In eastern North Carolina, the Croatan National Forest is home to four Wilderness Areas: Catfish Lake, Pocosin, Pond Pond, and Sheep Ridge.  Altogether, these tracts of land consist of over 31,000 acres.  Many dismiss these wilderness areas as impenetrable bogs that are only accessible by crossing deep ditches, but this is not entirely true.

Catfish Lake Wilderness Area can be reached driving down a dirt road to the lake and then crossing the lake in a kayak to the wilderness area. Sheep Ridge is directly accessible by the same gravel road that offers the turn off to Catfish Lake. Pond Pine wilderness area is accessible by the dirt road that leads to Great Lake, and Pocosin is a accessible by either a railroad track or the upper tributaries of the Newport River.

Visitors to these areas may see alligators, at least three kinds of poisonous snakes, and insectivorous plants like the sticky sundew, the waxy butterwort, and the no-way-out pitcher and Venus flytrap.  Being remote and seemingly uninviting are part of what helps keep these wilderness areas mostly unspoiled. But that also makes them worth seeking out for those of us who truly want to explore Our Wild North Carolina.

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Left: Henry Fansler of the Foothills Group walks between Sheep Ridge and Pond Pine, with Great Lake in the distant upper left corner. Right: The edge of Pond Pine Wilderness. Photo credit: Avery Locklear, used with permission.

 

Solar is Rising: A New Campaign with a Strong Foundation

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The NC Sierra Club has been working for years to help move our state away from dirty energy sources and onto clean energy solutions.  Our new Solar is Rising campaign builds on the great work our volunteers have already done and pushes our public education and advocacy efforts to a new level.

For the coming months, the Solar is Rising campaign will engage, educate, and motivate North Carolinians about the consequences of dirty energy and our state’s potential for better solar policies.  The will be more to come from this campaign in the coming months, but for now, it’s pretty clear that Solar is Rising!

Visit SolarIsRising.org for more information.

 

 

A Look Back: Recent NC Sierra Club Events Events

Celebration of the Military Child Outdoors – April 26, 2014

The second annual Celebration of the Military Child Outdoors (COMCO) at Camp Lejeune, NC was headed up by Karan Barber, the new director of the Charlotte Inner City Outings Program (ICO).  Joining Karan and her E-Corps Crew for the set-up day on Friday were Kelly Mieszkalski, Tom Williams and Nancy Card.  On Saturday, it was all hands on deck as Robert Scull, Elizabeth Greene and Hap Palmer joined in to help connect approximately 250 folks from military families to the great outdoors.  Representatives from five NC Chapter Groups were there to share in the fun!

The children checked in and were given a mission card to be stamped by each exhibitor including: Sturgeon City, Thrifty Adventures, Possumwood Acres, Camp Corral, USMC MCCS Outdoor Adventures, USO, Play Mobile, and the NC Zoo.

The North Carolina Sierra Club Outings leaders set up camp – literally – with tents and other camping gear. For some of the kids, it was their first time inside a tent. They also participated in a treasure hunt game developing navigational skills using a compass that was theirs to keep. The treasure chest featured bandanas screen printed by the Our Wild NC Team.  Fifty-four new folks signed up for the Explore Our Wild NC challenge and the NC Chapter raffled off a family tent to one lucky family.

After sampling all there was to offer, the young explorers returned to the check-in desk to share their successful mission cards and claim prizes including a magnifying glass, cool shades, a flying disc, and kite.  The high fives and smiles were overwhelming.  It was a wonderful opportunity to share adventures with our country’s youngest heroes!

For more great pictures of this event, click here: https://flic.kr/s/aHsjXN181k                               

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Sesquicentennial Park Outings Leader Training (OLT) Event a Big Success!

On May 3-4, over 30 current and aspiring Sierra Club Outings Leaders from the North and South Carolina Chapters gathered at Sesquicentennial State Park in Columbia, SC for a weekend full of Outdoor Leadership Training (OLT).  In true Sierra Club fashion, we camped out under the stars and did all of our teaching and training outside! Participants were treated to camp fire songs, perfect weather, and fantastic South Carolina hospitality (including BBQ!).  Training included Sierra Club OLT101 (Basic Outdoor Leadership), OLT201 (Advanced Outdoor Leadership), Watercraft (Canoe/Kayak) Safety, and CPR/First Aid training.

Thank you and congratulations to the following volunteer Outings Leaders who devoted a weekend away from home to further their commitments in getting more people outdoors while keeping them safe, happy and inspired:

Capital Group

●     Barbara Adamski

Central Piedmont Group

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●     Linda Alley

●     Bill Gupton

●     Dori Bowman

●     Hollis Parks

●     David Robinson

●     David Underwood

Foothills Group

●     Vance Parker

●     Henry Fansler

Headwaters Group

●     Michael Byrne

●     Kelly Mieszkalski

Orange-Chatham Group

●     Kim Ashley

●     Rosmarie Rosenbloom

A special thank you to our event organizing and training partners:

Art Seel, Starr Hazard, Al Graves, and Chris Hall from South Carolina; and, Bill Gupton, and Kelly Mieszkalski from North Carolina

The next Sierra Club Outings Leader Training event will be at Hanging Rock State Park 8/24-8/26–please save the date!  If you are interested in becoming a Sierra Club Outings Leader and/or if you have questions about the training event, please contact Kelly Mieszkalski at kellymieszkalski@yahoo.com for more information.

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Upcoming Outings

May 24, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. – Upper Newport River Kayak Outing – Newport, NC

Like most rivers that flow entirely within the coastal plain, the Newport River in Carteret County meanders, alternating between light sandy and dark silty soils.   Most of this trip will be beneath a canopy of cheery spring foliage and lucky participants may see and hear beaver, turtles, deer, and a variety of birds.  The length of the trip will depend upon the tide and how much its rained recently further upstream in the headwaters within the Pocosin Wilderness Area of Croatan National Forest.

Bring your own kayak, personal flotation device, drinking water, and lunch.  Expect to get wet.  Intermediate experience is preferable. A maximum of ten participants. You must sign a waiver to participate.  For more information you must email Robert Scull to register at scull1453@gmail.com.

May 30 – June 1, Overnight Backpack Trip – Cold Mountain, NC

This trip to Cold Mountain is in the Shining Rock Wilderness and is rated strenuous with significant elevation gain (from Flower Gap at 2,400 ft. to the top of Cold Mountain at 6,030 ft.)

This trip begins at the Big East Fork parking lot on NC 276 off the Blue Ridge Parkway near the Pisgah Inn.  This is the trailhead for Shining Creek Trail. Group size is limited depending on the experience of the participants.  For more information contact Jerry Weston at takeahike@earthlink.net or 336-856-1431.  Telephone calls before 9:00 p.m. please. More information at https://nc2.sierraclub.org/outing/cold-mountain-nc

May 31, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Catawba Wildflower Glen Service Outing

Join volunteers at the Catawba Lands Conservancy preserve to help Mary Stauble, Land Stewardship Volunteer, remove invasive plants and contribute to protecting this important natural landscape.  The Wildflower Glen is one of the conservancy’s crown jewels due to its rich ecological diversity and proximity to Charlotte.

Volunteers will meet at the property at 9:00 am for an orientation. After the work,  Mary will lead the group on a hike of the glen.  Please bring work gloves, clippers (optional), water, and a hat.  Limit 10 participants.  Please contact Linda Alley at lindasuealley@hotmail.com for more information and to register.

June 14 – Grandfather Mountain Photography Workshop with Avery Locklear

Join the Sierra Club Foothills Group’s own award-winning 20-year old nature photographer, Avery Locklear, for a free outdoor photography workshop along the scenic Profile Trail at Grandfather Mountain State Park.

Advance registration is required. Registration is limited to 20 participants.  Your cell phone number will be required to register.  Please contact Vance Parker by June 7, 2014 at vance@vparkerlaw.com or at (336) 768-0481 before 10:00 pm. to register.  Note:  Your cell phone number will only be used for trip communication only; we do not give your cell phone number to any third parties.

June 14, 10:30 – 11:15 a.m. – Orange-Chatham Annual Picnic Hike, Carrboro NC

Work up an appetite for the annual Sierra Club Orange-Chatham Group picnic with a short 30-40 minute hike along the banks of Bolin Creek. Only a short walk from downtown Carrboro, the surrounding forest provides a peaceful escape from life’s complexity. The hike will provide a brief physical / mental challenge requiring well-placed steps to avoid getting wet in one section.

Sturdy non-slip hiking shoes are a must and an extra dry pair of socks are recommended, just in case. No pets on this one. The hike starts at the picnic location in Wilson Park. The outing leader will be Jae Furman. We will have a sign-up sheet/waiver at the start.  More information at: https://nc2.sierraclub.org/outing/annual-picnic-hike

June 28,  8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – NC Zoo Endangered Species Walk – Asheboro, NC

Join the Sierra Club Foothills Group and Nicole Petersen, a zoologist, marine scientist, and the NC Zoo’s Visitor Educator for our first NC Zoo Endangered Species Walk.  The zoo is about much more than showing off cute animals to the public—it has a serious environmental and conservation mission to protect, preserve, and rehabilitate threatened and endangered animal and plant species both in the U.S. and around the globe.

All participants will be required to purchase a zoo admission ticket.  There will be an additional $7/person fee for the Endangered Species Walk.  Our group will be limited to 20 participants. Your cell phone number will be required to register (this is for trip communication only–we do not give out telephone numbers to third parties.)

Please contact Vance Parker to register by Wednesday, June 25th via e-mail at vance@vparkerlaw.com or by telephone before 10:00 p.m. at (336) 768-0481.  This is a family-friendly outing suitable for all ages.

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Did you know you can make a monthly gift to the NC Sierra Club? Find out how you can make a sustaining gift by visiting our website, or contacting the Chapter office at 919-833-8467.

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Meck Park & Rec – Summer 2014 “Get Going” Guide

Get Going Guide Summer 2014

Let Park and Rec Be Your ‘Guide’ to a Fun and Active Summer

Summer is just around the corner and Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation offers several outstanding programs that will help you and your family enjoy every minute of it.

Check out the Get Going Guide for a listing of activities for all ages, including information on summer camps and events at Romare Bearden Park.

The Summer 2014 Get Going Guide (Complete guide)

NC Wilderness Act 30th Anniversary Celebration – June 12, Raleigh

Reserve your place at this special event!

NC Wilderness June 12

Program includes:

  • Honoring Our Past: History of the North Carolina Wilderness Act of 1984 – Dr. Robbie Cox – Past NC Chapter Chair and Former Sierra Club President
  • A Look At Our Current Wilderness Work: Dan Chu – Senior Campaign Director, Our Wild America
  • An Eye on the Future: Inner City Outings in North Carolina - Amanda Damweber – Triangle ICO Chair

Get your ticket today!

Event proceeds will directly support North Carolina Sierra Club programs,  including Inner City Outings.

International Migratory Bird Celebration and Service Day – May 10

International migratory bird day IMBD EA logo

This month we will hold our regularly scheduled Ribbonwalk hike and service day at the Reedy Creek Nature Center.

This month’s scheduled Ribbonwalk hike and service day falls on the same weekend as Reedy Creek’s International Migratory Bird Day celebration.

Please join us at the Reedy Creek nature center between 10:00 AM and 2:00PM. The Sierra Club Central Piedmont Group will have a table set up with more information about other club activities and invasive species removal.

There will be short outings inside the preserve to learn about invasive spices and to remove some Japanese Stilt Grass. The outings will leave the Sierra Club’s table at between 11AM and 1PM depending on participation

Outing Information

Who: You! Sierra Club members, potential members, and those that love to preserve and protect the environment are welcome to join us.

What: Reedy Creek Nature Preserve is one my favorite preserves after Ribbonwalk. It protects 737 acres of natural, forested habitat within Reedy Creek Park. There are over ten miles of hiking trails in the nature preserve for the outdoor enthusiast, giving visitors the opportunity to explore a variety of terrains, while enjoying scenic views of small lakes, forests, fields, streams, and wildlife. Reedy Creek Nature Preserve is also home to Reedy Creek Nature Center and the Dr. James F. Matthews Center for Biodiversity Studies.

When: May 10th from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM at the nature center. Can’t stay for the entire time? No problem.

Where: 2900 Rocky River Rd, Charlotte, NC
Drive into the park to the T intersection and turn right to the nature center
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Why: The Sierra Club Central Piedmont group has adopted Ribbonwalk, another preserve that we meet at on the second Saturday of each month, as part of our conservation efforts and our Resilient Habitat campaign. With severe cutbacks to the Park & Rec budget, citizen volunteers are critical to helping to maintain our natural resources. Join us and make a difference.

What to bring: Dress in layers to stay warm. Wear sturdy shoes for work and walking. Bring a water bottle and a snack if you would like to nibble while you work. Work gloves recommended. Tools are provided but you are welcome to bring your own loppers, trowels, knives, etc.