Sat, Feb 28 – Latta Plantation Nature Preserve Outing

For a great mix of history and nature, come join us for a hike at the Latta Plantation Nature Preserve, in Huntersville, NC, on Saturday, February 28th, 2015.   We’ll be hiking 5.5 miles of the best trails on the preserve, that will include rolling hills, great views of the lake and a variety of wildlife and fauna that will fill your senses.   We will be moving at a moderate pace but will be stopping for snacks and breaks along the way.   

We’ll meet at the Visitor Center at 10:00 AM and should be done by 1:30 PM.  Limited to 20 hikers.  To sign up, contact Allison Pelphrey at pelphreygirl@gmail.com.  
After the hike, for anyone who loves horses (like I do !), you can visit the Latta Equestrian Center located only a quarter mile past the visitor center.  You can also check out the Bird of Prey Center and the Plantation house, also located on the preserve.

 Historic Latta Plantation is a circa 1800 cotton plantation and living history farm, located within Latta Plantation Nature Preserve.   It is Mechlenburg Countie’s largest nature preserve and protects over 1345 acres of natural communities.   It forms a green peninsula extending into Mountain Island Lake, the drinking water source for over 800,000 residents in Mecklenburg & Gaston counties.    This preserve has been acknowledged by the National Audubon Society due to its diversity in wintering water fowl, breeding and migratory songbird species and protection of the bottomland hardwood forests (threatened natural community in NC).

 All participants on Sierra Club outings are required to sign a standard liability waiver which will be available at the trail head (no need for you to print it).  You can view the waiver here:

https://nc2.sierraclub.org/sites/nc.sierraclub.org/files/SignInWaiver%20with%20photo%20release.pdf

Sierra Club Monthly Meeting 2/25/15 – The Catawba – How is it Flowing

We are pleased to have Dr. Reed Perkins, Professor of Chemistry and Environmental Science at Queens University, present his study of the history and current state of the Catawba River. Dr. Reed Perkins has taught at Queens since 1998.

His courses include Geographic Information Systems, Physical Geography, Tropical Island Systems, and Introduction to Environmental Science. He also teaches in the CORE Program for the Liberal Arts and the John Belk International Program. As part of the latter, he developed the Micronesian Islands Environmental Study Program, in which Queen’s students and faculty work with scientists and government personnel of Yap and Kosrae (member states of the Federated States of Micronesia) to field monitor the islands’ ecosystems. He also worked to develop a local GIS capacity on both islands.

His other major teaching interest is the rapidly changing urban system of Charlotte. He and his students work with local elementary school students to study urban streams and impacts of watershed land use patterns.

Our Feb 25th meeting will also provide an opportunity for you to explore the future impact of population growth and drought on the Catawba River basin through an interactive computer simulation.

As usual, our meetings are held at the Mahlon Adams Pavilion in Freedom Park. The address is 2435 Cumberland Ave, Charlotte, NC. Pizza is served at 6:30pm. The formal meeting begins at 7pm. We expect to finish up by 8:30pm. The meeting is free and open to all. And ample parking is available and also free.

Hope to see you there.

David Robinson, Chair Central Piedmont Group of the Sierra Club

Seven Oaks Preserve Trail Hike – Sat, Jan 31

Seven Oaks Preserve Trail, Belmont, NC – 5 miles loop (Easy to Moderate) – 9:30 am on Saturday 1/31/2015

This 2.8 mile (each way) natural surface trail meanders along the shoreline of Lake Wylie.  This trail connects to other trails at the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden (DSBG) that creates a five mile loop from the trail head at the Seven Oaks Preserve Trail.

The preserve protects important sensitive areas around the lake and safeguards wildlife habitat for wild turkeys, turtles and native wildflowers. Seven Oaks Preserve trail also has some magnificent swamp chestnut oak trees near the lake. Additionally, there are huge tulip poplar trees, great paw paw patches and persimmon trees. Birds you may see or hear: Osprey, kingfishers, pileated woodpeckers and bald eagles.

Let’s take a morning to enjoy fresh air and appreciate the work of many volunteers on this segment of the Carolina Thread Trail system.  We will follow the trail to the end where you will find seating awaiting.   You might want to take a few moments to enjoy and reflect on the natural beauty of the area. We then will finish the loop through Persimmon Trail via DSBG parking lot which continues to Boulevard trail and Worrell trail.  Worrell Trail will take you back to the trail head parking lot.  The hike will take 3 to 4 hours.

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Notes:

  • Limited to 15 hikers.  You don’t have to be a Sierra Club member to participate.  To sign up please contact Thanh Huynh at thhrellc@gmail.com or 704-609-5940.
  • Participants on Sierra Club outings are required to sign a standard liability waiver. You can view the waiver here:

https://nc2.sierraclub.org/sites/nc.sierraclub.org/files/SignInWaiver%20with%20photo%20release.pdf

Jan 28 Monthly Meeting Announcement – Backpacking 101

Backpacking 101

We are pleased to have Matt Clapp introduce this 10 week introductory training course that we will be hosting this Spring. Matt is newly arrived in Charlotte from San Diego where he led their local Sierra Club’s backpacking 101 training. The course is specifically for beginners. You do not have to be a Sierra Club member to participate.

If you bought a backpack for wandering around Europe or got one as a gift and it’s still in the garage, this is your chance to get it out and learn how to use it in the wilds. Using a combination of classroom talks and practical weekend experiences, Matt will take the participants through a rigorous process to learn how to safely and comfortably enjoy going backpacking. The course is also a great refresher.

Our Jan 28th meeting will provide an introduction to and overview of this course.

As usual, our meetings are held at the Mahlon Adams Pavilion in Freedom Park. The address is 2435 Cumberland Ave, Charlotte, NC. Pizza is served at 6:30pm. The formal meeting begins at 7pm. We expect to finish up by 8:30pm. The meeting is free and open to all. And ample parking is available and also free.

Hope to see you there.

David Robinson, Chair Central Piedmont Group of the Sierra Club

Super Bowl Sunday Hike – Sunday Feb 1

Super Bowl Sunday Hike – Feb. 1, 2015 – Browns Mt.Get some exercise before the big game!  Our annual Super Bowl Sunday outing will be a moderate 5 mile round-trip hike to Browns Mountain on a somewhat hilly trail.  Browns Mountain is located in Kings Mountain National Military Park, South Carolina, about an hour from Charlotte.  It’s best visited during the winter when views from the mountain top are not obstructed by the tree canopy.  We’ll meet at the park at 10:30 AM and should be done by 1:30 PM.  Afterwards, you might want to take a walk on your own along the self-guided Battlefield Trail and also spend time in the Visitor Center to learn about this important Revolutionary War battle.  Limited to 20 hikers.  To sign up, contact Steve Copulsky at scopulsky@mindspring.com or 704-458-6651.

All participants on Sierra Club outings are required to sign a standard liability waiver. You can view the waiver here:

https://nc2.sierraclub.org/sites/nc.sierraclub.org/files/SignInWaiver%20with%20photo%20release.pdf

BREAKING: Keystone XL moves forward in Nebraska – Take Action

BREAKING: Keystone XL just won a victory over landowners in Nebraska.

Tell President Obama — it’s time to reject KXL once and for all!

Take Action!

Take Action

Just hours ago, the Nebraska Supreme Court failed to nullify the unconstitutional law that places Keystone XL above the rights of landowners to protect their land and water.

While this wrongheaded decision is a blow to our friends who have bravely fought Keystone XL on the ground in Nebraska for years, it also puts this dirty tar sands pipeline one step closer to being rejected. Now that the route in Nebraska is known, the Obama administration can finally decide if KXL is in our national interest.

The end of this fight is now in sight. President Obama has all the information he needs to reject Keystone XL once and for all. Take action now to urge the president to reject KXL!

President Obama has made it clear that Keystone XL can’t be in our national interest — and thus must be rejected — if it increases carbon pollution and makes climate change worse.

It has always been clear that Keystone XL will do just that. In 2014 alone, three major tar sands projects were canceled because they were simply unprofitable given rising costs, lower oil prices and lack of market access from pipelines like Keystone XL. Approving Keystone XL would open the floodgates of climate-damaging tar sands crude flowing through the U.S. — which is just what Big Oil needs to expand production.

In short, every day it becomes more and more clear that this dirty pipeline to nowhere makes no sense. It fails President Obama’s climate test, and must be rejected. Tell President Obama it’s time to reject Keystone XL once and for all!

The only ones who still want this disastrous pipeline are the oil industry and its bought-and-paid-for friends in Congress. We saw this again today as the House of Representatives voted to approve KXL, fulfilling their promise to Big Oil. That bill failed to get enough votes to override President Obama’s promised veto, and the president still has the sole authority to decide this matter once and for all.

What this vote did do, however, was show once again that while the rest of the country is ready to invest in clean, renewable energy, they’re investing in denial and trying desperately to keep America dependent on outdated sources of fuel.

We agree with these Big Oil-backed politicians on one thing: The approval process for Keystone XL has gone on long enough, and it’s time to wrap it up and reject Keystone XL once and for all. Take a moment right now to urge President Obama to reject Keystone XL.

Thanks for doing your part to defeat this toxic pipeline,

Michael Brune
Sierra Club Executive Director

P.S. After you take action, be sure to forward this invitation to your friends and colleagues! You can also help spread the word on your social networks with the buttons below:

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NC Clean Power Plan – Jan 12 Sierra Club Webinar

Fossil Fuel CPP

We know that Governor Pat, the Republican lead NC legislature and DENR will do everything possible to delay and weaken a Clean Power Plan for North Carolina.  We also know that the Koch Brothers, ALEC, the John Locke Foundation, Duke Energy, and the oil and gas industry will be actively lobbying our Governor and elected officials to oppose a strong Clean Power Plan. We need all hands on deck to be a part of a North Carolina Clean Clean Power plan fight. And you can’t be an effective advocate and activist if you don’t know the facts. That’s why you need to join us Monday, January 12th, from  5:00 til 6:00 for a Sierra Club Clean Power Plan webinar!

Clean Power Plan 101 Webinar

Monday, January 12th

5:00pm-6:00pm

Click here to register – Clean Power Plan NC 101 Registration