Dallas Sierra Club
#########Dallas Sierra Club News

March, 2011: In This Issue. . .


Notes from the Chair

New Meeting Place a Success!
As many of you know, last month marked the beginning of holding our 2nd Tuesday general meetings at REI in Dallas. We had a near full house, 2 great programs on solar energy and environmental awakening, and we were able to keep our snacks and information boards available before, during and after the meeting.

If you have not been to a meeting in a while, this is a great time to return. There are no "guilt" trips here. We are just glad to see you and get your support for all the club's programs. From Inner City Outings to the best bus trips in the Sierra Club to the upcoming battle in the Texas Legislature, there is a place for you.

If you are interested in more details about any Sierra Club activity, we will start setting up around 6:00 for early birds who may want to just ask questions or who want the best seats for the 7:00 meeting. This would be a perfect time for new members, possible new members, or anyone who loves the natural world and is ready to get off the couch to protect it.

Whatever your motivation, we welcome you.

Your Dallas Chair, Wendel Withrow


General Meeting Program - March 8, 7:00 pm - Refreshments at 6:30

Remember to go to our new General Meeting location at REI on LBJ/I-635 between Welch and Midway

Smarter Water for North Texas
The Texas Conservation Alliance invites North Texans to an informative and positive program, "Smarter Water for North Texas." The good news is that we have enough water in existing reservoirs to meet our water needs for the next 50-plus years. We can avoid new reservoirs which would destroy many thousands of acres of bottomland hardwood forest, uproot families, and harm existing local economies . . . if we make the right water allocation and use decisions. This program will allow us to explore low-impact water supply options which will allow us to avoid the monetary and human costs associated with unnecessary new reservoirs.

The Texas Conservation Alliance works to protect Texas' rivers, forests, coastlines, wildlife, and other natural habitats. The Alliance harnesses the energies and experience of Texans from varied backgrounds who share a common interest in protecting our state's natural resources. The Alliance has an exceptional record of accomplishment over its forty-year history.

Milton Hickman, the speaker, is a long time Dallas Sierra Club member, and volunteers with the Trinity River Audubon Center as an Eco-Educator.

Staking Your Claim in the Green Arena
Are you an expert (or passionate student) in some aspect of the environmental movement? If so, you have a lot of knowledge to share. In this presentation, Anna Clark, president of EarthPeople and Anna Clarkauthor of Green, American Style, will share her advice on how to sharpen your voice as a change agent, thought leader and/or ecopreneur. She'll also update us on the top green business and professional opportunities in 2011.

Anna M. Clark is the president of EarthPeople, a consulting and communications firm that implements profitable sustainability strategies. She is the author of the book Green, American Style (Baker, 2010). Her ideas on sustainability and leadership have appeared in The Christian Science Monitor, The Dallas Morning News, D, CEO, USA Today, Entrepreneur Radio, Mother Earth News, Greenbiz.com and SustainLane.com.

Anna started her career as a management consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers and IBM. Since founding EarthPeople, she has used her passion for conservation and organizational transformation to fuel her work with startups, non-profits, municipalities, and Fortune 500 companies. Anna holds a B.A. with honors in Government from the University of Texas at Austin and completed a post-graduate internship at the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires. Today, she lives with her family in Dallas in one of Texas' first residences to earn a Platinum LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. For more, visit www.annamclark.com.

Click on over to our General Meeting page of our website for full details about our program. We also have directions to the meeting, including a map.

Mark Your Calendar - April is Movie night!
We will furnish popcorn and drinks. If you want, bring your own favorite snacks.

A Chemical Reaction is a movie about one of the most powerful community initiatives in North America. It tells how one committed woman changed the way that Canada views and uses chemicals on lawns. It's an inspiring story of overcoming great odds, and demonstrates the power of people coming together to effect great change in our society. View the movie trailer at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTcvO-o8NTA

Ron Hall (aka Lawn Dr Ron) and Mona, hosts of the Natural Living and Garden Show on 570 AM KLIF Sundays from 8-9 a.m., and owners of Ron's Organics, Inc., the largest totally organic garden center in the state of Texas, are proud to introduce the community screening of A Chemical Reaction to the Dallas Sierra Club. After converting their personal property to natural and organic products, they decided to take it a step further and converted their landscape management company to sustainable landscape practices. In doing so, Ron has formulated several natural one of a kind blends to help him and his quest to save the world one yard at a time. For additional information visit http://organicdynamics.com/.


Conservation Hightlights

St Patrick's Day Parade on Greenville Avenue - Volunteer Recycling Team - March 12th
The Dallas Sierra Club will be entering a conservation awareness entry into this year's parade which is scheduled for March 12th in Dallas. This will be our 4th year to help make St Patrick's Day in Dallas even greener! We've collected over one ton of materials in that time and are seeking volunteers to join the 2011 Parade Recycling Team to help divert as many recyclables as possible from the landfill! You must RSVP via Eventbrite to receive your parade credentials. Volunteer time is four hours (9:30a-1:30p). More information can be found on Eventbrite. All are welcome to join in this memorable experience (our goal is 40 volunteers)!

Earth Day Dallas - Dallas Arts District - April 22nd & 23rd
Earth Day Dallas hopes to catalyze a "green" movement in North Texas by staging a two-day event on April 22nd and 23rd over several city blocks in the Dallas Arts District. This year's events include nationally and regionally recognized speakers, a diverse and compelling ecoFilm series, local and regional music and entertainment, an assortment of arts and crafts opportunities for families, and sustainable food and beverage vendors. Earth Day Dallas is planning to offset its carbon impact and minimize waste across all event exhibitors and participants. Sponsors include: Environmental Protection Agency, Chevrolet, The Nature Conservancy, and Half Price Books. Speakers include: Pete McCloskey (Former State Representative from California who co-authored the Endangered Species Act of 1973), Steven Hamburg (Chief Scientist for the Environmental Defense Fund), Dorka Keehn (Author of ECO AMAZONS: Twenty Women Who Are Transforming the World ), Peter Lehner (Executive Director of the Natural Resources Defense Council), Will Rogers IV (President/CEO, Trust for Public Land) and Don Henley (Founder of Caddo Lake Institute, member of the band The Eagles). More information on events and participation (exhibitor, volunteer, etc.) can be found on the Earth Day Dallas website or by contacting Peter.


Outings Corner

Why We Don't Build Fires
by Bill Greer, Dallas Group Outings Chair

Extensive research by the National Park Service and other outdoor managers shows that for many people a campfire is an important part of outdoor recreation. But for the most part, the Dallas Group does not build fires on our outings. I'd like to explain our policy below.

The Sierra Club is not an outings club, but a conservation club that does outings. We started our outings program to show people why certain areas should be protected. Therefore, it would run counter to our goals if our outings themselves damaged areas we are trying to protect. In a nutshell, the reason we do not build fires is that they cause harm to the wilderness that no amount of care can prevent. Read on and you'll see why. As a conservation club, we have a duty to teach a better way.

Damage from the fire itself:
Some damage from campfires is readily evident. Campsites quickly acquire a ring of rocks filled with ashes and partly burned trash. When that one is filled, or deemed too small or in the wrong place, another is built. Soon some of the best tent places are occupied by a fire ring. Makeshift furniture accompanies some of the rings. The area begins to look less like wilderness and more like someone's primitive homestead. You don't appreciate how this alters the forest until you see an area that has seen little human visitation.

Some damage is not evident. Since it burns a lot of wood in one restricted space, a campfire chars the ground to considerable depth. This kills tree roots and alters the soil. Park Service studies show that burning trash injects toxins into the soil, and unfortunately most people do try to dispose of trash in their campfire.

The damage isn't restricted just to the forest. Back when we built fires, embers popped out by green firewood sometimes burned holes in a favorite rain jacket or tent.

Today we find that without a fire, we can see the stars and our fellow campers much better. We can appreciate the woods as they are without having to burn them. We don't have any smoke in our eyes.
Some organizations try to promote "leave no trace" fires by using fire pans or excavations. But these methods are usually impractical, always a lot of work, and people just will not go to the effort. The lesson most people take away from "leave no trace" fires is that fires are OK. The rest is forgotten, and another fire ring gets built. As a conservation organization, we have a duty to show people how to do better.

The only fire that truly leaves no trace is the fire that didn't get built.

Damage from gathering fuel:
The first thing people planning a campfire do is start gathering fuel. At first, there are plenty of small sticks on the ground that make perfect fuel. But they are soon used up, and people then tear dead branches from trees. When those are gone, green branches start to go. Informal trails spread from the campsite as people search for fuel. Soon, people chop down small standing trees. They're too green to burn, but people will try. Pretty soon, the forest around a campsite is scoured as high as anyone can reach or climb. Even if it were possible to build a "leave no trace" fire, this fuel-gathering damage goes on, killing trees and scarring those that don't die.

According to the National Park Service, "Campsite-monitoring surveys have consistently shown significant levels of tree damage and felling associated with campfire use." "No strategy or action investigated in this study effectively avoided or minimized damage to trees, which was extensive in some of the study areas." Those small branches on the ground are supposed to be recycled into new branches on new trees. We want people to learn to let that happen.

The only fire that leaves no scars on the forest is the one that didn't get built.

Escaped fire:
Escaped and often illegal campfires damaged some of our favorite places to hike (Blue Creek in Big Bend, Bandelier, and White Mountains in New Mexico). Tree roots can ignite to smolder unseen for hours. People often build fires where there is no water available to drown the fire. Strong winds will carry embers for long distances. They don't always land on your tent or jacket; sometimes they land in dry leaves and start another fire. You can be as careful as possible and still be defeated by sudden gusts.

The only fire that will never escape is the one that didn't get built.

We have a duty to teach a better way:
When there was lots of wilderness and few visitors, a few fires didn't hurt anything. Now there are lots of visitors and very little wilderness. In the remaining bits of wilderness, we tend to concentrate in a few special places. As a conservation organization, we have a duty to help others learn to enjoy those places without damaging them.

For many years people cooked their meals over campfires, but most of us have now learned to use backpacking stoves. This is more convenient and undoubtedly reduced campfire damage. As a conservation organization, we have a duty to help people take the next step and wean themselves from fires entirely. Even in those rare cases in the wilderness where a fire possibly could be built without lasting harm, we must use this chance to teach a better way to both folks we may not see again and those who may not yet understand.

National Park Service research shows that even complete bans on campfires are not completely successful in reducing campfire damage. People ignore the law and build fires anyway. The only way campfire damage can ever be eliminated is if we can teach people to enjoy a night in the woods without building a fire.

It is human nature to believe that the things we really, really, like to do could not possibly be harmful. We need to help those who go on our outings look beyond that and understand that no matter how enjoyable they might find that fire, it really is harmful. Pretty soon they realize that the night sky, the dark woods, and good friends are nice enough that the night is more enjoyable without that smoky old fire.

The best way to teach others not to need fire is to show them a night in the woods without one.

Can we never toast our ‘smores?
Does this mean that we can never enjoy toasting a marshmallow over a wood fire? Of course not. Developed campgrounds in local, state and federal parks almost always have fire sites that are carefully placed and constructed so that a fire built in them is unlikely to cause damage. You must bring your own wood rather than chop down the park's trees. And yes, that firewood also came from trees, but at least they were probably not in a wilderness or park but rather in a woodlot that was doomed to become timber anyway. If you have just not been able to completely wean yourself from that primitive need for fire, this is the place to satisfy that perceived need. Personally, I don't care for a fire even in this setting.

If you must have a campfire, visit one of our state or national park campgrounds.

For more information:
I hope this article has helped explain why we don't build fires. I know it won't convince everyone, but at least you will know why our policy came about.

"Everything has its wonders, even darkness and silence, and I learn, whatever state I may be in, therein to be content."
-- Helen Keller

Some of the information about campfire impacts for this article, and much more, can be found in this research paper funded by the National Park Service: http://www.tcfroar.org/pdf/freeresources/bsa/others/jeffmarion/Campfire%20Impacts%20EM%20paper.pdf.


Outings Highlight

Advanced Backpacking Class, March 9
You've got a few local weekend backpacks under your belt; so you want to do more: a fly-drive or multi-night outing, or even try a cold weather trip. This class will cover advanced backpacking tips and skills including winter camping, fly-drive planning and equipment, bear barrel packing, and week-long trekking. Location: REI, 4515 LBJ Freeway, Farmers Branch, TX 75244 (north side of LBJ between Midway and Welch). This class will start promptly at 6:30 PM and will finish at about 8:45 PM. The fee for the class is $15 for Sierra Club members and $20 for non-members (cash or check). No reservations are necessary; just show up. For more information: Bill Greer 972-247-0446(H) NEW

Wilderness Navigation Class, March 15 and 17
Learn the fundamentals of finding your way in the wilderness in this two evening class. Among the subjects covered are: purchasing maps, how to read maps, how not to get lost, what to do if you do get lost, GPS, different kinds of compasses, and how to use your compass. If you have a compass, bring it to the class. If you don't have one, we will show you what to look for when you purchase one. The class will be held at REI (second floor program room). REI is at 4515 LBJ Freeway, north side, between Midway and Welch. This two-night class will start promptly at 6:30 PM and will finish at about 8:45 PM. The fee for the class is $15 for Sierra Club members and $20 for non-members (cash or check). No reservations are necessary; just show up. Leaders: Bill Greer 972-247-0446(H) and Arthur Kuehne 972-635-9774(H)

GPS Navigation for the Outdoors, March 24
This class will introduce you to the basics of what a GPS is, what it can do, and how to use it to assist you finding your way in the Wilderness. We will not teach you how to use a specific brand or model of GPS, but rather help you understand the capabilities and limitations of the Global Positioning System. We will give you some idea of what to consider selecting a GPS. We will also discuss the maps that you must have to actually use your GPS. Finally we'll show you how to use your GPS in the woods. Graduates of our Wilderness Navigation Class will have a better understanding of some points we will discuss but while it is recommended it is not a prerequisite. The class will be held at REI (second floor program room). REI is at 4515 LBJ Freeway, north side, between Midway and Welch. This class will start promptly at 6:30 PM and will finish at about 8:45 PM. The fee for the class is $10 for Sierra Club members and $15 for non-members (cash or check). No reservations are necessary; just show up. Leaders: Bill Greer 972-964-1781(H) and Arthur Kuehne 972-635-9774(H)

Camp and Hike at Colorado Bend State Park, April 8-10
We've reserved a huge group campsite on the Colorado River at this scenic park in the Hill Country. Drive to the site and pitch your tent ("car camp") Friday and Saturday nights. Saturday we'll offer three day hike options, each with unique features: 1) River and Lemons Ridge Trails; 2) Spicewood Springs Trail; 3) Gorman Falls. Hike all three (11 miles total), just the hikes you want, or none at all. A link with trip details, pictures and sign-up instructions will be posted here soon. Colorado Bend will appeal to experienced hikers, beginners and families. Rent a kayak, roast marshmallows or join the Sunday post-trip feast at the barbecue joint near Glen Rose. Leaders: Mark Stein 214-526-3733(H) and Liz Wheelan 214-368-2306(H)

For a complete list of our outings, visit our outings page.


Remembering Lige Balceszak

Longtime Dallas Sierra Club member, outings leader, volunteer, and friend Lige Balceszak passed away February 5, 2011. He was buried with military honors at the Dallas Fort Worth National Cemetery. Lige joined the Dallas club in the mid 1970s. He shared his enjoyment of paddling and the outdoors by leading canoe, backpack, car-camping, and dayhike outings. He was also Treasurer in 1983 and 1984. He and his wife Marion volunteered at club events and supported conservation issues. An engaging and witty storyteller, Lige entertained around camp and at in-town gatherings with his tales and friendly banter. He never met a stranger and always had a smile and a kind word for everyone. Lige and Marion were also very active with the Dallas Downriver Club. He is survived by his wife Marion, son Stephen, daughters Catherine and Stacy, three grandchildren and a sister as well as many, many friends. He will be missed but not forgotten.


Recycling Round-Up
by Rita Raccoon

Recent Recycling News - March 2011

Hey – March is Texas Smartscape® Month! Everything is Bigger in Texas – but your Water Bill shouldn't be!
What is SmartScape Month? SmartScape Month is a regionally coordinated effort to promote the water conservation, pollution prevention, recycling, composting, and waste reduction principles of Texas SmartScape. SmartScape plants are native and adapted to this area and need less water and fertilizers to thrive in our local climate. In addition, the Texas SmartScape program encourages proper design, care, and maintenance techniques to better protect the environment. Since March is an active month for landscaping, this is an excellent time to conduct public education and outreach on more sustainable practices.

Leaf Blowers: What Is the Big Idea?
Sonya Batts, City of Dallas
Leaf blowers are one of the most useful, but misused pieces of lawn care equipment. Have you ever witnessed your neighbor or a lawn care company using a leaf blower improperly? Were they blowing leaves and yard waste into the street or storm drain inlet? Perhaps they did not know or care where that yard waste goes or that there are negative consequences downstream from their actions.

The City of Dallas cares. The Dallas City Council and citizens care. We care so much that the City of Dallas Stormwater Management section has embarked upon a Leaf Blower Education Campaign. The goal of the campaign is to educate citizens who live and work in the City of Dallas on how to reduce stormwater pollution from yard waste and other pollutants.

The objectives are to…

  • Inform citizens and businesses that discharge of yard waste into the street or storm drains is a violation of City Code

  • Focus on leaf blowers and other mowing equipment that have potential to dispense yard waste into the street or storm drain

  • Inform citizens and businesses that natural products, such as yard waste, contributes to water pollution

  • Educate City of Dallas staff and subcontractors on stormwater pollution prevention

  • Educate citizens on reporting violations with the 3-1-1 system to increase documented service requests and identify areas to target education

The campaign includes one full day set aside by Stormwater Management for employees to take to the streets of Dallas looking for lawn care activity. Highly populated residential areas are targeted during this "blitz." When lawn care activity is observed, the employees assess the activity to determine if education is needed or if the activity is in violation of City Code. If in violation, a Notice of Violation or citation is issued.

After the blitz, Stormwater Management mails informational letters to the yard workers identified during the blitz. The letters are mailed to homeowners, Neighborhood/Home Owner Associations, and landscape companies. Staff also meets with retail and wholesale commercial equipment suppliers to ask them to distribute a leaf blower educational brochure to all customers who purchase lawn care equipment.

Additionally, as a part of the Leaf Blower Education Campaign, City of Dallas employees, especially departments that hire or handle lawn care for City of Dallas facilities and properties are trained in appropriate yard waste management.

The Leaf Blower Education Campaign has proven to be a worthy effort for Stormwater Management. The City of Dallas will continue improving this educational campaign until we have successfully informed all citizens who live and work in the City how to reduce stormwater pollution from yard waste and other pollutants.

To learn more about the City of Dallas Stormwater Management's educational efforts, contact us at 214-948-4022 or email us at stormwater@dallascityhall.com. Visit our website at www.wheredoesitgo.com.


Calendar

Here is our calendar for the next two months. For complete listings, visit us at www.dallassierraclub.org.

MAR 7 (MON) SIERRA SINGLES DINNER Hello Everyone! Aren't you glad we'll finally be able to turn down our heaters this weekend? Whoohoo. So then, the next Sierra Singles Dinner gathering will be at the delicious Thai Star Restaurant in Addison, (again). I know we were just there, but it was so fun, and the owner was so kind, that we are going back on the 7th of March, a Monday night, at 6:30 ish. We had a great turnout last time, so we're gonna have expanded elbow room this time around. Dont forget its BYOB, and it would be nice to share a toast or two. The address is 14833 Midway Rd. #100, Addison, TX 75001. Its tucked in a corner of a strip mall, so if you dont see it, dont fret. Just poke around a little. Their number is 972-991-6334, if you get lost. My number (Ginger) is below in case you want more info. Please see their website at www.thaistaraddison.com for more info and the menu. See you then. Remember you dont have to be a Sierra Club member to come on out and have a good time with us! No RSVP needed. Organizer: Ginger Bradley 469-223-7902(C)

MAR 8 (TUE) DALLAS SIERRA CLUB GENERAL MEETING Everyone is invited to the General Meeting of the Dallas Sierra Club. Remember, it will be at our new meeting location. See above for details. 

MAR 9 (WED) ADVANCED BACKPACKING You’ve got a few local weekend backpacks under your belt; so you want to do more: a fly-drive or multi-night outing, or even try a cold weather trip. This class will cover advanced backpacking tips and skills including winter camping, fly-drive planning and equipment, bear barrel packing, and week-long trekking. Location: REI, 4515 LBJ Freeway, Farmers Branch, TX 75244 (north side of LBJ between Midway and Welch). This class will start promptly at 6:30 PM and will finish at about 8:45 PM. The fee for the class is $15 for Sierra Club members and $20 for non-members (cash or check). No reservations are necessary; just show up. For more information: Bill Greer 972-247-0446(H)

MAR 12 (SAT) CHISHOLM TRAIL IN PLANO Meet at 9:30 AM in front of the Starbucks/Barnes Noble (north side of 15th just west of US 75). We will walk 5-6 miles on a paved path. Bring water. No reservations, just show up. Optional lunch afterwards. Leader: Judy Cato 972-238-5738(H)

MAR 12 (SAT) WHITE ROCK LAKE CLEANUP. Walk and talk while helping to pick up trash and recyclables at the Sierra Club's adopted section of White Rock Lake Park. Meet at 8:15 AM at the Love of the Lake office on the Northeast corner of Garland Rd. and Buckner Blvd. Look for a crowd of people drinking free juice and coffee. Gloves, trash bags, etc. provided. Our area includes one of the wonderful prairie restoration areas, so there are always birds and wildflowers to enjoy. The lake and your karma will thank you. Brunch afterwards. Leader: Carol Nash 214-824-0244(H)

MAR 15 (TUE) and MAR 17 (THU) WILDERNESS NAVIGATION CLASS Learn the fundamentals of finding your way in the wilderness in this two evening class. Among the subjects covered are: purchasing maps, how to read maps, how not to get lost, what to do if you do get lost, GPS, different kinds of compasses, and how to use your compass. If you have a compass, bring it to the class. If you don't have one, we will show you what to look for when you purchase one. The class will be held at REI (second floor program room). REI is at 4515 LBJ Freeway, north side, between Midway and Welch. This two-night class will start promptly at 6:30 PM and will finish at about 8:45 PM. Tuesday we will introduce the "tools" you will use, Thursday we will show you how to put it all together. The fee for the class is $15 for Sierra Club members and $20 for non-members (cash or check). No reservations are necessary; just show up. Leaders: Bill Greer 972-247-0446(H) and Arthur Kuehne 972-635-9774(H)

MAR 16 (WED) OUTINGS COMMITTEE MEETING. Meet in the upstairs program room at REI (on north side of LBJ between Midway and Welch), at 6:30 PM. Bring your ideas for the Dallas Sierra Club Outings program. We will be planning local outings and bus trips. All outings leaders, future outings leaders, and interested Sierrans welcome. Ask Bill to be placed on the email list for an agenda. Contact: Bill Greer 972-247-0446(H)

MAR 19 (SAT) 6 MILES AT WHITE ROCK - 10:15AM START TIME Meet at the Stone Tables at White Rock Lake at 10:15am on Lake Highlands Drive and Buckner Blvd. From the intersection of Lake Highlands and Buckner, turn southwest on E. Lake Highlands. Take an immediate left (south) on Tiffany Way, then an immediate right on E. Lawther. There is a sign here but it now says "one Tables." We’ll walk about towards the 9 mile group lead by Marcos Jorge and walk back with them a total of 6 miles. Bring water. No reservations, just show up. Lunch with the 9 mile group. Leader: Judy Cato 972-238-5738(H)

MAR 19 (SAT) 9 MILE DAY HIKE AROUND WHITE ROCK LAKE - 9:00AM START Let's meet at the Stone Tables at White Rock Lake near Lake Highlands Drive and Buckner Blvd. From the intersection of Lake Highlands and Buckner, turn southwest on E. Lake Highlands. Take an immediate left (south) on Tiffany Way, then an immediate right on E. Lawther. There is a sign here but it now says "one Tables." The hike will start at 9:00am. We’ll walk 9 miles in about 3 hrs on a paved path. This is a good conditioning hike for the upcoming spring backpack trips. We'll meet Judy Cato's group about two thirds of the way, and walk with them to the cars. Bring water and snacks. No reservations necessary. We'll have lunch with Judy's group. Leader: Marcos Jorge 214-682-6555(C)

MAR 24 (THU) GPS NAVIGATION FOR THE OUTDOORS This class will introduce you to the basics of what a GPS is, what it can do, and how to use it to assist you finding your way in the Wilderness. We will not teach you how to use a specific brand or model of GPS, but rather help you understand the capabilities and limitations of the Global Positioning System. We will give you some idea of what to consider selecting a GPS. We will also discuss the maps that you must have to actually use your GPS. Finally we’ll show you how to use your GPS in the woods. Graduates of our Wilderness Navigation Class will have a better understanding of some points we will discuss but while it is recommended it is not a prerequisite. The class will be held at REI (second floor program room). REI is at 4515 LBJ Freeway, north side, between Midway and Welch. This class will start promptly at 6:30 PM and will finish at about 8:45 PM. The fee for the class is $10 for Sierra Club members and $15 for non-members (cash or check). No reservations are necessary; just show up. Leaders: Bill Greer 972-964-1781(H) and Arthur Kuehne 972-635-9774(H)

MAR 26-27 (SAT-SUN) BEGINNER BACKPACK TRIP TO THE CANEY CREEK WILDERNESS Hike one of the most scenic wilderness trails in Western Arkansas. This is a favorite hike of the Dallas Sierra Club. We’ll backpack about 4 miles one way and camp near a water fall. We will be hiking near a stream, and there will be a few small hills to climb. After setting up camp, we’ll go on a short day hike to a ridge near camp. This backpack trip is fairly easy and is suitable for beginners. Preference will be given to those who have taken the backpack class this February. Leaders: Marcos Jorge 214-682-6555(C) and Steve Longley

APR 2 (SAT) ARBOR HILLS NATURE PRESERVE Meet at 9:30 AM near the pavilions. Arbor Hills is located at 6701 W. Parker Rd. in Plano just west of Midway Rd. We will walk 5 miles on paved path half on flat dirt trail. No reservations, just show up. Optional restaurant afterwards. Leader: Judy Cato 972-238-5738(H)

APR 2-3 (SAT-SUN) BEGINNER BACKPACK AT MCGEE CREEK, OKLAHOMA. This will be an easy hike in a pleasant, little used forest. The area is designated as a natural scenic recreation area and has thick woods, scenic bluffs, and interesting trails going down to the lake. Saturday morning we'll hike about 1.5 flat miles to camp, then leave our big pack for an optional dayhike. Sunday will feature another dayhike to a nice overlook, then we'll take a different route back to our cars. McGee is close enough to leave Dallas for the trailhead Saturday morning. Leader: Bill Greer 972-247-0446(H)

APR 3 (SUN) ANNUAL SIERRA CLUB AZALEA DAYHIKE IN HIGHLAND PARK Leisurely 1.5 or 2 hour walk. Turtle Creek and Flippen Park. Meet at 2 PM in shopping strip on Oak Lawn (4200 block) just north of Wycliff. Take Oak Lawn Exit off I35 or Fitzhugh exit off Central Expressway. No reservations needed. Leader: Austin Brouns 214-528-3812(H)

APR 8-10 (FRI-SUN) CAMP AND HIKE AT COLORADO BEND STATE PARK We’ve reserved a huge group campsite on the Colorado River at this scenic park in the Hill Country. Drive to the site and pitch your tent (“car camp”) Friday and Saturday nights. Saturday we’ll offer three day hike options, each with unique features: 1) River and Lemons Ridge Trails; 2) Spicewood Springs Trail; 3) Gorman Falls. Hike all three (8 or 9 miles total), just the hikes you want, or none at all. Click here for the full trip description and registration forms. Colorado Bend will appeal to experienced hikers, beginners and families. Rent a kayak, roast marshmallows or join the Sunday post-trip feast at the barbecue joint near Glen Rose. Leaders: Mark Stein 214-526-3733(H) and Liz Wheelan 214-368-2306(H)

APR 9 (SAT) WHITE ROCK LAKE CLEANUP. Walk and talk while helping to pick up trash and recyclables at the Sierra Club's adopted section of White Rock Lake Park. Meet at 8:15 AM at the Love of the Lake office on the Northeast corner of Garland Rd. and Buckner Blvd. Look for a crowd of people drinking free juice and coffee. Gloves, trash bags, etc. provided. Our area includes one of the wonderful prairie restoration areas, so there are always birds and wildflowers to enjoy. The lake and your karma will thank you. Brunch afterwards. Leader: Carol Nash 214-824-0244(H)

APR 20 (WED) OUTINGS COMMITTEE MEETING. Meet in the upstairs program room at REI (on north side of LBJ between Midway and Welch), at 6:30 PM. Bring your ideas for the Dallas Sierra Club Outings program. We will be planning local outings and bus trips. All outings leaders, future outings leaders, and interested Sierrans welcome. Ask Bill to be placed on the email list for an agenda. Contact: Bill Greer 972-247-0446(H)  

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