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Welcome to the White River Group: Missouri Chapter

 

 Ozark StreamOct. 18 Joint Program with Audubon to Focus on Population Impacts on Natural Systems in the Ozarks

We're excited to announce that the White River Group of the Sierra Club is joining with the Greater Ozarks Audubon Society to present "Growth & Consumption: Are We Loving the Ozarks to Death?" Oct. 18 from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Springfield Conservation Nature Center.

This event is scheduled for the regular meeting night of the GOAS but will be in the auditorium. Our speakers are Dr. Janice Greene, professor of biology at Missouri State University, and Mike Kromrey, executive director of the Watershed Committee of the Ozarks.

Together, they will explore the global statistics, trends and impacts on agricultural and natural systems of the ever-increasing human population. Beyond those numbers, however, is the alarming increase in consumption in developed and developing countries that is depleting our natural resources. The trends are simply not sustainable. Dr. Greene and Mike will then look at the stats, trends and impacts of human growth and development on the Ozarks.

We hope you'll come to this stimulating presentation on the what is often the white elephant in the room:  too many people consuming too much stuff made from finite resources.

For more information, contact Jennifer Ailor with the Sierra Club at 417-581-4018 or Myra Scroggs with Audubon at 417-425-6502. To prepare for the presentation, consider watching Annie Leonard's "The Story of Stuff" on YouTube.

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Welcome to the White River Group (WRG) of the Sierra Club!  We have more than 900 members in our region of the state, which covers 23 counties in southern Missouri. If you are not yet a member or if you have not yet become active with your local group, there are many reasons--outings, interesting programs, causes, volunteer opportunities--to consider joining us.

But first a "state of the state" message. In 2007, the White River Group “resurfaced” after a decade of no local presence or leadership. Several local Sierrans developed a cadre of half-a-dozen leaders and additional active members. We made a difference.

Here’s how:

  • We partnered with other local organizations to form a coalition known as Ozarks Friends of the Environment. OFE organized forums on climate change and sustainable living in 2007 and 2008, respectively.

  •  We planted a rain garden in 2007 at Valley Water Mill Park to address a drainage problem on the east side of the lake. The garden is thriving and “doing its job.”

  • We published a Kid’s Guide to the Ozarks Outdoors in 2009 and distributed it to schools, Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, nature centers in Springfield and Joplin and other organizations to encourage teachers, parents, family and friends to get children out of doors.

  • We introduced members and the public to nearby Swan Creek and the need to protect it and other special areas in the state as official wilderness sites.

  • We organized an environmental film festival in Springfield to celebrate Earth Day in 2007.

  •  We developed programs on a wide variety of topics, including geocaching, the Ozarks Aquifer, clean air, the Master Naturalists program, renewable energy, energy and environmental legislation, nuclear energy, native perennials, black bears, living off the grid, wild edibles, invasive species and landscaping for energy efficiency.

  • We developed this website.

  • We offered outings: hikes, river trips, opportunities to build trails and visit wilderness areas.

 But the last 18 months have seen a slow erosion of our leadership ranks and participation of members in outings, volunteer activities and programs. Cynthia Andre, Dan Crane and Jennifer Ailor are still at the helm. But we each have family members with major health issues, and we frankly need a helping hand from some of you 900+ members of the White River Group.
Until some of you step forward, Cynthia, Dan and Jennifer are going to pull back a bit. Instead of monthly programs, we’re going to see about reactivating OFE to pull together another forum in the fall of 2012, topic to be announced later. We’ll continue to offer periodic outings or point members to other organizations offering opportunities to get outside. And we may develop some discussion groups and a Facebook page.

In the meantime, we would particularly like to hear from any of you who’d be willing to devote a little time to helping White River Group increase activities and relevance for its members. We encourage you to share your vision of what you would like to see it become. E-mail or call us at the numbers below:


Dan Crane: 417-838-9761, dcrane6538@aol.com     Cynthia Andre:  417-581-8318, bullcreek65721@gmail.com    Jennifer Ailor: 417-581-4018, jailor65721@yahoo.com

Sierra Club

 

Check out our Kid's Guide.

 

Program Plans

Because our leadership has dwindled to three people with limited time, we're taking a hiatus from monthly programs in 2012. Instead, we hope to partner with other environmental groups in the Springfield area and host a public forum in the fall on a topic to be announced. It will likely be at the Springfield Conservation Nature Center at 4600 Chrisman in September or October.


   
   

Copyright Sierra Club White River Group, Missouri Chapter.