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The Planet
Who We Are

Roger Grissette—Chicago, Illinois, National Outings Leader

When the tech bubble burst several years ago, Roger Grissette took early retirement to lead national outings for the Sierra Club; he now leads four or five trips every year for the program, which offers more than 350 adventures annually. "We follow John Muir’s example," he says, "but we do a lot more than just backpack trips now—we go all over the world."

Grissette says he used to be just an "armchair" Club member, but that changed after he hiked in Wyoming’s Wind River Range. In 2003 he offered a beginner’s backpack trip in the Winds that was so successful he’s offering it again this July.

Grissette won a victory for Sierra Club Outings in 2002 when he convinced Yellowstone National Park to allow the Club to lead more trips there. The National Outings program had been rebuffed because its trips were considered "commercial," but Grissette made the case that the Club ran service trips doing maintenance in Yellowstone but wasn’t allowed to offer other types of trips there. Thanks to his efforts, four 2003 Yellowstone backpack trips ensued, and four more are available this year.

"The need for advocacy and action is currently more pressing than ever," says Grissette, who makes conservation and public lands a topic of discussion on all his trips. "It’s astonishing that our environment is facing even greater threats today than when I joined the Club back in the James Watt era."


You can join Roger on an activist trip in Montana's Kootenai National Forest or a backpack journey through Colorado's Powderhorn Wilderness. For more information go to sierraclub.org/outings/national.



Jeremy Doochin—Nashville, Tennessee
Middle Tennessee Group Vice-Chair

"I read an article that said that 66 percent of species will die out by the end of the century," says Jeremy Doochin. "It’s the kind of thing that hits you and you suddenly want to do something about it."

Doochin, at 16, has done as much to help the environment as many could hope to do by age 60.

Most of his time and energy go towards the Student Environmental Outreach Coalition, a group he started at Nashville’s Hume-Fogg high school, where he is a sophomore. The school had a recycling club, but Doochin felt kids could be doing more. "There’s also water, air, and more. I just didn’t feel that students were getting exposed to the full range of environmental issues."

Since starting the group at the beginning of the school year, Doochin and his collaborators have lived up to his hopes. On one Saturday, they helped the Park Service to restore trails by adding several tons of mulch. Another weekend saw them labeling the storm drains around Nashville that flow directly into the Cumberland River. They cleared invasive honeysuckle out of a local park. And recently, the coalition toured the state capitol with environmental lobbyist Mike Murphy to discuss the pack of state bills he was working on.

The Sierra Club has been supportive of Doochin’s efforts. Last July, the Nashville-based Middle Tennessee Group pledged to help with his student coalition any way they could. Later that summer, he attended a Training Academy session and connected with Club leaders from around the country. And in the fall, after becoming a regular at the local group’s meetings, he accepted the role of vice-chair. Just imagine what he’ll be doing by senior year.




Kelly Krupka—Kaukauna, Wisconsin
Newsletter Editor, Excom Member, Fox Valley Group

Not only did Kelly Krupka take up the editorial reins of the Fox Valley Group newsletter at age 21, she was a member of the group’s executive committee at 19. "While I was in high school I was looking for people who wanted to get outside backpacking and canoeing," she explains. "Some friends told me about the Sierra Club, and I’ve been involved ever since."

A graphic designer by trade, Krupka is also an avid whitewater kayaker. "One of my favorite places to kayak is the Menominee River, on the Wisconsin/Michigan border," she says. "It’s one of the few rivers I haven’t gotten hurt on, which must be one reason I like it so much. People don’t think of the Midwest as a whitewater area, but once you start digging around you find there are actually lots of great kayaking rivers here."

Krupka, who will be riding in a cycling fundraiser in May to benefit the American Diabetes Association, is currently studying Russian in preparation for a 4-week stint this summer teaching art at an environmental camp for children in Siberia. "I barely passed Spanish in high school, so learning Russian is a challenge," she laughs.

En route to Siberia, Krupka will be spending four days in Moscow, where she recently learned that her group will be staying in the zoo guest house. "It’s a converted castle that is literally in the zoo and surrounded by animals," she says. "The only way to get from the castle to the street is by walking through the zoo. How cool!"

Molly McCahan, Tom Valtin, and Brian Vanneman.

Know someone whose story is deserving? Contact us at The Planet, 85 Second St., Second Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105; planet@sierraclub.org.


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