Centennial Group Sierra Club in Northwest Georgia - Monthly Meetings & News and Events

Sierra Club Georgia 2024 Legislative Update

Thursday February 1st 7:00-8:30pm

Hosted by Sierra Centennial Group for all Georgia Sierra groups (LIVE and Online via Zoom)
Live location: Life University Graduate Studies Building Room 119
Live social begins at 7:00pm.  Zoom presentation begins 7:30pm

Parking entrance from 1269 Barclay Circle, Marietta 
See signup map for directions

Georgia Capitol Building at Night.png

 

Mark Woodall (GA Sierra Club Legislative chair) and Neill Herring (GA Sierra Club contract lobbyist) will discuss key issues and bills in this year's 40-day Georgia legislative session.  Georgia Sierra Club members will join them to discuss ways you can make a difference. 
Please let us know if you plan to attend LIVE or On-Line via the Zoom link.

If you need special handicapped access into the building, contact lynnwalston22@yahoo.com for alternate parking. NOTE:  We're expecting a large crowd for this meeting.  If you have trouble getting into the Zoom room, wait a few minutes to be admitted. 

Please Signup/RSVP to receive Zoom link and specify in-person or online attendance at GA Legislative Update Meeting

We need to know in-person attendance for food planning. Come at 6:30 if you can help setup.

Other News, Events and Outings

Solarize Cobb start-ups !!  The first local property owners to benefit from Solarize Cobb, will soon own renewable energy systems to power their Cobb residences. Several local residents have already secured contracts for installation of a new renewable energy system through Solarize Cobb discounted pricing. The more who participate in group purchasing, the more costs are reduced for every property owner who contracts for a system.  A coalition of Cobb-based organizations launched Solarize Cobb to help make solar energy and battery storage more affordable for homeowners, businesses and nonprofits through a bulk-purchasing concept available to Cobb property owners.  See if your property is suitable for a solar power installation by contacting them. Residential Solar Enrollment Signup Deadline is February 29, 2024

Georgia 2024 Legislature will be convening in January.  Would you like to be kept up-to-date on what's happening related to environmental concerns?  Join the Sierra Club email list for regular updates, notice of important votes, and how to contact your legislator.  Sign up at  https://addup.sierraclub.org/campaigns/georgia-chapter-legislative-campaign (sign the petition to get updates). 

Better yet, would you like to help us lobby our elected officials?  We'll give you the tools you need. Sign up at bit.ly/SCGA-Liaisons.   Also:  See/attend our February 1st Special Legislative Event below.

Volunteers-in-Park website for Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area.  Work on CRNRA trails is done at least twice a month, on the 1st and 3rd Saturday between 8:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Third Saturdays work days at Columns Drive unit in connection with MTB-Atlanta mountain bike club that uses the bike trails there. Click the “I would like to volunteer” line at CRNRA_Volunteers.

February 1st SPECIAL LEGISLATIVE EVENT: Join the Georgia Sierra Club on Thursday Feb 1st  7:00-8:30pm for the 2024 Georgia Legislative Update Hosted by Mark Woodall and Neil Herring for all GA Sierra groups (LIVE and Online) Hosted by Sierra GA Centennial Group - Live at Life University Graduate Studies Building Room 119 or via Zoom. Sign up at GA Legislative Update.

 

Congratulations to these Sierra Centennial Group 2023 Award Recipients (presented at our Holiday Party)

Ina Allison and Jeff Hite for organizing Rottenwood Creek cleanups at Life University.

Linda Bell our political chair for keeping us informed about environmental issues and her leadership in organizing our Goals and Strategies meetings.

Steven Bell for work on creating a Life University student intern to track heavy metals  (from coal ash, etc.). Project is still in progress.

Dr. Deidre Meiggs our GA Chapter Executive Committee representative and Chapter Ex Com Secretary.  Also her technical expertise in managing our hybrid monthly meetings. She is also involved with a number of environmental activities, including Rottenwood Creek cleanups and efforts to engage Life University students in our endeavors.

Tania Robinson, a member of our group Executive Committee and also our transportation lead.

Cynthia Patterson for her support of our goals, meetings, and editing our newsletters.

Bettye Harris, a long-time member, chapter and group leader, past Chapter Executive Committee representative, editor of our quarterly Sierran articles,  and  a supporter of so many of our environmental efforts.

Todd Daniel, long-time member of our Executive Committee, our treasurer for several years, and supporter of our goals.

Bethany Mashini, creator of the non-profit My Green Earth, for her efforts to involve us in Sustainable Cobb and Solarize Cobb activities.

Roberta Cook, long-time leader of the RiverLine Historic Area non-profit  to protect historic areas near the Chattahoochee River in Cobb. She retired as the Executive Director of RiverLine, but she still keeps us informed of their cleanups and other activities.

Matt Stigall, creator of Cobb4Transit (now changed to Sustainable Cobb) for efforts to support equitable transit in Cobb and beyond. He also serves on the Cobb Transit Advisory Board, a government position.

Lee Graham, long-time Sierra outings leader and editor of our Centennial newsletter. He is also a member of our Executive Committee.

January Events

Recycle your Christmas Trees:  Recycling trees creates mulch, fuel, wildlife habitats, and other useful materials. First, remove all decorations, and check your county website or your local Home Depot. Cobb County see Bring One for the Chipper locations.  Also Cherokee County Locations

Chattahoochee RiverKeeper’s January Events include water sampling and land-based river-cleanup.  Jan 6th and Jan 15th cleanups at points along the river.  

January 15th MLK Day is designated as a National Day of Service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities. Chattahoochee Riverkeeper, in partnership with Georgia ForestWatch is hosting this cleanup in the West Atlanta Watershed Area to continue efforts toward a Trash-Free Chattahoochee. January 15th 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Signup at: MLK River Cleanup

January 15th, 10 am-noon Cobb NAACP hosts annual celebration honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Keeping the Dream Alive: Continuing the Journey @ Jennie T. Anderson Theatre, Marietta.  Click the link for details.  *The Sierra Centennial Group is an affiliate member & supporter of Cobb Branch NAACP.

The Upper Etowah River Alliance (UERA). The Upper Etowah River Watershed encompasses 610 square miles or 390,400 acres. It includes parts of five counties — Lumpkin, Pickens, Dawson, Forsyth, and Cherokee — and over 100 tributaries, including Shoal, Amicalola, Yellow, Setting Down, Long Swamp, and Sharp Mountain creeks. The river begins in the mountains near Dahlonega and runs 98 miles until it reaches Lake Allatoona.  Check their calendar for events.

 

Currently scheduled upcoming Outings

Outings can be announced at any time and often fill up quickly. To receive email notice of Sierra Club hikes

as they are announced, visit SierraClubGeorgiaOutings and click Sign up for our Outings Email List.

 

January 20th  9:00-12:00 Hike the new $2.75M upgrades to Sweetwater Creek State Park Red & White trails. 

Info/Signup at SweetwaterHike

 

Currently scheduled upcoming Sierra Club Outings

Outings fill up quickly. To receive email notice of Sierra Club hikes as they are announced, visit Sierra Club Georgia Outings and click Sign up for our Outings Email List.

Other news:

Plant Bowen (near Cartersville) AP-1 Coal Ash Permit Draft has been Released! Details at:  PlantBowenCoalAshInfo  Also more info at Why It Matters

Georgia Power wants to close the largest coal ash site in Georgia by installing a liner and capping an ash pit that sits on top of unstable karst, which is prone to sinkholes.  In 2002, a four acre wide, 30 foot deep sinkhole opened up underneath Plant Bowen’s coal ash pit.

2.25 million gallons of toxic coal ash leaked into Euharlee Creek which flows into the Etowah River.  The Etowah River passes Cartersville and the Etowah Indian Mounds then flows to Rome where it meets the Oostanaula River  and forms the Coosa River.

After the spill, arsenic levels rose to 1250 parts per billion, exceeding federal drinking water standards by 120 times. Downstream drinking water intakes were forced to suspend operation. Leaving the coal ash in place on unstable ground at Plant Bowen puts our water and health at risk.

Urgent Issue – Okefenokee Twin Pines Mining proposal:  U.S. Army Corps of Engineers decided the area where Twin Pines wants to set up its mine is no longer under its jurisdiction. Essentially, new federal rules issued by the Trump administration mean the proposed project area is no longer a federally protected wetland.

This means Twin Pines no longer needs federal approval to get started, so it’s up Georgia officials (and us to voice our concerns). There are still several state permits the company needs from the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD). Chemical company Chemours (a Dupont spinoff) is a potential buyer of the Twin Pines mine project and its products. Help us pressure them to publicly oppose the project.  Sierra Club Georgia keeps an update on efforts to prevent the mine at: SierraClubGeorgiaOkefenokee

The Georgia Water Coalition has a way for folks to send a message to Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp asking him to take action to protect the Okefenokee. The Georgia EPD director is appointed to the job by the governor, so we’re asking Gov. Kemp to get involved.  Click here to send a message to Gov. Kemp urging him to protect the Okefenokee.

 

Transit Planning in Cobb County:  Please provide feedback to the Cobb County Comprehensive Transportation Plan (CTP). The CTP is a series of county transportation projects that will be considered for future implementation, up to 30 years.  Make sure to get involved by having your opinion heard!   Take the on-line Cobb Transit Survey at:   CobbTransitSurvey

 

Georgia Legislative resources:

Georgia Water Coalition Dirty Dozen publishes the list as a call to action, highlighting the worst offenses to Georgia's water - offenses that are the consequences of an under-funded state environmental agency and a lack of political will to enforce laws that protect our water, land, air, and people. Check out water-protecting action items from Protect Georgia

Drawdown Georgia– Drawdown is that point in the future when levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere stop climbing and start to steadily decline.  Drawdown is working on Climate Change solutions sponsored by Ray Anderson Foundation.  Join them and be an early mover in bringing climate solutions home.  Drawdown Georgia is the first, state-centered effort to crowdsolve for climate change, with 20, high-impact solutions that are tailored to Georgia’s unique natural, economic, and social resources. See: DrawdownGeorgia 

 

 

Other Upcoming Events:

For the current information on the Sterigenics Plant air pollution situation, see:  CobbSterigenicsIssues   

Local Events:

See our Centennial Facebook page and Georgia Sierra Club Meetup page.  

Cobb 4 Transit revamped & launched: The Centennial Group Sierra Club is supporting the launch of Cobb 4 Transit, a new citizen-led initiative to bring transit to Cobb County, and continue to highlight the county's plans for future transit initiatives. Learn more here: www.cobb4transit.org. 

Click HERE to join the Sierra Club today!

 

We meet on the first Thursday of each month to host a variety of programs related to our environmental goals of resource conservation and wilderness preservation. We also conduct free outdoor trips. Members and nonmembers are welcome!  The Sierra Club Centennial Group is part of the Sierra Club Georgia Chapter and serves Northwest Metro Atlanta. For more information about the Sierra Club Georgia Chapter.

The Centennial Group of the Georgia Chapter of the Sierra Club was organized in 1992, the one hundredth anniversary year of the national Sierra Club. Our members from Cobb, Cherokee, and North Fulton counties volunteer to educate, enable, and encourage our fellow citizens to protect Georgia's environment "for our families and our future".  We meet on the first Thursday of most months at Life University. We host a variety of programs relating to our goals and our appreciation of Georgia's natural beauty and resources. We also host free outings for members and nonmembers. 

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