About Us

Our Mission

The Sierra Club, including the Piasa Palisades Group, is a non-profit, member-supported, public interest organization that seeks to:

  • Explore, enjoy, and protect the wild places of the earth;
  • Practice and promote the responsible use of the earth's ecosystems and resources;
  • Educate and enlist humanity to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment;
  • Use all lawful means to carry out these objectives.

Our Story

Lying at the confluence of the Mississippi, Missouri, and Illinois rivers, the Piasa Palisades region of downstate Illinois is a unique ecosystem that contains the beautiful oak-hickory forests of Pere Marquette State Park, the historic Great River Road Scenic Byway, and rich riverine floodplains. Wintering bald eagles roost along the forested limestone bluffs of the Mississippi River while endangered yellow-crowned night herons nest in this area's fertile wetlands.

This region is part of the St. Louis metropolitan area, putting critical wetland and floodplain habitat at risk from encroaching urban sprawl. Subdivisions and shopping centers now outnumber contiguous forests, industrial farming poses a growing threat to water quality and natural resources, and polluting industries harm the region's air quality. 

The Piasa Palisades Group of the Sierra Club has been active in the Metro East area since 1972. With more than 800 local members, an established network of activists led by a devoted nine-member Executive Committee, and positive working relationships with local administrative decision-makers, this group has long been an environmental leader in downstate Illinois. Through its Three Rivers Project, the Piasa Palisades Group has been working since 2000 to successfully protect this region from sprawl, unsustainable agriculture, air and water pollution, wetlands destruction, and deforestation.  

Our Executive Committee

Gloria ShidlerGloria Shidler
Rev. Pat PowersRev. Pat Powers
Fundraising Chair

Christopher E. KrusaChristopher E. Krusa
Program and Political Chair
Toni OpltToni Oplt
Metro East Green Alliance Chair
Sandy BuddeSandy Budde
Newsletter Editor
Don DieckmannDon Dieckmann
Climate and Energy Committee Chair
Amitie FlynnAmitie Flynn
Vice Chair
Brent MasieroBrent Masiero

Our Staff

Christine FavillaChristine Favilla
Three Rivers Project Co-Coordinator
Virginia Woulfe-BeileVirginia Woulfe-Beile
Three Rivers Project Co-Coordinator

Sally BurgessSally Burgess
Downstate Lead Organizing Representative

Our Boundary

A map of the 8 counties included in the Piasa Palisades Group's territory.