For a full list of upcoming events and outings see our dedicated page here.
Deam Wilderness Hike
May 10, 2022
"Hiking 6.4 miles in the Deam Wilderness is such a thrill! Indiana's only protected wilderness area is replete with fire pinks, yellow ladies' slippers, maidenhair ferns and fern leaf phacelias. We heard various warblers as we enjoyed lunch by a hidden lake and discussed future possibilities." -Marilyn Bauchat, Vice Chair.
December 4, 2021
The Winding Waters Group Founders' Day hike celebrates the anniversary of the founding of the group by Doug Johnson, back in 2000. This year's hike took place at Brown County State Park. For more photos from this hike, see our Instagram!
Stream monitoring at Anderson Falls
November 1, 2021
Photos courtesy of Julie Lowe. See more on our Instagram!
Our Winding Waters Group volunteer leaders had a great time stream monitoring at Anderson Falls with local high school students. Their teacher set up three stations by the stream: measuring the characteristics of the habitat , chemical monitoring of the water and macro invertebrate sampling to identify the health of the stream. If you'd like more information about water monitoring or our work with schools, get in touch!
Welcoming new hike leader, Paul Fuchs
L-R, Paul Fuchs, Alan Pineda, Joe Warner, Ian Bretz, Jesse Kirkham, and Annie Bretz. See more photos from Paul on our Instagram.
We are pleased to welcome Paul Fuchs as a new outings leader with Sierra Club Hoosier Chapter!
To become an official hike leader with the club, it is a requirement is to organize and lead a hike. Paul chose Fort Harrison State Park as a perfect location for an early fall outing, and gave a great trailhead talk.
Welcoming new hike leader, Mary Reardon
On a swelteringly hot August day, Mary Reardon successfully qualified as a Sierra Club Outings Leader. She led a hike on the Pate Hollow Trail at Paynetown SRA in Bloomington. Hope to see you at the trailhead soon, Mary!
Physical distancing gardening in Columbus
22 April, 2020
Rebecca Lorenz and Julie Lowe from our Winding Waters Group recently planted four American Plum trees and watered seedlings at the first grade garden at Columbus Signature Academy Fodrea Campus. Sierra Club Grassroots Network Pollinator Plant Project team donated the money for the cost of the fence and garden boxes, and the Winding Waters Group help maintain it. This is the third year of the garden. Students had planted their seedlings just before school closings occurred, and the teacher and her sons have been maintaining the garden since school closing.
Sierra Club at the IFA Wild & Scenic Film Festival in Bloomington
(L) Sierra Club Hoosier Chapter executive committee member, Marilyn Bauchat, tabling (R) Sierra Club Hoosier Chapter and Winding Waters Group executive committee chair Julie Lowe, and Winding Waters Group executive committee member Joe Bronnert.
It was an emotional evening for our Sierra Club executive committee members, Marilyn Bauchat and Julie Lowe, attending the Indiana Forest Alliance Wild and Scenic Film Festival. Tears were shed at the films which highlighted the position we find ourselves in on our beautiful precious planet. Julie Lowe, executive committee chair: "It feels like 2020 will be a transitional year and I'm hoping for a direction of true transformation to mitigate the climate crisis. That was the feeling I had during the films... if not now, when?"
Katelyn Calhoun of Teardrop Pictures, producer of the IFA film Snag in the Plan, with Jeff Stant, director of IFA.
Particularly uplifting films were IFA's Snag in the Plan, Giants, and Nature Now with Greta Thunberg and George Monbiot. "Those films filled my heart with hope and inspire me to keep fighting for our climate rights", said Julie.
We thank IFA for once again providing a thoughtful and powerful roster of films, and we were proud to be sponsors of this event.
Human/Nature art workshop
We were excited to hold an all-ages, family-friendly art workshop on Saturday, November 23, at our offices in Indianapolis. Artists Monica Cannaley, Donna Curry, Lylanne Musselman, and Molly Dykstra from our Human/Nature exhibition co-led the workshop, with art show organizer Rebecca Dien-Johns. Artists spoke a little about their work and the importance of the influence of nature upon it.
L- Artists Monica Cannaley, Molly Dykstra, Lylanne Musselman, and Donna Curry. R- Working with artist Donna Curry, using found materials from nature like sticks.
L- Making snowmen out of modeling clay, and discussing the importance of slowing global warming, with artist Monica Cannaley. R- Artists Lylanne Musselman and Molly Dykstra gave tips to participants of all ages on using pastels and other materials.
L- Mother and son with their creations. Middle- a participant channeling their "inner Bob Ross" using the pastels kindly donated by artist Lylanne Musselman. R- Lylanne demonstrating some pastel technique.
Browning Mountain hike
Bowden Quinn, August 2019.
The chapter organized a hike up "Browning Mountain" in southern Brown County as part of Backpacker magazine's National Summit Day on August 3. Officially, it is Browning Hill, which looms over the dwindling community of Elkinsville, west of Story, but it's locally known as a mountain. I've found various estimates of the hill's altitude, but the Hoosier National Forest map lists it at 930 feet. Elkinsville used to be a thriving farming community but was mostly abandoned due to the construction of the Lake Monroe reservoir. The hill is also known as Indiana's Stonehenge because of the large sandstone slabs at its summit.
We had thirteen hikers, most of whom assembled in a field owned by Bill Miller, across from the trailhead. Bill, a longtime environmental activist, used to own the mountain but sold it to the Hoosier National Forest a few years ago. He graciously allowed us to park our cars in his field. However, two hearty hikers who found us on the Backpacker website parked at the Nebo Ridge trailhead a couple of miles to the east and took the longer trail up Nebo and around to the Browning summit.
There are various tales about the sandstone slabs at the top, including that was the site of Native American religious ceremonies, but the most likely explanation is that settlers gathered the slabs there and then didn't bother to bring them down the hill. The summit used to be a small settlement, with an orchard and at least one log cabin. We found the foundation of a house and a nearby well.
The weather was beautiful and a good time was had by all, including most of us meeting for a libation at the famous Story Inn after the hike. We hope to make a Summit Day hike an annual event.
Turkey Run State Park Hike
Earlier this year, chapter hike leader Lori Adelson heard a good friend say she was going to take her girl scout troop to Turkey Run State Park. Lori offered to help guide the hike and made it into a Sierra outing so the scouts could learn about the Sierra Club and see how we do hikes. There were six scouts, two scout leaders, and five Sierra Club hikers, four who were seasoned hike leaders and one new hiker who now wants to become a Sierra member. The night before the hike the park weather forecast predicted chances of thunderstorms for most of the day. We nearly called it off but decided to wait to see the early morning forecast, which was much more promising with no chance of rain until noon. We kept our trailhead talk short so we could get moving shortly after 10 in hopes of missing the rain.
The air was cool and breezy along Trail 3, by far the favorite for its views of the creek and many creek crossings. Mud was aplenty but the trail was passable. The scenery was amazing, both the lush green of the forest and the formations made from water carving rock as the ancient glaciers receded. Our second half of the journey used trails 4 and 8 to avoid some downhill ladders on trail 3. We decided not to stop and snack but instead ate lunch at a picnic table near the nature center. The rain began to sprinkle just as we were finishing lunch so we headed out and all agreed it was a blast. The scouts had a series of songs they taught us that required us to repeat the lyrics after them and made everyone extra joyous. What could be better than singing and hiking outdoors?
Thanks to Lori (in the middle of the bottom row of pictures) for providing these photos.
Winding Waters Group hike at Shades State Park
Winding Waters Group at Columbus Pride
Dunelands Group- Hands Across the Sand 2019 South Shore event
Started out a perfect afternoon for some activist action: sunny 80 degree weather at West Beach of the Indiana Dunes National Park, joining hands with Dunelands Group for the 15 minute international action Hands Across the Sand to show support around the globe in silent solidarity to say NO to fossil fuels and YES to clean energy— a solution to our dependency on oil and coal...
Hands Across the Sand started in Florida in 2009, and after the 2010 BP oil spill, grew into an international coordinated day of action to change our world energy policies to ensure a sustainable planet (so we decided to hold tight as we watched a storm rolling in over Lake Michigan)... the strong winds started whipping sand at us (being an activist is not for the faint hearted), but then we lucked out— the rain held off until the last seconds of our 15 minutes—
Sierra Club in Indiana celebrates Earth Day
We joined in celebrations and actions all over our state.
Indiana Beyond Coal at Evansville Earth Day
(L) Faith rally to oppose Vectren’s gas plant in Evansville (R) Matt Skuya-Boss and Wendy Bredhold from Indiana Beyond Coal at the rally.
Winding Waters Group at Columbus Earth Day
Julie Lowe from our Winding Waters Group- and Hoosier Chapter executive committee chair.
Dunelands Group at the Valparaiso University Earth Day
George Malis, Farris Kroft, Jen Woronecki-Ellis, Dave Woronecki-Ellis from our Dunelands Group, and George Smolka saying hello from the nearby Green Party table.
Indianapolis Earth Day at Military Park.
(L) Jesse (Heartlands Group chair), Bowden (Hoosier Chapter Director), and Heidi (Sierra Club volunteer)
(R) Bowden, Heidi, and Rebecca (Hoosier Chapter)
Winding Waters Group Brown County Picnic
On April 23, our Winding Waters Group enjoyed baked polenta, nuts and seeds at their Brown County picnic... a very vegan meal!
Winding Waters Group Wildflower Stroll
Our Winding Waters Group embarked on a relaxing wildflower nature stroll at Calli Nature Preserve with Sierra Club Outings Leaders, Rebecca Lorenz and Joe Bronnert. Doug Johnson pointed out the spring beauties. Photo by Rebecca Lorenz.
Salamonie River State Forest hike
Sierra Club Hoosier Chapter at the Wild and Scenic film fest
Representives from our chapter and groups had a great time attending the recent Wild and Scenic film festival in Bloomingon. See more photos on our Instagram!
(L) visitors to the Winding Waters Group pollinator plant project table (R) the band plays during the very popular silent auction
Hiking the Houston South Logging Project, February 27, 2019.
Sherry Mitchell-Bruker, Ph.D., Friends of Lake Monroe
On February 27, Bowden, Dave Simcox and I took advantage of unseasonably warm temperatures to hike out on the Hickory Ridge portion of the Knobstone Trail. This is part of the proposed Houston South Project which would include logging, clearcutting, herbicide application and burning. It was a lovely hike beginning with lots of young and old oaks and hickories leading down to the stream shown here.
As you may be able to tell, these are steep slopes leading down to the creek. Eventually this and other un-named streams drain to Starnes Branch, which drains to the South Fork of Salt Creek and Lake Monroe. I wonder what kind of protection this stream would have from sediment runoff when the logging is taking place? State best management practices which are used by Hoosier National Forest only specify riparian management zones for perennial streams and I believe this stream is classified as intermittent. There are already problems with runoff from eroded trails, as seen in the pictures below. These pictures show gullied trails that are leading into the streams. Gravel has been laid down in an effort to mitigate the damage, but the mitigation is not effective. The stream bottom is very clear, so I assume that the sediment coming into this stream has been carried downstream by high flows. It is a big job to prevent soil erosion in the National Forest, and I would like to see more attention to trail management and less to oak regeneration.
We also walked through a small gravel road section through this pine plantation that is slated for clearcutting. Many of the trails in this area would be converted to logging roads, which I am guessing would have gravel, which I do not like to hike on. While I would never suggest planting non-native pines in the national forest, these pines are quite pretty and provide unique habitat that natives do not provide. You can see the native beeches and other types of trees emerging in the understory. Eventually the natives will overtake the non-native pines.
If the pines are clearcut as proposed, it will look more like the scene below from the nearby Buffalo Pike project.
HNF Houston South logging update, February 2019.
Hike leader and Sierra Club member Dave Simcox led Chapter Chair Julia Lowe and Chapter Director Bowden Quinn on an inspection tour of parts of the proposed Houston South (HS) logging area on Presidents' Day, Feb. 18, 2019.
First we visited the Buffalo Pike project, a 53-acre site within the HS project area that the Forest Service (FS) logged about two years ago under a 70-acre categorical exemption that allowed the FS to avoid public comment. Since potential sediment from the proposed HS project that could impact Lake Monroe is a major concern, we wanted to assess the effectiveness of erosion controls at the Buffalo Pike site, which has received a fair amount of precipitation recently. While we saw some evidence of water flowing around and over the dirt mounds erected as water barriers, the erosion didn't appear to be severe. The Friends of Lake Monroe in association with Indiana University plans to do a more in-depth study of potential erosion problems in the area in 2020.
Next we hiked part of the Hickory Ridge trail system that could be impacted by the proposed HS logging. We hiked Trail 17 west from County Road 980 and returned on part of Trail 16. The FS proposes to log fairly extensively along these two trails. The Knobstone Hiking Trail Association has proposed using Trail 17 as part of an extension of the Knobstone to connect with the Tecumseh Trail to the north, while the FS is proposing to make much of Trail 16 into a logging road. We are very concerned about the potential impacts of logging on these trails.
The FS says it will have public meetings about its HS proposal in the coming months. Please be ready to express your comments.
Large tree-tip along Hickory Ridge trail 17.
L-R Hike leader Dave Simcox and chapter director Bowden Quinn inspecting the Buffalo Pike logging site for erosion, Part of the 53-acre Buffalo Pike logging project.
Chapter holds fourth annual Hike with Mike, November, 2018.
Bowden Quinn. Photos by Steve Higgs.
The Hoosier Chapter held its fourth annual hike with Hoosier National Forest Supervisor Mike Chaveas on Nov. 10. This year’s hike was in the Fork Ridge area of the forest, in the Houston South section where the Forest Service has proposed up to 4,000 acres of logging.
Mike described the reasons for the proposal and the various types of logging involved. The goals are to create more young forest (under 20 years old). Right now almost all of the forest is between 20 and 100 years in age, he said. The other goal is to allow more growth of young oaks and hickory. The Forest Service contends that due to reduced fires in our eastern deciduous forest, shade-tolerant but fire-sensitive species like maple and beech are shading young oaks and inhibiting their growth. Oaks, on the other hand, are resistant to fire because of their thick bark.
The Forest Service proposes to remove the shade-tolerant understory in certain sections through various means: prescribed burns, manual removal, and herbicides. It would then remove the mature trees, either thinning them or removing all of them over 10 to 15 years, a process known as shelterwood harvest. The service also proposes to clearcut or thin sections of white pine, which are not native to the forest. They were planted in the 1930s and 1940s to control erosion after land owners had denuded the forest with logging and agriculture.
Many environmentalists don’t agree that logging is necessary to allow oak regeneration. Another bone of contention is that the Houston South section is in the Lake Monroe watershed, which already suffers from sedimentation. Erosion from the logging could make the problem worse. The Friends of Lake Monroe, Hoosier Environmental Council, Indiana Forest Alliance, and the Hoosier Chapter oppose the proposal for this reason. Several members of these groups were on the hike and peppered Mike with questions, which he answered amicably but didn’t back off from the proposal. We appreciate his willingness to engage in frank discussions with us. He also pointed out that the proposal was in its preliminary stages, with a year of study and public comment ahead. Logging would not be expected until 2021.
At the end of the hike we had an unfortunate mishap when Marilyn Bauchat, a member of the chapter executive committee and experienced hiker, slipped on a steep slope and stumbled into a tree, badly hurting her head. We called 911 and had her taken out in a stretcher on an ATV and she was airlifted to an Indianapolis hospital that has a level one trauma unit. Happily, she has recovered from her injuries and is doing well. Our thanks go to Jesse Kirkham, a chapter outing leader trained in wilderness first aid, along with hikers Emily Metzgar, and Paul Cannaley, who tended to Marilyn while we waited for the medical personnel.
Our hikes with Mike were begun by journalist, author, and nature photographer Steve Higgs, who joined us and took great photos. You can view them and read his views about the logging proposal on his website.
Winding Waters Group Opt Outside Hike, Browning Mountain, November 2018.
We made a camp fire to roast veggie and Turkey dogs and s'mores. We all shared food that we brought including persimmon pudding which is a unique indiana dessert. We found a root cellar and a well from the site of a cabin that used to exist. We passed horse riders as we walked the top of the ridge, and found a salamander hibernating under leaves. The view of the knobs and valleys was amazing!
Sierra Club Hoosier Chapter at the Cottage Home Block Party, October 2018.
We were very pleased to have a booth at the Cottage Home Block Party on the Indianapolis' Near East Side on October 13. It was great to be part of the celebrations and chat with revelers about energy efficiency, including energy efficient animals and making origami bats!
Photos by Marilyn Bauchat and Rebecca Dien-Johns
Pinnacle Peak hike in Jackson-Washington State Forset, October 2018.
Winding Waters Group lead a group at Pinnacle Peak hike in Jackson-Washington State Forest. The area is known for the fossils in the bedrock.
There were several stunning moments of scenery on the hike, and young Daisy Logan got to gently hold a toad!
Indiana Trail Runners Association - Tecumseh Marathon, October 2018.
Hoosier Chapter vice chair, and chair of the Winding Waters group, Julie Lowe had a great day helping the Indiana Trail Runners Association and their Tecumseh Marathon. Julie is a member of Wild Tecumseh Friends who together with IFA and Mind the Gap volunteered at the event. IFA signed up for an Aid Station below the Yellowwood Stage Forest Dam. Grassroots forest preservation groups Mind the Gap (Monroe and Morgan Co) and Wild Tecumseh Friends (Brown Co) worked the station all day.
It is always amazing to see these runners - whether is the 1/4, 1/2 or a full marathon - enjoy this trail. There is even a 50K (30 mile) group!
Favorable comments were received on the Save the Trail signs and we heard concern about the logging along the Tecumseh Trail. We will continue to press for saving the long distance trails in Indiana, treasures in our state forests. Please use #saveourtrails on the social media to add your voice to this cause.
Indianapolis rises for climate, jobs and justice. September, 2018.
Sierra Club was part of a coalition of organizers (including Central Indiana Jobs with Justice, Hoosier Environmental Council, 350 Indiana - Indianapolis, Citizens Action Coalition, Union of Concerned Scientists, Citizens Climate Lobby, and Indiana Forest Alliance) behind this years People's Climate Movement rally, march, and community forum in Downtown Indianapolis.
Hundreds of people gathered in the rain and marched to rise up for climate, jobs and justice. This was followed by a community forum at Christ Church Cathedral where we heard from members of the community about their environmental concerns, and from panelists about the work they do to support environmental justice in Indiana.
Thank you to everyone who came, spoke, participated, and supported this event! We appreciate all that you do.
(L) Michelle came from Columbus, IN to RISE. (R) Carolina Castoreno-Santana, executive director of the American Indian Center of Indiana, spoke powerfully of her lived experience as an Indigenous woman and the importance of protecting our planet. (Photos- Rebecca Dien-Johns)
(L) One of the most powerful things was hearing the voices of young people, such as 12yo climate activist Ella here (Photo- Julie Lowe). (R) A striking image of planet earth on a stretcher (Photo- Rebecca Dien-Johns).
(L) On the move! (Photo- Marilyn Bauchat) (R) Eric Brooks from Indiana Jobs With Justice speaking at the community forum, Christ Church Cathedral. (Photo- Rebecca Dien-Johns).
Monarch tagging with the Indiana Wildlife Federation- September 2018
Indiana Wildlife Federation invited our Winding Waters Group to help tag Monarch butterflies! If you would like to learn more about tagging Monarchs, you can go to the Monarch Watch website.
Winding Waters Group, Plight of the Pollinators meeting - September 2018
Local beekeepers Chris and Ashley Holzhausen joined hosts, our Winding Waters Group, to discuss the present day plight of pollinators. Their topic tied into the work of the establishment of a pollinator habitat in Bartholomew County by the group. Attendees really enjoyed it and learned so much!
People's Climate March art party - August 2018
On Sunday, August 27, Sierra Club co-hosted an art party at the Indiana City Brewing Co. in Indianapolis to make art, banners, and signs for the People's Climate Movement march which took place on September 8th.
Clockwise from top - volunteers and coalition members create a papier-mâché planet earth, sign stenciling, making sunflowers with a message, and our RISE banner.
Children's nature art workshop - August 2018
On August 25 2018, we held an art workshop with a nature theme for children at our offices in Indianapolis. Five artists - Monica Cannaley, Brishen Vanderkolk, Lylanne Musselman, Catherine Cunningham, and Rochelle Cohen - who featured in our Environmental Justice in Indiana exhibition came to chat about their work and help children attending with their art. We hope to hold more events like this for children in the future. You can see some of their creations on our dedicated children's art gallery page.
L- Artist Brishen Vandekolk helps participants make monarch caterpillars and bees.
R- Artist Lylanne Musselman shows her artwork inspired by her love of birds, and talks about the technique of using pastels.
L- Artist Rochelle Cohen shows her Field of Fungus artwork and talks about the life cycle of the forest.
R- Sierra Club Ruels! (By Celyn Otis, age 6)
Anderson Falls Field Trip - May 2018
Mrs Steele’s 8th Grade Science Class from St Bartholomew Catholic School visited Anderson Falls Park/Nature Preserve this week to assess the health of the Fall Fork of Clifty Creek. The students performed a Water Quality Index (WQI), measuring levels of phosphate, oxygen, nitrates and E. coli and completed a Citizens Qualitative Habitat Evaluation Index (CQHEI). The chemical tests indicated that the stream is in good health. However, after sampling for biological indicators of pollution, the Sierra Club and the students both found macro-invertebrates that are indicators that the health of the stream is excellent. The overall rating of the stream was better than expected.
Students from St Bartholomew have formed a community partnership with the local Winding Waters Chapter of the Sierra Club and from now on will assist Julie Lowe in monitoring this site every spring. This will brings a new purpose to the water quality testing students perform each spring for 8th grade biology. Students also partnered with the Bartholomew County Soil and Water Conservation District office to allow use of their testing equipment and supporting the students as they learn the importance of water quality and protecting our community’s fresh water.
(Photo thanks to St Bartholomew Catholic School)
Indiana Beyond Coal Campaign 2018 Planning Meeting - May 2018
With the scenic view of Lake Michigan just outside our meeting room window, you would think that we wouldn't have accomplished much at the meeting (which was attended by state and national campaign staff, Sierra Club Hoosier Chapter board members, and volunteers). You would be wrong.
After reviewing our goals for the retreat and for Indiana (including 2020 coal retirement goals), Park Superintendent Paul Labovitz paid us a visit and talked about the unique nature of preserving the dunes while being surrounded by steel factories and a coal-fire electricity generating plant.
We discussed a vision for the campaign moving forward, a statewide theory of change, a legislative focus, and plans for reducing coal and increasing energy efficiency and renewable energy resources at the 5 investor owned utilities in the state (3 of which are currently engaged in their 20-year planning process or Integrated resource plan).
All discussions centered on our ultimate goal which is a transition to 100 percent clean energy.
Cold Spring School Partners in the Environment Day (aka PIE Day!) - May 2018.
Monica Cannaley, Rebecca Dien-Johns, and Shannon Anderson from Sierra Club Hoosier Chapter led workshops with the students of Cold Spring IPS elementary school in Indianapolis, as part of their PIE Day. The children, from grades K-3, learned all about energy- including cleaner alternatives to coal, such as wind and solar, how much energy it uses for certain food to arrive on our plate... and they got to invent their own vehicle which doesn't need gas! A great time was had by all and we look forward to returning for another excellent PIE Day next year.
Hoosier Chapter celebrates Earth Day. April 21, 2018.
The Hoosier Chapter enjoyed tabling at the Earth Day Indiana Festival at Military Park, Indianapolis. Thank you to everyone who stopped by!
L- Michelle from our Winding Waters Group, and Monica and Linze from the Hoosier Chapter were buzzing to be at the bee-themed event!
R- Michelle talks with children about environmental do and don'ts!
L- Our Heartlands Group chair Jesse Kirkham collecting signatures opposing the IPL rate hike (contact Indiana Beyond Coal for more info.)
R- Rebecca and Monica from the Hoosier Chapter, with a young Earth Day reveler.
Winding Waters Group - Laura Hare Nature Preserve hike, April 2018.
The Winding Waters Group led a hike of around 4 miles, which took just under 2hrs on very hilly terrain. Photo by Julie Lowe.
Winding Waters Group - Cali Nature Reserve hike, April 2018.
Thank you to Doug Johnson for identifying wild flowers and trees on our Sierra Club hike, led by Joe Bronnert and Rebecca Lorenz, SC Outings Leaders. Photos by Julie Lowe.
Winding Waters Group hike- March 2018.
A little bit of snow and cold weather won’t keep us from enjoying the Great Outdoors! Hiking part of the the Sycamore Land Trust was exhilarating and revitalizing. This was a scout hike at the Laura Hara Nature Preserve at Downey Hill. We were scouting in preparation for our group hike set for Earth Day Sunday 22nd. Scouters included Outings Leaders Rebecca Lorenz and Joe Bronnert, as well as Outings committee members, Doug Johnson, Patricia March, Michelle Carr and mascot Sasha.
Northeast Indiana Group - What does climate change mean for Indiana? February 2018
The Northeast Indiana group in collaboration with IPFW's Environmental Resources Center, hosted Melissa Widhalm from Purdue's Climate Change Research Center on Monday February 26th. Nearly 50 members of the public were in attendance for Monday's presentation where we learned some alarming facts about how climate change will affect us right here in Indiana. Most alarming of these facts, was the pace at which these changes will occur. As soon as 2030, Indiana could be experiencing temperatures much like that of Tennessee and Georgia, threatening crop production and increasing the population of pesky insects. The full report will be released on March 1st, During the regularly scheduled monthly meeting on March 26th, the NE Indiana group will host a follow up discussion.
Winding Waters Group, Sierra Club Founder’s Day Hike. December 2017
Doug Johnson from Columbus, Indiana founded the local Sierra Club, Winding Waters Group in 2000. His main goal was to establish a hiking club. That year and every year since the group has planned a December hike in Brown County State Park. Recently three of our members have taken the Sierra Club Outings Leader Training and as part of the approval process planned and led the winter hike. Rebecca Lorenz, Winding Waters Group Outings Committee Chair gave the tradition a name, the Founder’s Day Hike. Outings Leaders, Lori Adelson and Jesse Kirkham were there to observe and assist the new “Outings Leaders in training”.
Fourteen Sierra Club members enjoyed a two mile brisk December hike up and down the hilly trails of Brown County State Park in a misty rain. The new trail leaders will receive approval from Lori and Jesse once their first aid training has been completed.
Any Sierra Club Member can begin the Outings Leader Training by clicking on the Outings tab then Training tab and selecting OLT 101 from Sierra Club, Clubhouse.
Newly trained Outing Leaders:
Rebecca Lorenz, Winding Waters Group Outing Committee Chair
Joe Bronnert, Winding Waters Group Outings Committee member
Julie Lowe, Winding Waters Group ExCom Committee Chair
Hope to see you on the trails!
Tecumseh Trail, October 2017.
On October 22 the Heartlands group/Hoosier Chapter of the Sierra Club had perfect weather with 32 hikers taking on the Tecumseh Trail between Bear Lake and Carmel Ridge. This was our second in a series of hikes along the Tecumseh, and we hope to cover the entire trial within a year since we began this August. Much gratitude to Dave Simcox who belongs to almost every hiking group in the state and is active in efforts to preserve the forests in Indiana. He gave a trailhead talk about the Tecumseh Trail which is maintained by the Hoosier Hikers Council, and explained how part of the trail got diverted when the DNR put in a logging road on part of the trail itself. We wanted hikers to see what is at stake if the logging in the area continues at current and planned accelerated rate. Dave helped me with scouting, mapping, parking logistics, figuring out how to split the group get everyone to their cars, and keeping everyone smiling. Thanks to everyone who joined us and made it a great day. A DNR forest manager hiked with us and there was a good deal of disagreement about forest management, so we know there is a vast gap between what we want and what DNR wants to do, since the sale of timber funds a great deal of their budget. Please keep fighting for our forests and join us on more hikes - Explore, Enjoy and Protect!
Photo courtesy of Lori Adelson.
Johnny Appleseed Festival, September 2017.
Celia Garza, Sierra Club Hoosier Chapter - Northeast Indiana group.
With the help of 10 volunteers during the event, we diverted a great amount of recyclables from entering the landfill at the Johnny Appleseed Festival. We had 10 bins in one small area, and collected 2-75 gallon, and 2-50 gallon trash bags full of single serving water bottles, 22 glass bottles, and 18 soda cans. After the event, 7 volunteers helped wash and sort all of the recyclables. The group would like to thank Save Maumee volunteers as being the ones that sorted and washed all of the recyclables, and a huge thank you to the Sierra Club volunteers that handled the bins during the festival. Thank you everyone! What a great success for the group!
Photos of volunteers courtesy of Celia Garza.
Nebo Ridge in Brown County, September 2017.
On Sept. 16, we had our third annual "Hike with Mike," with Hoosier National Forest Supervisor Mike Chaveas. Organized and led by Bloomington-based nature writer Steve Higgs, this year’s trek was on Nebo Ridge in Brown County, one of the Hoosier’s most rugged and remote areas.
Thanks to Dave Simcox for the photo.
Eagle Creek Park, September 2017.
Seven people were able to attend our first "pop-up" hike at Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis. We saw some great flowers. Thanks to Debby Vincent for helping us identify them. As a reminder, you don't need to be a Sierra Club member to go on chapter and group hikes and they are free. Please come out and join us.
Lobelia cardinalis, commonly called cardinal flower, and a group shot of our hikers. Thanks to Lori Adelson for the photos.
Low Gap hike, August 2017.
On Sunday, August 13, Sierra Club members Jesse Kirkham and Bowden Quinn led a five-mile hike on the Low Gap /Tecumseh Trails in Morgan-Monroe and Yellowwood state forests. The weather was perfect! Dave Simcox, an avid hiker who lives in Bloomington and is on the board of the Indiana Forest Alliance, has been teaming up with Sierra leaders to plan hikes in areas in danger of being devastated by state-sponsored logging. The response for the event was robust, so we split into two groups, one starting from the west (Low Gap trailhead) and one from the east (Bear Creek trailhead). We met midway for lunch and an excellent trail talk by Jeff Stant, the Indiana Forest Alliance executive director, who explained how unique these woods are and how much harm selective logging and gravel logging roads will do (and already have done). A coalition is forming with I.F.A, Sierrans, and independent folks who want to raise awareness of the issue. We believe that those who use and love their local forests are their best defenders. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com for more information.
Photos by Lori Adelson.
Timber rattler snake, spotted on the hike, photographed by Jesse Kirkham.
Eagle Slough hike, July 2017.
Eric McCloud- Assoc. Prof. Biology, University of Southern Indiana.
On Saturday, July 22, the Southwestern Indiana Network hosted a hike at the Sycamore Land Trust property at Eagle Slough in Evansville. Adults and kids joined the two hike leaders, Eric McCloud and Gena Garrett on a hike with Susan Haislip from the Sycamore Land Trust and Greg Meyer, an Evansville resident who has long been associated with conservation of the property. The group learned about the history, flora, and fauna of Eagle Slough and the surrounding area as well as about the current potential for Eagle Slough to be affected by the planned Ohio River Bridge crossing of interstate 69. This beautiful little gem of an undeveloped woodlot was enjoyed by all on a short hike with a mercifully mosquito-free night. After the hike, some participants stayed for moth blacklighting in celebration of national moth week.
Workshop for CiC summer camp, July 2017.
Hoosier Chapter staff member Rebecca Dien-Johns, and hike leader/longtime volunteer Lori Adelson, facilitated a camp workshop for the Center for Interfaith Cooperation and Watch Club, Inc 2017 summer camp. They talked to a group of children aged between 4 and 13 about their favorite animals, nature, and the environment - and the Sierra Club mission to Explore, Enjoy and Protect wild places. The children each made their own poster around these themes. We were very impressed with the children's knowledge and enthusiasm for the natural world!
Photos L-R, Top-Bottom: Some of the collages made at the camp; collage making; Lori and an attendee making an Explore, Enjoy and Protect banner; Lori Adelson and Rebecca Dien-Johns at the camp.
Sierra Club Hoosier Chapter's Nature Play Day at Beanblossom Bottoms Nature Preserve.
June 14, 2017.
The Sierra Club Hoosier Chapter hosted a Nature Play Day, in the form of a family hike, on June 10 at The Beanblossom Bottoms Nature Preserve, in Ellettsville, Indiana. We had 12 children and 10 adults participate. The weather was on our side, and the trail was resplendent with colors and wildlife in the sun. The trees provided some welcome shade, and we were lucky enough to see a fawn up close, as well as frogs, dragonflies, butterflies, a woodpecker and several other birds. This was our first dedicated family hike and we hope there will be many more!
Fawn! Photo by Rebecca Dien-Johns.
Sierra Club Staff with some of our hike participants, at the end of our Beanblossom adventure! Photo by Jesse Kirkham.