“The power of the Sierra Club has always been its members...While it’s always the hardest number to quantify, your greatest asset in a membership organization is the volunteer hours.”
– Ben Jealous, Sierra Club Executive Director, LA Times interview, February 23, 2023
Sierra Club is America's oldest, largest, and most influential grassroots environmental organization. The national Sierra Club is organized into Chapters, which usually encompass an entire state. Kentucky’s Local Groups serve smaller geographic areas within the state. Each group carries out the Sierra Club’s mission at the grassroots level, resulting in our most powerful action and community building. Kentucky’s Local Groups are always active. They promote conservation of each region’s spectacular natural features, develop campaigns around local environmental issues, organize outings, educate and engage members, and endorse local political candidates. They hold regular meetings that may have a range of topics from education to engagement to just plain fun. Local Groups are a great way to get to know the activists who live near you, and engage powerfully in the local issues that matter most. Each Group also appoints a delegate to represent the interests of the Group on the Chapter Executive Committee.
Volunteers are the heart and soul of Sierra Club, and Sierra Club’s new Executive Director, Ben Jealous understands this. He has prioritized visiting all Chapters in the year 2023 in a listening tour of the nation. The tour, titled Powerful Together, highlights the Sierra Club’s strength in grassroots advocacy and collaborative, community-based power-building efforts. We recognize that as we move forward with our environmental work, we must be mindful of a more inclusive and just future for the Chapter.
The Kentucky Chapter is headed by an Executive Committee (ExCom) that is elected by the Chapter's membership, dues-paying Sierra Club members that reside within the geographic boundaries of the Chapter. The Chapter focuses on statewide issues, collaborates at the national level with Sierra Club organizers on conservation issues and campaigns that have wide-reaching impact, and provides support and administrative oversight to their constituent groups. In addition, each local group is led by a volunteer ExCom of dedicated community environmental leaders. Kentucky Chapter currently has six Local Groups, with three additional areas designated as “future” groups as we build our membership and volunteer capacity in those locations.