Chapter Committees

The Maryland Chapter of the Sierra Club is directed by the Executive Committee. We maintain teams of volunteers that operate yearround as well as ad hoc committees, formed as needed for short-term projects. We are always interested in growing our capacity in order to achieve our goals, so please reach out if you’re interested in volunteering!

For further information on our statewide activities, click on the shortcuts below:

Maryland Chapter Volunteer Committees, Campaigns, & Teams


Maryland Chapter Executive Committee

The Maryland Chapter Executive Committee (aka “Ex Com”) is composed of six at-large members who are elected from the Sierra Club membership to serve 2-year terms and one delegate from each of the local Groups. Each fall the Maryland Chapter conducts an election from among all Sierra Club members in good standing to fill half of the ExCom seats at a time so that the terms are staggered. The delegates from each local Group ExCom are elected and appointed annually. One member of the Chapter Ex Com is appointed as delegate to the national Sierra Club Council of Club Leaders for a 2-year term. The 16 voting members (current list) may appoint additional volunteers to non-voting positions, as needed.

Issue Committees

Conservation Committees

The Conservation Committee is the convening, advisory and decision-making body in the area of conservation issue and environmental justice policy stances.  The Chair is Shruti Bhatnagar who can be reached at shruti.bhatnagar@mdsierra.org   Fill out this short survey if you'd like to get involved with the Conservation Committee.  Learn more about our Conservation Program here.

Beyond Coal Campaign

At the start of 2020 there were 6 coal-fired power plants still burning. As of the fall of 2021, 2 have ceased burning coal, and 3 more have announced plans to do so by 2025. While our reliance on coal-powered electricity is on a steep decline, we must recognize and prepare for the potential near-term economic impacts facing fossil fuel communities. The historic and ongoing environmental injustices of coal pollution disproportionately impact the public health and well-being of minority, historically oppressed, indigenous, and immigrant communities. Maryland needs a community transition plan to responsibly guide us off of coal in the next decade and ensure our workers and impacted communities are making decisions about how to thrive in a clean energy economy.

Clean Transportation Committee

Equitable access to clean transportation is an important environmental issue in Maryland. The transportation sector is now the largest source of climate-disrupting pollution. We advocate for expanded access to public transit, sustainable and clean development, walkable and bikeable communities. We oppose the proposed expansion of highway lanes along I-270, the Capital Beltway, and the Baltimore-Washington Parkway in favor of investment in transportation options that focus on moving people, not just cars.

To get involved, contact staff campaign representative Lindsey Mendelsen at lindsey.mendelson@mdsierra.org 

Beyond Gas and Dirty Fuels Committee

Fracked gas is still an important issue in Maryland, even though we've successfully banned fracking in Maryland in 2017.  Currently the Beyond Gas committee is focused on opposing new gas infrastructure and pushing the state towards renewable energy. The Maryland Chapter is working to ensure that gas companies don't get their way at the expense of the health of our land, air and people. You can learn more about the past and current related campaigns here.

100% Clean Energy Committee

The climate crisis, with its severe and worsening damage to the environment, public health, and the economy, demands forceful, dramatic action by Maryland. The electric energy sector is one of the largest sources of the climate-disrupting pollution. The Maryland Sierra Club is committed to moving our state to 100% clean renewable electric energy. In 2019 the MD Sierra Club helped to pass the Clean Energy Jobs Act. In 2020 we committed to ensuring that there is climate-based decision-making for the Public Service Commission for any new electricity generating projects. We are currently seeking to involve local decision-makers in making commitments to transition their municipalities and institutions to 100% clean renewable energy.  If you are interested in getting involved, please contact Mariah Shriner at mariah.shriner@mdsierra.org

Natural Places Committee

The Natural Places Committee is reaching out to Sierrans across the state to join our Committee and workgroups addressing issues such as parks and natural places stewardship, stream restoration, water quality, endangered species, wildlife and native plants & trees corridors, and federal lands campaigns. We have quarterly meetings and frequent workgroup meetings. Online zoom meetings have enabled our fellowship to continue during the pandemic.

We have a new Parks Blog coming soon! It will focus on parks and natural places to visit throughout Maryland. If you have content ideas, please send them to lily.fountain@mdsierra.org.

Please check out the current issue of Natural Places News! We value native biological diversity of all plants, animals, and fungi, including native flowers, ferns, mushrooms, birds, mussels, butterflies, frogs, and raccoons. We value the diverse native habitats, including forests, meadows, wetlands. rivers, mountains, and coastal areas. Our mission is to explore, enjoy, and protect natural areas in Maryland.

Check out related information on our Save Our Natural Places page.

For more information, contact Natural Places Committee Chair Lily Fountain at lily.fountain@mdsierra.org.

Click here to join the
Natural Places Committee Team

Zero Waste Committee

The Zero Waste Committee aims to minimize solid waste by reducing it at the source, reusing, recycling, and composting. The benefits are compelling: conserving natural resources; creating new and sustainable green jobs; preventing adverse health impacts; and reducing waste disposal costs, greenhouse gas emissions, litter, marine pollution, and the need for landfills and incinerators.

Achieving this objective requires action at both the state and local levels! Both the Maryland Chapter and local Sierra Club Groups are involved. For more information, visit the Zero Waste campaign website, and click here to join the Chapter's Zero Waste team.

Contact Committee Chair Martha Ainsworth at martha.ainsworth@mdsierra.org for questions and ways that you can get more involved.

Click here to join the
Zero Waste Committee Team

Water Committee

The Chesapeake Bay – and its beautiful tributary rivers, streams, & wetlands – is emblematic of our state, but it is under constant threat from fossil fuel infrastructure, urban run-off, agricultural pollution, and more. Learn about our various past Clean Water Campaigns here. Water is involved in everything we do, so our volunteers are spread thin. 

To get involved and help us reignite the water committee, contact Chapter Chair Rosa Hance rosa.hance@mdsierra.org

Agriculture and Forestry Committee

Across the state we are continuously dealing with issues involving the preservation of Maryland's forests and rural lands and the promotion of sustainable and responsible agricultural practices that help sequester carbon and improve soil health.

To get involved and help us reignite these efforts, contact Chapter Chair Rosa Hance rosa.hance@mdsierra.org

Outings Leader Team

Our motto is “Explore, Enjoy & Protect the Planet.” Our outings leaders help us connect people with the outdoors that we so passionately care about. Interested in becoming a Sierra Club Outings Leader? We plan 2-4 outings leader trainings per year.

Contact Pat Soffen to learn more about our outings program and how to become an outings leader! Patricia.soffen@gmail.com

Organizational Committees and Teams

Communications Committee

The Communications Team supports the creation of our online content, blog, social media, e-news, formally known as our print newsletter Chesapeake. If you would like to write, blog, or tweet about the environment, please join us. We are always looking to grow our movement!

You may volunteer or submit content for publication by sending an email to comms.help@mdsierra.org

Fundraising Committee

Like all non-profits, the Sierra Club is dependent on the generosity of its donors. Our fundraising activities allow us to continue the important work of protecting our coastal state. Whether you're experienced in fundraising or willing to learn, we need you! We're looking for people who have time to help put together our letters and emails, plan fundraising events, help us get event sponsors, or just time enough to make a few thank-you calls to our wonderful donors.

To volunteer to help us plan fundraising events and help us get local event sponsors, contact Fundraising Chair Meg Soffen at megan.soffen@gmail.com

To volunteer to help us with writing thank-you cards and with detail-oriented data entry, please contact Laurel Imlay at maryland.chapter@sierraclub.org

Finance Committee

The Finance Committee reviews financial policies, best practices, and protocols for sound financial management, and it approves & executes a “reserves” plan that uses said best practices.

Membership Engagement Committee

In 2020, we are growing and training a membership engagement team with the purpose of developing a coordinated chapter-wide growth strategy.  With so much at stake, growing our movement is critical to sustain our motto of “Explore, Enjoy & Protect the Planet.”  Please reach out to Shruti Bhatnagar at shruti.bhatnagar@mdsierra.org.

Political Committee

The Political Committee is comprised of local Group and at-large members dedicated to political action through endorsing and electing environmental champions to hold public office. The committee is active during primaries and the general election. Contact Political Chair Rich Norling at rich.norling@mdsierra.org with questions or to volunteer!

Legislative Team

The team of legislative action takers is formed each year to prepare and cover the Legislative Session of the General Assembly, January - April of each year. In the 2022 session of the Maryland General Assembly, the Sierra Club is looking forward to taking action for environmental justice and solutions to fight the climate emergency, collapse of biodiversity and plastic pollution crisis. Contact Legislative Chair Randy Lyon at randy.lyon@mdsierra.org and don’t forget to come to our Annual Lobby Night!

Annual Chapter Events Committee

Annual Chapter Events include our signature Maryland Jamboree (held biennially in odd years, see info about the most recent Jamboree).

Nominating Committee(s)

We are ALWAYS are looking to grow our capacity. Nominating Committees are formed annually to recruit and nominate volunteer leaders for seats on local group and Maryland Chapter Executive Committees for Chapter Elections each fall. Contact nominations chair Michael Brandt at nominations@mdsierra.org with questions or to volunteer!  Check out this nomination information.

Chapter Elections Committee

The Chapter Elections Committee is formed annually in order to conduct the Chapter Election process each fall. Contact Eric McKenzie at eric.mckenzie@mdsierra.org with questions or to volunteer!