Lake Erie Group

The Lake Erie Group (LKE) - serves Erie, Clarion, Crawford, Forest, Venango, and Warren counties, which is bordered by two environmentally important assets: Lake Erie and the Allegheny National Forest (ANF). While the smallest group in the Pennsylvania chapter according to membership, the group sponsors a variety of activities to keep its members active. Please contact us if you want to make a difference, and get involved.
Our email is:

Below are Bio's for Nominees to Executive Committee. Online election starts Nov. 9. Closes Dec. 9.

Diane Christin Esser Founder of The I Am A Planet Kid Children’s Environmental Program and Plant it Forward Community Tree Planting Initiative. Free Lance Writer, Author, Leadership Speaker and Media Producer of The Green Connection Climate Change Documentary and Show. A graduate from Penn State Behrend, My largest role has become an Environmental Advocate working toward international climate change educational efforts including promoting green infrastructure best practices ordinances. Member and presenter of the Pennsylvania Association of Environmental Educators. I continue to be a life long student and enjoy staying connected with a University that was the springboard for my media education, and through the years has supported my environmental work.

Chuck Benson has been on the ExCom board committee since 2000, organizing Sierra Club clean-ups in the PA Game Lands. Is currently serving as the Lake Erie Group Chairman and newsletter, media editor. He seeks re-election to the Executive Committee. He’s an advocate of recycling and reusing, and restoring our urban forest as well as forestlands. Promote brown field use and eliminating sprawl.

Kenneth Fromknecht was a member of Erie County Earth Day/Erie County Environmental Coalition since its inception back in the early 1980s. He worked to help with a more green Erie County, and distributed over 1000 native seedlings year between the early 80s and mid 90s. Ken became a member of the Millcreek Township Solid Waste Advisory Committee in 1991. One was the organization of a compost site in Millcreek. He became a Certified Arborist in 2000, and again in 2012 because he worked for Millcreek Twp. Parks and Recreation as Millcreek’s Arborist. One of his many duties was to Plant trees and to pamper the ones in its Parks and Streets.

David Skellie served as a Coastal Land Use and Economic Specialist with Penn State University’s Pennsylvania Sea Grant Program from 2003 until his retirement in 2021. Prior to that position, he was Director of the Erie County Department of Planning from 1980 to 2003 and was a community planner with the Planning Department from 1974 to 1980. At PA Sea Grant his responsibilities included outreach projects that benefitted residents and visitors to Pennsylvania’s Lake Erie watershed. His efforts focused on land conservation, water quality, and sustainable land use development. His experience in grants writing, and collaboration with federal, state, and local officials as well as working with local property owners contributed to substantial achievements on projects that included open space preservation, stream corridor restoration, and recreational access for anglers. Dave is a founding member of the Lake Erie Region Conservancy where he currently serves as Board President. He is also a founding member of Preservation Erie, is a long-time member of PLEWA, and has served on the Millcreek Township Planning Commission from 2003 to present. 

Sharon Rathi Participated in first Earth Day, cleanups like Ohio River Sweep and Adopt-A-Highway. Have supported several environmental groups through phone call/letter writing projects, lobbied in Washington to protect ANWR, participated in the People’s Climate March. Currently a member of Sierra’s PA Grassroots Power Team, advocating for projects like the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative; also Vote Forward, writing to prospective voters to encourage voting in a non-partisan way.

Robin Benson I enjoy the outdoors, and I want to help save it. We need to protect our planet from harmful human activity. I’m concerned about how our environment; wild spaces, domestic animals, and wildlife are being impacted by pollution, chemicals in our water & air, and deforestation. 


Sierra Club Supports a Bottle and Can Deposit Program in Pennsylvania

Under House Bill 1322, consumers in Pennsylvania would pay a 5-cent deposit per beverage container at the retailer or distributor. As an incentive to recycle, consumers would get that 5 cents per container back if they take them to a bottle redemption center.

Recycle Program

2023 Sierra Club - Annual Spring Cleanup

Our annual cleanup on Saturday, April 15th, 2023 in Waterford PA, was a big success! We picked up several bags of trash, and the PA Game commission helped haul it all away

Contact Chuck Benson @ 814-897-3329 for more details. 


clean up

Outing For Water Testing

This summer we had an outing at Asbury Woods in Erie where we had the water tested for any runoff pollution.


Water testing Outing

Tree Planting in Downtown Erie

On a rainy Earth Day 2023, we planted Crab Apple trees along Liberty Street in Erie. With help from students from Gannon University.

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